Kerry's "Controversial" Catholicism Looks Much Like America's

May 2, 2004

Source: Los Angeles Times,1,5020196.story?coll=la-news-religion

On May 2, 2004 the Los Angeles Times reported, "One point was largely overlooked in the news reports and talk-show discussions about whether Sen. John F. Kerry should take part in the central rituals of his faith: The former altar boy is Roman Catholic the way many Americans are Roman Catholic. He has been divorced and remarried, and believes abortion should be rare but legal. He says gay couples ought to be allowed to share lifelong commitments through civil unions, but not be married in church. The Massachusetts senator, says Michele Dillon, professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, 'is a very typical American Catholic.... He doesn't agree with everything the church teaches.' The presumed Democratic presidential nominee also thinks that his faith is his own business. Kerry has said as a senator, 'My oath is to uphold the Constitution of the United States in my public life; my oath privately between me and God was defined in the Catholic Church ... which allows for freedom of conscience for Catholics with respect to these choices, and that is exactly where I am.' Although his beliefs may be typical, Kerry's pattern of worship is a little less so. He's a regular churchgoer, but on the campaign trail he has been as likely to attend services at a black Protestant church as he is at a Catholic church."