It feels a bit futile to just comment on Drudge links all morning, but here's another one that sticks in my craw, or raises my hackles, or something. The Vatican has decided that what's good theology for some is not good theology for all. I'm not a Catholic, but I think it's absurd the way the Vatican refuses to take a significant stand on the most critical issues of our age.

Balestrieri submitted a query to the Congregation several months ago, asking if someone who publicly supported abortion rights would be guilty of heresy and incur what the Church calls "automatic excommunication."

Di Noia, the Congregation's undersecretary, referred the request to Father Basil Cole, a canon lawyer in Washington.

Cole provided a response which said that if a Catholic "publicly and obstinately" supports the civil right to abortion despite knowledge of the Church's teaching, that person commits heresy and "is automatically excommunicated."

Balestrieri asserted that Cole's letter was proof that the Vatican was on his side. But Di Noia said: "His claim that the private letter he received from Father Basil Cole is a Vatican response has no merit whatsoever."

"I thought I was advising a student who was working on a project. I referred him to a reliable theologian on the matter. I was acting in my capacity as a theologian trying to be helpful to a young person," he told Reuters.

"I had no idea his aim was actually to build a heresy case against John Kerry or against anyone else. I feel that we have been instrumentalized," Di Noia told Reuters.

So... is Cole's theological position valid or invalid? Why does the motivation of the questioner matter in any way? He's only trying to establish doctrinal fact. If public support for abortion is heresy, wouldn't that cover prominent Catholics? Or do they get some sort of special indulgence for political reasons? I gladly defer to Martin Luther's position on that matter.

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Michael Williams pronounces the recent Kerry heresy trial developments a low down form of Vatican Double-Talk. He's wrong in this but it's not surprising as the understanding of how, exactly the Church is organized. It's a topic that's ably covered... Read More

Michael Williams pronounces the recent Kerry heresy trial developments a low down form of Vatican Double-Talk. He's wrong in this but it's not surprising as the understanding of how, exactly the Church is organized. It's a topic that's ably covered... Read More

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