The Evangelization Station

Best Catholic Links

Search this Site




Mailing List

Pray for Pope Francis

Scroll down for topics

100+ Important Documents in United States History


Apostolic Fathers of the Church

Articles Worth Your Time

 Biographies & Writings of Notable Catholics

Catholic Apologetics

Catholic Calendar

Catholic News Commentary by Michael Voris, S.T.B.

Catholic Perspectives

Catholic Social Teaching


Church Around the World

Small animated flag of The Holy See (State of the Vatican City) graphic for a white background

Church Contacts

  Church Documents

Church History

Church Law

Church Teaching


Doctors of the Church



(Death, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell)

Essays on Science


Fathers of the Church

Free Catholic Pamphlets

 Heresies and Falsehoods

How to Vote Catholic

Let There Be Light

Q & A on the Catholic Faith

Links to Churches and Religions

Links to Newspapers, Radio and Television

Links to Recommended Sites

Links to Specialized Agencies

Links to specialized Catholic News services


General Instruction of the Roman Missal


Marriage & the Family

Modern Martyrs

Mexican Martyrdom

Moral Theology


Pope John Paul II's

Theology of the Body

Movie Reviews (USCCB)

New Age


Parish Bulletin Inserts

Political Issues

Prayer and Devotions



Hope after Abortion

Project Rachel


Help & Information for Men


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults




The Golden Legend


Vocation Links & Articles


What the Cardinals believe...

World Religions

Pope John Paul II

In Memoriam

John Paul II


Pope Benedict XVI

In Celebration

Visits to this site

Canon lawyer Marc A. Balestrieri announces on EWTN that the Vatican has joined his heresy case against John Kerry


10/16/2004 9:34:00 PM - Michael J. Gaynor




Thanks be to God, the Vatican acted to end the abortion heresy after the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Boston Archdiocese dawdled.


On October 15, 2004, Marc A. Balestrieri, the young canon lawyer who boldly denounced Senator Kerry as a heretic in an ecclesiastical proceeding, appeared on the Eternal World Television Network’s The World Over with Raymond Arroyo to announce that he had received confirmation from the Vatican that support for abortion is heresy.


On August 30, 2004, with his heresy case against Senator Kerry stalled in the Boston Archdiocese, Mr. Balestrieri made a written request to the Vatican’s Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith to confirm the principles on which his heresy case is based.


At the request of the undersecretary of the Congregation, Mr. Balestrieri received a letter dated September 11, 2004 unofficially responding to his request that he made public on October 15.


That letter concluded:


”To commit the sin of heresy, you do not have to deny solemnly defined truths of the faith only. It suffices to deny truths contrary to the manifest understanding of the Sacred Scriptures, such as denying the truth of any of the ten commandments Thomas himself occasionally calls people heretics who deny the manifest and obvious sense of biblical texts. This isn’t to say that moral teachings cannot be defined because some very few have been defined solemnly by the Church especially the Council of Trent on marriage, and against polygamy.


“So, if I obstinately deny by teaching and preaching, or doubt that abortion is not intrinsically evil, I commit the mortal sin of heresy. All things being equal, I am automatically excommunicated according to the provision of Can. 1364, § 1, provided that the presaumptions of knowledge of the law and penalty (Can 15, § 2) and imputability (Can. 1321, § 3) are not rebutted in the external forum:


With due regard for can. 194, § 1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs automatic excommunication….




”It should be obvious from all that I’ve said that for anyone to maintain a right to abortion piggybacks on the heresy and becomes part of its darkness,


“Consequently, if a Catholic publicly and obstinately supports the civil right to


abortion, knowing that the Church teaches officially against that legislation, he or she commits that heresy envisioned by Can. 751 of the Code. Provided that the presumptions of knowledge of the law and penalty (Can. 15, § 2) and imputability


(Can. 1321, § 3) are not rebutted in the external forum, one is automatically excommunicated according to Can. 1364, § 1.”


The letter is unofficial but the justification provided for its conclusions are irresistible (and the idea that it would have been written and delivered without papal approval is virtually inconceivable).


The conclusions are based on the teaching of Pope John Paul II himself in his Encyclical Letter titled Evangelium Vitae.


There, Pope John Paul II officially declared “that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being,” and that “[t]his doctrine is based upon the natural law and upon the written Word of God” and “transmitted by the Church’s Tradition and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”


Therefore, the letter bluntly continued:


”No one in his right theological mind would claim that this truth concerning the sin of abortion simply defined by the Pope interpreting the papal and episcopal magisterium is a probable opinion, or non-infallible. It is definitive, certain, indubitable and infallible by the ordinary magisterium.”


The letter acknowledged that “abortion is not directly and specifically… condemned by the Sacred Scriptures,” but explained that it is so condemned not only by them not only “as a logical consequence,” but also by Sacred Tradition “as a most grave sin.”


In Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II had written that “Christian Tradition…is clear and unanimous, from the beginning up to our own day, in describing abortion as a particularly grave moral disorder,” and that “Throughout Christianity’s two thousand year history, the same doctrine has been constantly taught by the Fathers of the Churtch and by her Pastors and Doctors.”


The letter then quotes Canon 750, §1 of the Code of Canon Law of 1983:


”All that is contained in the written Word of God or in Tradition, that is, in the


one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church and also proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal magisterium, must be believed with divine and catholic faith; it is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred magisterium; therefore, all are bound to avoid any doctrine whatever which are contrary to these truths.”


What this means is that “[a] doctrine of Divine and Catholic faith may be contained solely in any one of these two fonts” and “[i]t is not required that it be contained simultaneously in both in order to fall within the First Paragraph of the Profession of Faith of 29 June 1998: With firm faith, I also believe everything contained in the Word of God, whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church, either by solemn judgment or by the ordinary and written magisterium, sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed.”


Accordingly, the letter described “the teaching against abortion” as “de Fide Divina et Catholica-of Divine and Catholic Faith-under the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”


It was irrelevant that “the papal magisterium representing the universal Church has not used the exact clause ‘of Divine and Catholic Faith’ in so many words because “it easily could have said so” and “[j]ust because it has not done so recently does not diminish the manifest truth that the doctrine is in fact of Divine and Catholic Faith.”




”All Catholics are bound to believe in it with the firm and irrevocable assent of Faith, admitting of no exceptions whatsoever. In public as in private, they can never deny or doubt this doctrine.”


The letter acknowledged that “the teaching on abortion is not solemnly defined by the Roman pontiff as in the case of the declarations of Mary’s Immaculate Conception or her Assumption” and “[t]he General Councils of the Church have not hurled anathemas agains those who disbelieve this doctrine.”


But, the letter classified “this truth of our faith” as “close to” and capable of being solemnly defined.


In addition, the letter opined that “such solemn acts of definition are not needed” and that the absence of solemn definition of this and other moral matters may be explained in part by the absence of a “massive theological movement against the teaching even though secular society dissents and an occasional theologian or religious teacher does the same thing.”


It followed that:


”To claim that the teaching on abortion is not definitive and can be dissented from would…be erroneous and heretical theologically-both “heresy in the Thomistic sense of the word” and “heresy envisioned by Canon 751 of the Code of Canon Law: Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after received baptism, of a truth to be believed by divine and catholic faith.”


The letter then stated how heresy is established:


”The condition of obstinate denial or doubt is met, from the theological point of view, when there is the existence of an objective situation of sin that endures in time and which the will of the individual member of the faithful does not bring to an end, no other requirements (attitude of defiance, propr warning, etc.) being necessary to establish the fundamental gravity of the situation in the Church.


“The requirement of knowledge is met if one knows or doubts, even if only in


confusa (the solid opposite possibility) that Church teaching offically condemns abortion as a sin. Theologians, therefore commonly teach that the exact level of certainty (‘of Divine and Catholic Faith’) need not be known.”


When these principles are applied to the indisputable facts in the Kerry heresy case, the conclusion is inescapable:




Those who thought that Pope John Paul II is too weak to stop the scandal of such sacrilegious Communion confuse weakness of body with weakness of mind and character.


His Holiness is not kowtowing to political opportunists posing as practicing Catholics or taking the equivalent of thirty pieces of silver from abortion advocates who find it politic or secretly amusing to receive the Body and Blood of Christ and to pretend to be practicing Catholics in full Communion with the Church.


Understandably, Mr. Balestrieri initially targeted the most prominent of the unrepentant, nominally Catholic pro-abortion politicians: John Kerry, former altar boy, United States Senator from Massachusetts, then presumptive and now official Democrat Presidential candidate, and poster boy of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-choice America (formerly the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League).


Mr. Balestrieri announced that he will file denunciations against Republicans as well as Democrats, and that his next four denunciations will be against Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Senator Thomas Harkin of Iowa, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.


Will Senator Kerry and the other pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians acknowledge their mistake and repent?


That is up to each of them.


But, at least faithful Catholics should no longer be deceived or confused.


The "separation between faith and life" that Senator Kerry has been using to excuse his support of abortion was condemned long ago by the Second Vatican Council as “counted among the more serious errors of our age."


The Archbishop of Boston should declare without further delay that Senator Kerry is an excommunicated heretic and urge him to recant and repent.


The United States Conference of Catholic Bushops should unanimously resolve to end the public scandal of giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians.


And the bold Mr. Balestrieri is owed a great debt of gratitude not only by Catholics but by all persons of good will who disdain manipulation, obfuscation and intimidation and want to know the truth about politicians.


At the least, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony should rehire and promote Mr. Balestrieri.


Michael J. Gaynor





Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved