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FROM THE "SOMEONE- SHOULD- HAVE- TOLD- HER- TO- JUST- BE- QUIET- AND- HAVE- ANTOHER- DRINK' FILE: Mass. Sen. and pro-abortion Democrat Kennedy's wife slams Catholic Church moves against so-called abortion rights Catholics


5/25/2004 9:26:00 PM -


WASHINGTON (AFP) - The wife of prominent US Senator Ted Kennedy decried as "dangerous" recent statements by Catholic clergy saying they would deny communion to Catholics who support abortion rights.


"As a Catholic, I am deeply saddened and concerned by the threatened denial of communion to pro-choice Catholic politicians. This course of action takes both the church and political discourse in this country to a new and dangerous place, and I urge that it be rejected," wrote Victoria Reggie Kennedy in an opinion piece in Sunday's Washington Post.


The issue has become one of the most heated talking points in the presidential election campaign, after a Vatican (news - web sites) official called on priests to stop granting communion to politicians who vote for abortion rights, including Massachusetts Senator John Kerry (news - web sites), the Democratic presidential nominee.


Kennedy wrote that there is latitude in church teachings for Catholics to follow their conscience on the abortion issue, saying that "freedom-of-conscience provisions ... are integral to the practice of our Catholic faith."


"The pro-choice position recognizes that the United States is a diverse, pluralistic society where a woman has the constitutional right to make a decision based upon her own conscience, religious beliefs and medical needs," wrote Kennedy, whose husband is the senior US senator from Massachusetts and one of Kerry's chief backers for the US presidency.


She decried what she said was a double standard in church hierarchy views on abortion and the death penalty.


"There has been no talk of withholding communion from pro-death-penalty Catholics," wrote Kennedy, an attorney who works on social justice issues.


"Where is the logic or moral justice in punishing those who allow a person to make a private moral decision, while remaining silent about those who authorize the government to take a life and thereby deprive a human being of his God-given right of salvation?"




Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved