A significant number of Catholic leaders around the U.S. have published an Open Letter to Sen. John Kerry this morning asking him to be coherent with his faith and with reason - saying he is incoherent on both counts – before Kerry is rumored to make a “big Catholic statement” to win the Catholic vote in swing states.
The letter entitled “An Open Letter from Fellow Catholics to John Kerry: On Faith and Reason,” was published in the wake of rumors that Kerry was to speak at a fundraiser at the College of Saint Catherine’s campus in St. Paul, Minnesota – a swing state with a large population of Catholics - on Thursday, October 21. However, Saint Catherine’s College has confirmed that he will not be there, and sources say he is to make a pitch to Catholic voters some time within the next week.
In an interview published in the Denver Post yesterday says that Sen. Kerry has pointed to a recent letter by Cardinal Ratzinger to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as saying that it is not a sin to vote for a pro-choice candidate if you are voting for him on the basis of other important issues, and is thus asking Catholics to look at his full record on voting with the Church positions, especially the American bishops’ stance on social issues.
However, the Open Letter noted that even though “disagreements will always exist in the civic arena,” such as those concerning social issues such as education and health, there exist certain “core truths around which… Catholics must rally. Not just because it is the word of the Church, but also because of reason. This is where we stand on opposition to abortion.”
The Letter then goes on to point out Kerry’s inconherence in the face of reason as evidenced from his statements and voting record: “Innocent human life must always be protected. Senator John Kerry, you have said that “life begins at conception,” but you have persistently supported abortion and oppose all sensible restrictions on the practice,” such as that on partial birth abortion.
On Kerry’s faith the letter reads, “In the most recent debate Senator Kerry, you said, "everything you do in public life has to be guided by your faith” and that “everything is a gift from the Almighty.” But apparently, when it comes to the issue of the right to life, you follow neither your own faith nor your own reason.”
In conclusion the letter says that “both faith and reason lead us to President George W. Bush as the choice for life, compassion and justice for all” and urges Catholics to join them on November 2.
The signotories of the letter include prominent Catholic public figures such as Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania; Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas; Kenny Hulsof, Missouri, U.S. Congressman; Bruce Chapman, Washington, Former Ambassador to the U.N; Bob Destro, Washington, DC, Professor, Columbus Law / Catholic University; Scott Hahn, Ohio, Professor of Theology and Scripture, Franciscan University; Brian Golden, Massachusetts State Representative; Thomas & Margaret Melady, Washington, DC, Former US Ambassador to the Holy See; Robert George, New Jersey, Professor, Princeton University; Maria Sophia Aguirre, Washington, DC, Professor, Catholic University; Donna Sytek, New Hampshire Former Speaker of the State House; Douglas A. Sylva, New Jersey, Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute; Mary Beth Bonacci, Colorado Real Love Inc.; Austin Ruse, Washington, DC, President, Culture of Life Foundation; Mary Ellen Bork, Virginia Women Affirming Life; M. Edward Whelan, Washington, DC, Ethics & Public Policy Center; Joe Cella, Michigan, President, National Catholic Prayer Breakfast; Connie Marshner, Virginia, President, American Catholic Council; Michelle Fischbach, Minnesota, State Representative.