Let's be clear here. It is the position of the Catholic Church that abortion is wrong. If, as a politician, you support that, there's a good reason for you to be considered a heretic. Of course, this is a ecclesiastical court case, so the Church hasn't actually made a decision in this case, and the archbishop and then the Pope could overturn it should they desire.
And I know the term "heresy" is what we associate with the Inquisition and burning people at the stake, but it's a real issue for a religion. The abortion debate is about a real life and death issue, it's not about something as trite as swearing. It's a very current issue, and in the US, there needs to be some definition. The Church needs to decide just how far they feel they should go. If someone like Kerry is out there and Catholic, people start thinking, gee he's a Catholic too, I guess supporting abortion is okay since the Church hasn't disavowed him. While there needs to be some room to dissent a bit, you can't just ignore the big issues.
Personally, I think they should disavow politicians who support abortion and make it very clear that you can support abortions or you can be a Catholic in good standing but not both, which is actually the real situation right now anyhow. I just don't know if they should condemn them as heretics and excommunicate them, however.
Remember, politicians are looking to gain followers to get elected. While their motivations are not religious, I think you'd be extremely naive to say that they don't also (try) and push moral and ethical viewpoints as well. This is not just some guy on the street shooting off his mouth, it is a high visibility candidate with an aim to make as many political converts as he possibly can. That's something that the Church has no choice but to take notice of if they want to remain consistent. So, I think their course of action is clear, but again, I have no idea how far they should go.
Edited by Uncle Sid, 01 July 2004 - 01:59 PM.