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Monday, October 18, 2004


Sandra Miesel

Don't hold your breath waiting for anything substantial to happen here. If (Heaven forbid) a President Kerry visited the Vatican he'd be given Communion at a papal Mass.


For lovers of Mr Brown's works, this is just another example of The um I mean the Vatican trying to cover something else up.

Mark Brumley

Let's be clear that this is a theologian offering his learned opinion about the matter. It is not a decision of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. There is no "official" determination by CDF, nor is the theologian in question, Fr. Basil Cole, claiming anything other than that this is his judgment as a theologian in the matter and that he was requested by Fr. DiNoia of CDF to respond unofficially to the dubia submitted to CDF by Mr. Balestrieri.

While I am as eager as anyone to get proabortion Catholic politicians to stop depicting their support for legal abortion as being compatible with their claims of Catholic identity, we have to make sure we don't overstate things as a means to try to force that end to come about.


While I agree that we should approach this letter with caution, it is a step in the right direction. And, if Kerry is eventually excommunicated, which I think he will be, I have no doubt that the Catholic Church will enforce it.

Simon Russell

From Edward Peters' Canon Law Website

A Clarification from Fr. Cole:

"Several weeks ago, Fr. DiNoia, the undersecretary for the Congregation of Doctrine and Faith, asked me to communicate with Marc Balestrieri about a question concerning abortion, excommunication and the like. I was neither delegated by the Congregation to speak for it, nor was I in any sense a "consultor" to the Congregation. I was simply someone trying to help someone understand the gravity of the evil of abortion and the possible penalties associated by formally and publically teaching that abortion was not per se a grave sin. Both Fr. DiNoia and I assumed that the person was a student wanting to understand the Church's teaching. I was told he was seeking to do a JCD degree by the person in question. Neither Fr. DiNoia nor I had any knowledge that he was going to "go after" Kerry or any other Catholic figure for their public stance concerning the evil of abortion. So, in my letter to Marc Balestrieri, I began by mentioning that my letter is a personal and private opinion to him about anyone who would publically and persistently teach that abortion is not morally prohibited. It in no way is authoritative from the Congregation nor was I representing the Congregation. It's only weight is that of a priest and a theologian who appeals to sacred sources. I was helping out Fr. DiNoia who asked me to do this for him. Fraternally in St. Dominic, Fr. Basil Cole, OP"


Here in Canada our Prime Minister is also "devout" Catholic who is "personally opposed" to all sorts of evil things but enthusiastically supports said evils politically whenever humanly possible.

Would it follow that he would have to be excommunicated?

Sandra Miesel

The member of the Italian Parliament who drafted their law legalizing abortion was not turned away at a Papal Mass and received Communion. There will be no top-down strictures on pro-abortionists or embryonic research advocates or euthanasia advocates or what have you. The Church will merely "teach, persuade, and exhort." No punishments.
Remember the California bishop who tried to excommunicate a pro-abortion politician and found his decision couldn't be enforced at the parish level.

Mark Brumley

Thanks, Simon. Unfortunately, I have not been in a position today to post Father Cole's clarification.

David R

Sad,...Sad,... Sad,.... when I read these discussions of excommunication for John Kerry - it only comes to my mind how perplexing and distraught our country is in terms of reaching Peace. True - abortion is deplorable. A disgusting evil embodiment of Satan in our world - abortion has its own brand of evil that we need to fight with a fervor. My comments are directed toward the current war in Iraq in such that so many people are supporting President Bush because of his Pro-Life stand that we are ignoring the President's feeding into the evil in Iraq. How wise do we need to be before we wake up to the path that may not have a way out. I am deeply saddened by our country's war in Iraq and believe we need a President who can end the war in Iraq as quick as possible so that we can turn our attention back to civil living in this country - how can we be the leader of Christ - when we are showing the Muslim world the attrocities we have done over there. Pray for Peace!!! May I mention abortion has been going down since 1980 and we need to keep up this fight and never forget while we try to create peace abroad. President Bush is leading us down the path of Satan. Let's all wake up!!!


