The Corner

The Church of Kerry

John Kerry’s creative interpretation of Catholicism continued today. If you haven’t seen it yet, this is from the NYTimes:

Mr. Kerry became combative when told that some conservatives were criticizing him for being a Roman Catholic who supported policies, like abortion rights and same-sex unions, that are at odds with Catholic teaching.

“Who are they?” he demanded of his questioner. “Name them. Are they the same legislators who vote for the death penalty, which is in contravention of Catholic teaching?”

He added: “I’m not a church spokesman. I’m a legislator running for president. 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 by Pius XXIII and Pope Paul VI in the Vatican II, which allows for freedom of conscience for Catholics with respect to these choices, and that is exactly where I am. And it is separate. Our constitution separates church and state, and they should be reminded of that.”

Mr. Kerry apparently meant John XXIII, as there is no Pius XXIII.

Huh? Freedom of conscience on abortion? Call me a paleo/theocon Inquisitor, but it does seem like some bishop (his own? the bishops’ conference?) has an obligation to use this moment–when the most prominent Catholic in the U.S. is speaking nonsense about Church teaching–to educate. Intervening in such a way–to dissect what Kerry’s said and explain what’s wrong about it–would not be a partisan act, but leadership.