WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a bold response to criticism from the Vatican
and other high-ranking Catholic officials for his pro-abortion views,
presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee John Kerry has vowed to create
a new Catholic church that would be pro-choice and run by the U.S. government
if he is elected president in November.
"It's about time that forward thinking Catholics in this
country had a church that is aligned with their progressive political
views," Kerry said in a recent press conference. "And that
is exactly what I will create when I'm elected president of the United
States in November."
The announcement launched a flurry of questions from stunned reporters
in attendance about the structure and beliefs of Kerry's proposed
"This church will be a part of the United States government, and
the head of it will be a new cabinet member – the Secretary of American
Catholicism," Kerry said. "We're haven't really
started working through a lot of the theological stuff, but we are committed
to the concept that progressive views on abortion, divorce, homosexuality,
the role of women in ministry, and various other social issues should
never come between Americans and their religious beliefs."
When asked about the apparent violation such a church would be of the
separation of church and state outlined in the Establishment Clause of
the First Amendment to the Constitution, Kerry, who has been critical
of President Bush's Faith Based Initiatives, seemed confident in
the constitutionality of his proposal.
"As I understand it, the Establishment Clause is really concerned
about keeping the church from having undue influence on the government,"
Kerry said. "What we're proposing is a scenario where the
government has complete control over the church, so everybody wins."
The response from the Vatican has been somewhat predictable.
"This is like landing on the 'Get Yourself Excommunicated'
space on the Monopoly board of life. Do not pass the offering plate. Do
not collect communion," said Francis Arinze, a cardinal at the Vatican
who has already called for Kerry and other pro-abortion politicians to
be denied communion by their local parishes. "No amount of Hail
Mary's or Our Father's is gonna get him out of this one."
Early speculation has been that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California),
a Catholic who has spoken out about her belief that pro-choice Catholics
should never be denied the Eucharist, would be tapped to head up the new
"I would be honored to be the first Secretary of American Catholicism,"
Pelosi told THO in a phone interview from her San Fransico home. "But
whether I am or not, I am thrilled at the idea of having a Catholic church
that doesn't shun its members who speak out about their political
beliefs simply because those beliefs just happen to be antithetical to
the fundamental teachings of the church."
Politicians don't seem to know how to respond to Kerry's
announcement. Democrats have been mum, while Republicans have expressed
themselves in tones of restrained jubilation.
"I'm going to be having a meeting with Mr. Kerry about this,"
said Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe. "Until
that happens, I have no comment."
"Wow, this is the best news since we found out that Kitty Dukakis
drinks rubbing alcohol for kicks," said a high-ranking Republican,
speaking on the condition of anonymity. "I think John Kerry has
about as good of a chance of starting his own state-sponsored church as
he does of getting elected."
Kerry seems unfazed by the negative response to his proposal.
"Religion is the one part of Americans' lives in which government
has not yet become intimately involved," Kerry told reporters. "I
intend to change that."