40+ Million abortions in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade. I am awake, and Bush will get my vote. All the wars in American history don't add up to the number of abortions committed since that trechorous day.

Michael J. Gaynor


The Roman Catholic Church’s clerical sex abuse scandal is horrific, but at least Church officials never claimed that clerical sex abuse was not a sin.

And Pope John Paul II specifically condemned it as “a crime” and took corrective action.

Tragically, clerical sex abuse is NOT the Church’s greatest problem.

The Church’s greatest problem is tolerating sacrilege, heresy and public scandal for the sake of pro-abortion, nominally Catholic politicians instead of stopping sacrilege and public scandal by formally declaring the support of a civil right to abortion to be a heresy and those who support it to be automatically excommunicated.

And Pope John Paul II needs to take corrective action by formally declaring the heresy.

The “I personally oppose abortion but can’t impose my Article of Faith on others” is not a justification for the heresy of supporting abortion.

As Father James Poumade put it in a homily delivered on May 30, 2004:

“Pontius Pilate was personally opposed to executing Jesus, and may even have come to believe in Him, but didn’t wish to impose his belief on the crowd….He knew what his decision meant….It is inconsistent to claim that one can reject the faith publicly and still be Catholic. Those who try to do so are the only ones truly guilty of mixing politics and religion. Being a practicing Catholic means following the will of God as revealed to us through Scripture and Tradition and the teaching authority of the Church.”

The Church’s Canon 1436 states: “Whoever denies a truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or who calls into doubt, or who totally repudiates the Christian faith, and does not retract after having been legitimately warned, is to be punished as a heretic or an apostate with a major excommunication; a cleric moreover can be punished with other penalties, not excluding deposition.”

Canon 915 states, in part: "Those...who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Communion."

But, in the United States, the influence of pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians on Church officials is considerable and they have been making a mockery of the receipt of the Body and Blood of Christ by receiving while championing abortion as a civil right.

Sadly, many distributors of Communion have failed to resist the temptation to admit unfit persons to Holy Communion after those unfit persons failed to resist the temptation to seek Holy Communion.

Canon 915 specifies not that those persons shall not present themselves for Holy Communion, but that they “are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” (Emphasis added)

That puts the onus on the dispensers of Holy Communion to refuse the unfit who nevertheless present themselves for Holy Communion when their unfitness is “manifest.”

The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, in Ecclesia de Eucharistia, emphasized that Canon 915 obligates those who dispense Holy Communion not to do so blindly:

“[I]n cases of outward conduct which is seriously, clearly and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved. The Code of Canon Law refers to this situation of a manifest lack of proper moral disposition when it states that those who “obstinately persist in manifest grave sin” are not to be admitted to Eucharistic communion.” (Emphasis added.)

The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts previously had issued an interpretation of Canon 915 in agreement with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. It stated in unambiguous terms:

“Naturally, pastoral prudence would strongly suggest the avoidance of instances of public denial of Holy Communion. Pastors must strive to explain to the concerned faithful the true ecclesial sense of the norm, in such a way that they would be able to understand it or at least respect it. In those situations, however, in which these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible, the minister of Communion must refuse to distribute it to those who are publicly unworthy. They are to do this with extreme charity, and are to look for the opportune moment to explain the reasons that required the refusal. They must, however, do this with firmness, conscious of the value that such signs of strength have for the good of the Church and of souls.” (Emphasis added.)

Responsibility for implementing Canon 915 was delegated to priests (not bishops):

“The discernment of cases in which the faithful who find themselves in the described condition are to be excluded from Eucharistic Communion is the responsibility of the Priest who is responsible for the community. They are to give precise instructions to the deacon or to any extraordinary minister regarding the mode of acting in concrete situations.”

And compliance with Canon 915 was mandatory, not discretionary.

“….the obligation of reiterating this impossibility of admission to the Eucharist is required for genuine pastoral care and for an authentic concern for the well-being of these faithful and of the whole Church, being that it indicates the conditions necessary for the fullness of that conversion to which all are always invited by the Lord….”

The declaration specified the way Canon 915 must be interpreted and its three required conditions as follows:

“The phrase ‘and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin’ is clear and must be understood in a manner that does not distort its sense so as to render the norm inapplicable. The three required conditions are:

a) grave sin, understood objectively, being that the minister of Communion would not be able to judge from subjective imputability;

b) obstinate persistence, which means the existence of an objective situation of sin that endures in time and which the will of the individual member of the faithful does not bring to an end, no other requirements (attitude of defiance, prior warning, etc.) being necessary to establish the fundamental gravity of the situation in the Church.

c) the manifest character of the situation of grave habitual sin.”

But, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and many other priests in the United States have continued to give Communion to such persons. Cardinal McCarrick said that he has “not gotten to the stage where I’m comfortable in denying the Eucharist.” He said: “I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to ask my priests to do it. … When you begin to do that, you go on a slippery slope. …We should have no confrontation at the altar.”

Apparently Cardinal McCarrick thinks Canon 915 is a mistake to be disregarded instead of an obligation for him to fulfill.

Of course no Cardinal has the right to disregard any canon.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court created a constitutional right to abortion on its own authority in 1973, some 45,000,000 so-called legal abortions have been performed in the United States.

How many more abortions need to be performed before Cardinal McCarrick achieves comfort?

Only God knows.

On June 18, 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued its much anticipated statement on Catholics in Political Life.

Cardinal McCarrick’s unbenign influence was apparent.

The brief statement addressed the spiritually and politically important matter of the fitness for Holy Communion of pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians:

“The question has been raised as to whether the denial of Holy Communion to some Catholics in political life is necessary because of their public support for abortion on demand. Given the wide range of circumstances involved in arriving at a prudential judgment on a matter of this seriousness, we recognize that such decisions rest with the individual bishop in accord with the established canonical and pastoral principles. Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action. Nevertheless, we all share an unequivocal commitment to protect human life and dignity and to preach the Gospel in difficult times.”

What does “[b]ishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action” mean?

In view of Canons 912 and 915 and prior statements by Pope John Paul II and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, it can only mean that whether a pro-abortion, nominally Catholic’s grave sin of supporting abortion has persisted to the point of obstinacy and is manifest so that the person’s receipt of Holy Communion would be a scandal are to be determined in good faith on a case-by-case basis, NOT that there is any discretion on the part of any bishop to treat the sin as other than grave within the meaning of Canon 915 or to disobey the mandate of Canon 915 when obstinate persistence and manifestness are obvious. Surely those words cannot mean that each bishop is free to follow or disregard Canon 915 and admit or refuse to admit to Holy Communion as he chooses.

The Cathecism of the Catholic Church explains that “catholic” means “universal” (830) and it is absurd to contend that eligibility to receive Holy Communion depends upon geography.

It is up to Pope John Paul II to act.

The Cathecism’s Section 834 states:

”Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome, ‘which presides in charity’.’ [footnote omitted] “For with this church, bu reason of its pre-eminence, the whole church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord’ [footnote omitted].”

Obviously, the most prominent politician now misusing Holy Communion for political purposes is John Kerry, baptized Catholic, former altar boy and presumptive Democrat presidential candidate.

John Kerry is supporting even partial-birth abortion, calling abortion a woman's right instead of a wrong and vowing to keep abortion legal. At the dinner hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice America (formerly, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Kerry proudly and passionately proclaimed, "We are not going to turn back the clock. There is no overturning of Roe v. Wade. There is no packing of courts with judges who will be hostile to choice."

BUT, the heretics are NOT exclusively Democrats.

Neither political correctness nor political expediency excuses sin. A priest who knowingly gives Communion to a pro-abortion politician commits the grave sin of sacrilege as well as the unfit recipient.

"Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us." Cathecism 2120.

Jesus did not pander to politicians, much less put monetary considerations (such as tax exemption) before principle. The barring of John Kerry, Rudi Giuliani and other pro-abortion nominally Catholic politicians from Communion until they repent has been delayed much too long. The sooner the bar is imposed in all of the Catholic dioceses in the United States, the better. Perhaps they finally will repent.

In the words of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “[t]he Eucharist is the source and summit of Catholic life.”

