Controversy May Prohibit Kerry from Taking Communion

April 6, 2004

Source: CBS News

On April 6, 2004 CBS News reported, "It is unclear if pressure from the Boston archbishop will prevent Sen. John Kerry from taking communion this Easter Sunday in his home city because of the Democratic nominee's support for abortion. Amid questions of how Catholic leadership will respond to the pro-choice senator, Kerry's archbishop -- Boston's own Sean O'Malley -- has refused to clarify a statement last summer that pro-choice Catholics are in a state of grave sin and cannot take communion properly. Adding to the fray in February, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke forbade Kerry from taking communion while campaigning in the area due to Kerry's stance on abortion and possibly stem cell research. The two archbishops' admonishments shed light on the challenges faced by the liberal senator, as he tries to woo Catholics, which represent 27 percent of registered voters. The denial of communion to a Catholic eminent politician would be unprecedented. Experts cite such action as forbidden by Catholic canon law, except in extreme cases that do not apply to Kerry. Communion is a central tenant of Catholicism, meant to recognize Jesus' last supper."