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US archbishops differ on Communion for Senator Kerry

One archbishop in the United States has said publicly that he would refuse to distribute the Eucharist to pro-abortion Catholic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry, while another says it's up to the politician himself to decide whether to go to Communion.

Kerry is moving into the front of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. He is a Catholic who has made it clear that he is in favour of abortion.

Archbishop Raymond Burke of St Louis (pictured) said: "I would have to admonish him not to present himself for Communion," said the archbishop. "I might give him a blessing or something."

The response from the Kerry Campaign team was unapologetic. Kim Molstre, a Kerry campaign spokeswoman, said Friday, "The archbishop has the right to deny Communion to whoever he wants, but Senator Kerry respectfully disagrees with him on the issue of choice."

Kerry's own Archbishop, Sean O'Malley of Boston, said: "These politicians should know that if they're not voting correctly on these life issues that they shouldn't dare come to Communion." Archbishop O'Malley, however, declined to go so far as to refuse Communion.

Archbishop Burke firm on refusing Communion to Sen. Kerry (Lifesite/Catholic World News 3/2/04)
Archbishop Burke says he would refuse Communion to Sen. Kerry (St Louis Post-Dispatch 30/1/04)

John Kerry
Archdiocese of St Louis

4 Feb 2004