But, whether or not to protect it is up to each bishop individual according to the Conference.

That is absurd.

Earlier this year, Marc A. Balestrieri, a canon lawyer and an assistant judge of an ecclesiastical court in the Los Angeles Archdiocese (until he filed the Kerry heresy case last June, to stop the scandal of persistently obstinent pro-abortion politicians posing as fit to receive Communion and being accommodated, in contravention of Canon 915), began his campaign to set matters right with John Kerry.

On June 14, 2004, Mr. Balestrieri filed with the Boston Archdiocese a sworn document described as “a Denunciation for the Public Ecclesiastical Crime of Heresy, Diabolical Scandal Leading to Heresy, Immediate Formal Cooperation in Heresy, Abjection of the Sacred Species, Diabolical Scandal Leading to Murder, and Grave Harm to Public Morals and Contempt for the Faith and Ecclesiastical Authority” and “a Criminal Complaint for Reparation of Harm” resulting from the crimes listed.

Mr. Balestrieri denounced Senator Kerry’s “deliberate, manifest, and pertinacious adherence to the proposition that one has a right to choose abortive murder.”

Mr. Balestrieri identified that as an ecclesiastical crime, heresy, that is, "the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith...."

The relief demanded is a declaration of excommunication and the imposition of additional penalties and punishments against Senator Kerry, including barring Senator Kerry from receiving Communion or any other sacrament until Senator Kerry publicly repudiates his heretical support for abortion or, in Mr. Balestrieri’s words, “the Right-to-Murder heresy.”

To show Senator Kerry’s persistent obstinacy, Mr. Balestrieri cited Senator Kerry’s support for abortion in his first speech in the United States Senate more than nineteen years ago and his perfect pro-abortion voting record, including opposition to even partial birth abortion.

Mr. Balestrieri also vigorously objected to Senator Kerry’s public receipt of Holy Communion several times this year and asserted as fact “an urgent need for the elimination of Scandal whereby a life-threatening heresy attacking a Dogma of Divine and Catholic Faith is growing substantially within the Church.”

Senator Kerry is supporting even partial-birth abortion, calling abortion a woman's right instead of a wrong and vowing to keep abortion legal.

The Boston Archdiocese has been stalling, preferring not to act before Election Day.

Christ and his faithful deserve better.

After Mr. Balestrieri’s case against him was reported by the Washington Times, Senator Kerry surprised his own spokesperson by claiming to believe that life begins at conception

But Senator Kerry subsequently claimed a distinction between the life that begins at conception and human life worthy of legal protection and is continuing to try to have it both ways on a life-and-death matter.

On one hand, like a faithful Catholic, Senator Kerry is asserting personal opposition to abortion: “I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception…."

On the other hand, Senator Kerry is assurings abortion supporters that he will let them have all the abortions they want, for whatever reason.

Senator Kerry’s rationale for preaching against abortion and legislating in favor of it: “I can't take my Catholic belief, my article of faith, and legislate it on a Protestant or a Jew or an atheist. We have separation of church and state in the United States of America."

To the naïve, Senator Kerry’s position may make him look admirably openminded and restrained instead of arbitrary and controlling.

However, it is sheer sophistry, that is, “subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation,” of which Senator Kerry should be ashamed,

The "separation between faith and life" that Senator Kerry is trying to use for political advantage was condemned long ago by the Second Vatican Council as “counted among the more serious errors of our age."

As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated in its Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life: “[T]he lay Catholic's duty to be morally coherent…is one and indivisible. There cannot be two parallel lives…: on the one hand, the so-called 'spiritual life', with its values and demands; and on the other, the so-called 'secular' life, that is, life in a family, at work, in social responsibilities, in the responsibilities of public life and in culture.”

The Doctrinal Note emphasized that lay Catholics, in fulfilling civic duties, are to be “‘guided by a Christian conscience,’ in conformity with its values,” and that “their proper task [is] infusing the temporal order with Christian values, all the while respecting the nature and rightful autonomy of that order, and cooperating with other citizens according to their particular competence and responsibility.”

