Catholic Kerry picks Methodist Edwards as running mate
The religion story in covering the Democratic presidential campaign undoubtedly will continue to focus on John Kerry's Catholicism, and Catholic leaders' responses to it. In fact, that story will explode this week as St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, who has already promised to deny Communion to Kerry and other prochoice politicians, issues a pastoral letter reiterating and detailing his remarks that "knowingly voting for a candidate who advocates abortion" is a mortal sin.
"It is not a matter as in the case of politicians whose positions are public of denying Communion to voters who support pro-abortion candidates," Burke told the diocesan newspaper, St. Louis Review. "But Catholics who support such pro-abortion candidates participate in a grave evil. They must show a change of heart and be sacramentally reconciled or refrain from receiving Holy Communion." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that area priests agree with their bishop on this point.
But with today's announcement that North Carolina Senator John Edwards will be Kerry's running mate, there's now another story for political/religion reporters to follow.
Edwards is a United Methodist, as is George Bush, so don't expect there to be any confrontations between this candidate and his church's leadership. Instead, the religion story here may be the way in which Edwards is able to talk about religious and moral issues in a way that other Democrats feel uncomfortable in doing.
So far today, Kerry has mentioned Edwards's family values several times. In a press release, Kerry said, "He is a lifelong champion for America's families who has shown courage and conviction standing up for America's values." ...1
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