As presidential campaigns swung into their final five months, President Bush worked at cementing his strong support from evangelicals and shoring up ties to Catholics by visiting and honoring Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
When Christians in one body instinctively mourn with the mourners in another, or rejoice with the rejoicers, we see the ecumenical spirit at work. We Protestants did not mourn the deaths of Popes Pius XI and XII, but we did spontaneously join in lamenting Pope John XXIII’s death. Today is another lamentation day.
Catholic lawmakers who resent being targeted by bishops for their support of abortion rights have fired back, with one suggesting that prelates who wade too deeply into politics may risk their tax-exempt status.
When 1,000 “faithful” Catholics packed a Washington hotel ballroom for the first-ever National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on April 28, noticeably absent was the man who could be the first Catholic president in 44 years. Democratic U.S.
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to consider an appeal of a lower court ruling that mealtime prayers at Virginia Military Institute are unconstitutional. Justice Antonin Scalia issued a strong dissent to the high court’s April 26 refusal, saying the case raised key questions about church and state.
Although a leading Vatican cardinal states that Catholic teaching is clear about denying communion to a politician who supports abortion rights, two key U.S. bishops say withholding the sacrament from a dissenting Catholic like Massachusetts Senator John Kerry is not a likely option.
President Bush and his presumed Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, are in a virtual dead heat among American Catholic voters, according to a poll released in mid-April by Georgetown University. The survey of 1,001 Catholics found that Kerry drew support from 46 percent, Bush 41 percent. With the poll’s 3 percentage-point margin of error, the two candidates are virtually tied.
The Israeli government’s refusal to renew visas to Christian clergy in the Holy Land has precipitated a crisis with the Vatican and the entire Christian world, say Catholic representatives. All told, it is estimated that hundreds of priests, nuns and Christian volunteers have not been granted permission to remain in Israel.
Proponents of traditional family values are championing a unanimous California Supreme Court ruling March 11 that halted—at least temporarily—gay marriages in the state. “What the court has done . . . is take a stand against the anarchy that has reigned in San Francisco since February 12,” said James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family.