The Doctrinal Note categorically rejected the claims that citizens have “complete autonomy with regard to their moral choices and lawmakers…are respecting this freedom of choice by enacting laws which ignore the principles of natural ethics and yield to ephemeral cultural and moral trends, as if every possible outlook on life were of equal value.”

The Doctrinal Note distinguished legitimate and illegitimate freedom. It explicitly respected “the legitimate freedom of Catholic citizens to choose among the various political opinions that are compatible with faith and the natural moral law, and to select, according to their own criteria, what best corresponds to the needs of the common good.”

The Doctrinal Note explained that it is “the Church’s right and duty to provide a moral judgment on temporal matters when this is required by faith or the moral law.”

With respect to abortion, the Doctrinal Note was emphatic: “John Paul II, continuing the constant teaching of the Church, has reiterated many times that those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a ‘grave and clear obligation to oppose’ any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them.” (Emphasis added.)

A faithful Catholic politician may not compromise on fundamental matters. “When political activity comes up against moral principles that do not admit of exception, compromise or derogation, the Catholic commitment becomes more evident and laden with responsibility. In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands, Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person. This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia (not to be confused with the decision to forgo extraordinary treatments, which is morally legitimate). Such laws must defend the basic right to life from conception to natural death.”

Senator Kerry surely knows that the truth concerning the right to life of all persons from conception to natural death is not an idiosyncratic “religious” notion and his talismanic invocation of the words “separation of church and state” does not immunize him from responsibility for his sin of promoting abortion in the eyes of God or the Church.

Senator Kerry and all other politicians of whatever political affiliation should not be permitted to confuse their fellow Americans or to intimidate any member of the Roman Catholic clergy.

On October 15, 2004, Mr. Balestrieri appeared on the Eternal Word Television Network’s The World Over with Raymond Arroyo to update viewers.

On August 30, 2004, with his heresy case against Senator Kerry stalled in the Boston Archdiocese, Mr. Balestrieri had made a written request to the Vatican’s Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith to confirm the principles on which his heresy case is based.

At the request of the undersecretary of the Congregation, Mr. Balestrieri received a letter dated September 11, 2004 unofficially responding to his request that he made public on October 15.

The letter is posted at

The letter concluded:

”To commit the sin of heresy, you do not have to deny solemnly defined truths of the faith only. It suffices to deny truths contrary to the manifest understanding of the Sacred Scriptures, such as denying the truth of any of the ten commandments Thomas himself occasionally calls people heretics who deny the manifest and obvious sense of biblical texts. This isn’t to say that moral teachings cannot be defined because some very few have been defined solemnly by the Church especially the Council of Trent on marriage, and against polygamy.

“So, if I obstinately deny by teaching and preaching, or doubt that abortion is not intrinsically evil, I commit the mortal sin of heresy. All things being equal, I am automatically excommunicated according to the provision of Can. 1364, § 1, provided that the presaumptions of knowledge of the law and penalty (Can 15, § 2) and imputability (Can. 1321, § 3) are not rebutted in the external forum:

With due regard for can. 194, § 1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs automatic excommunication….


”It should be obvious from all that I’ve said that for anyone to maintain a right to abortion piggybacks on the heresy and becomes part of its darkness,

“Consequently, if a Catholic publicly and obstinately supports the civil right to

abortion, knowing that the Church teaches officially against that legislation, he or she commits that heresy envisioned by Can. 751 of the Code. Provided that the presumptions of knowledge of the law and penalty (Can. 15, § 2) and imputability

(Can. 1321, § 3) are not rebutted in the external forum, one is automatically excommunicated according to Can. 1364, § 1.”

The letter is unofficial, because Mr. Balestrieri is not a bishop, but the justifications provided for its conclusions are irresistible (and the idea that it would have been written and delivered without papal approval is virtually inconceivable).

The conclusions are based on the teaching of Pope John Paul II himself in his Encyclical Letter titled Evangelium Vitae.

There, Pope John Paul II officially declared “that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being,” and that “[t]his doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written Word of God” and “transmitted by the Church’s Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”

Therefore, the letter bluntly continued:

”No one in his right theological mind would claim that this truth concerning the sin of abortion simply defined by the Pope interpreting the papal and episcopal magisterium is a probable opinion, or non-infallible. It is definitive, certain, indubitable and infallible by the ordinary magisterium.”

