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Friday, October 22, 2004

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 Vatican denies Kerry excommunicated

It looks like the Vatican was caught with its frock up. An official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formally known as the Inquisition) said a California canon lawyer seeking a formal decree of heresy against Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, Democratic presidential nominee, has misrepresented his contact with the Vatican office:

"The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has had no contact with Mr. (Marc) Balestrieri," said Dominican Father Augustine DiNoia, undersecretary of the congregation. "His claim that the private letter he received from (Dominican) Father Basil Cole is a Vatican response is completely without merit."

Balestrieri is the head of De Fide, described on its Web site as an organization created "to deal with the burgeoning scandal of Catholic politicians supporting the 'right to choose' murder." Balestrieri said he had "received a written response prompted by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirming that Catholic politicians who persist in supporting the right to abortion are 'automatically excommunicated.'"

He said Cole "was delegated" by DiNoia "to formally respond" to questions Balestrieri had sent the congregation. DiNoia denied that Cole, a theologian who resides in Washington, was delegated in any way to address the questions on behalf of the congregation.

"I have no relationship to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ... and the letter that I wrote to Balestrieri was purely private," Cold said. "I wrote it as a private theologian, not with any authority. It has no authority whatsoever. Its worth is disputable."

One Vatican official contacted by CNS said no church official had seriously approached the point of declaring Kerry a heretic.

"No, Kerry is not a heretic," he said.

Too bad the catholic church is backing down on this one. I personally was looking forward to the backlash....

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