The letter acknowledged that “abortion is not directly and specifically… condemned by the Sacred Scriptures,” but explained that it is so condemned not only by them not only “as a logical consequence,” but also by Sacred Tradition “as a most grave sin.”

In Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II had written that “Christian Tradition…is clear and unanimous, from the beginning up to our own day, in describing abortion as a particularly grave moral disorder,” and that “Throughout Christianity’s two thousand year history, the same doctrine has been constantly taught by the Fathers of the Churtch and by her Pastors and Doctors.”

The letter then quotes Canon 750, §1 of the Code of Canon Law of 1983:

”All that is contained in the written Word of God or in Tradition, that is, in the

one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church and also proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium, must be believed with divine and catholic faith; it is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore, all are bound to avoid any doctrine whatever which are contrary to these truths.”

What this means is that “[a] doctrine of Divine and Catholic faith may be contained solely in any one of these two fonts” and “[i]t is not required that it be contained simultaneously in both in order to fall within the First Paragraph of the Profession of Faith of 29 June 1998: With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the Word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church, either by solemn judgment or by the ordinary and written magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.”

Accordingly, the letter described “the teaching against abortion” as “de Fide Divina et Catholica—of Divine and Catholic Faith—under the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”

It was irrelevant that “the papal magisterium representing the universal Church has not used the exact clause ‘of Divine and Catholic Faith’ in so many words because “it easily could have said so” and “[j]ust because it has not done so recently does not diminish the manifest truth that the doctrine is in fact of Divine and Catholic Faith.”


”All Catholics are bound to believe in it with the firm and irrevocable assent of Faith, admitting of no exceptions whatsoever. In public as in private, they can never deny or doubt this doctrine.”

The letter acknowledged that “the teaching on abortion is not solemnly defined by the Roman pontiff as in the case of the declarations of Mary’s Immaculate Conception or her Assumption” and “[t]he General Councils of the Church have not hurled anathemas agains those who disbelieve this doctrine.”

But, the letter classified “this truth of our faith” as “close to” and capable of being solemnly defined.

In addition, the letter opined that “such solemn acts of definition are not needed” and that the absence of solemn definition of this and other moral matters may be explained in part by the absence of a “massive theological movement against the teaching even though secular society dissents and an occasional theologian or religious teacher does the same thing.”

It followed that:

”To claim that the teaching on abortion is not definitive and can be dissented from would…be erroneous and heretical theologically—both “heresy in the Thomistic sense of the word” and “heresy envisioned by Canon 751 of the Code of Canon Law: Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after received baptism, of a truth to be believed by divine and catholic faith.”

The letter then stated how heresy is established:

”The condition of obstinate denial or doubt is met, from the theological point of view, when there is the existence of an objective situation of sin that endures in time and which the will of the individual member of the faithful does not bring to an end, no other requirements (attitude of defiance, propr warning, etc.) being necessary to establish the fundamental gravity of the situation in the Church.

“The requirement of knowledge is met if one knows or doubts, even if only in

confusa (the solid opposite possibility) that Church teaching offically condemns abortion as a sin. Theologians, therefore commonly teach that the exact level of certainty (‘of Divine and Catholic Faith’) need not be known.”

When these principles are applied to the indisputable facts in the Kerry heresy case, the conclusion is inescapable:


Mr. Balestrieri also announced his intention to file ecclesiastical denunciations against Republicans as well as Democrats, and that his next four denunciations would be against Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Senator Thomas Harkin of Iowa, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.

Subsequently, a dispute arose as to the significance of the letter.

The letter’s reasoning is compelling, but, as Mr. Balestrieri said, the letter was unofficial.

His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, needs to act, by making the letter official and putting a stop to Church officials cooperating with pro-abortion, nominally Catholic politicians.

Michael J. Gaynor
95 Darrow Lane
Greenlawn, New York 11740-2803
(631) 757-9452 (tel)
(631) 754-3437 (fax)

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