- The Washington Times - Monday, August 23, 2004

Below the radar

Three more Catholic bishops have sent a warning to Sen. John Kerry and other pro-choice Catholic politicians in a pastoral letter several weeks ago that went way below the media radar.

On Aug. 4, Atlanta Archbishop John F. Donoghue, Bishop Robert Baker of Charleston, S.C., and Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte, N.C., issued a pastoral letter telling pro-choice Catholics running for or elected to public office that they will not be served Holy Communion in any Catholic Church in their three dioceses.

The dioceses, which cover much of the Southeast, include 588,000 Catholics.

“Catholics who consistently support abortion on demand are cooperating with evil in a public manner,” the letter said, citing Canon 915 in church law.

“By supporting pro-abortion legislation, they participate in manifest grave sin; a condition which excludes them from admission to Holy Communion as long as they persist in the pro-abortion stance,” they said.

The Kerry campaign last week would not say whether Mr. Kerry would be campaigning in any of these dioceses on a Sunday, which is when he likes to attend Catholic services.

The bishops had hoped to install a communion ban over the entire three-state area. However, two other local bishops, J. Kevin Boland of the Savannah, Ga., diocese and F. Joseph Gossman of Raleigh, N.C., declined to sign the letter.

The bishops who issued the letter join five prelates who have forbidden pro-choice politicians from receiving communion in their dioceses and more than 15 other bishops who have asked such politicians not to do so. In June, U.S. bishops voted 183-6 to give each bishop the choice on whether to impose sanctions on pro-choice politicians in their respective dioceses.

The link

“The Kerry campaign is gloating this weekend over the resignation of Bush-Cheney volunteer former Vietnam War POW Ken Cordier, who’s featured in the latest Swift Boat ad — saying it proves illegal coordination between the Swift vets’ 527 group and the official Bush campaign,” NewsMax.com reported yesterday.

“But [John] Kerry has no plans to fire Zach Exley, a key campaign staffer who served as the organizing director for MoveOn.org throughout the presidential primaries,” NewsMax said.

“What’s more, MoveOn, whose sole mission is to defeat President Bush in November, maintains that Exley is allowed to ‘communicate’ with the 527 group even as he works for the Democratic nominee.

“‘Col. Cordier did not inform the campaign of his involvement in the advertisement,’ the Bush campaign said in a statement late Saturday. ‘Because of his involvement [in the ad], Col. Cordier will no longer participate as a volunteer for Bush-Cheney ‘04.’

“But there’s no doubt that Kerry knew all about Exley’s background when he hired him.

“In April, the Kerry for President Web site proudly announced: ‘Zach Exley joins the [Kerry] Internet team as Director of Online Communications and Online Organizing. He was previously the director of special projects for MoveOn.org.’

“Exley claims he won’t communicate with MoveOn until after the election, but when he teamed up with Kerry, MoveOn’s executive director, Eli Pariser, acknowledged that Exley will be able to make use of ‘what he’s got in his head.’

“And a statement issued by MoveOn when Exley signed on with team Kerry insisted, ‘federal election rules permit some forms of communication’ between Exley and the liberal 527.”


“You might notice something missing from ‘Hardball With Chris Matthews‘ soon: Republicans,” Paul Bedard writes in the Washington Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.

The program “may seem more like badminton during the Republican National Convention,” an unnamed Republican insider told the magazine.

“What’s up? The GOP thinks Matthews has gone over to Sen. John Kerry’s side and is too critical of the Bush campaign’s editing of a ‘Hardball’ interview with Kerry posted on the party’s negative site, www.Kerryoniraq.com. As payback, they’ve stopped urging Republicans to appear on the show,” Mr. Bedard said.

“‘Hardball’ executive producer Tammy Haddad dismissed charges Matthews is biased: ‘We beat everybody up.’” So far, nobody from the White House has told her of the show’s being blackballed.

Koch’s view

Calling himself a “liberal with sanity,” former New York Mayor Ed Koch — a longtime Democrat — said he decided to support President Bush in the 2004 election because of Mr. Bush’s stance on Iraq.

“While I don’t agree with Bush on any domestic matters, there’s only one matter that’s important in this race, and that relates to standing up to international terrorism, taking it on — and George Bush has established that he is willing to do that,” Mr. Koch said in an interview broadcast yesterday on the “News Forum” program on New York TV station WNBC.

Mr. Koch crossed party lines earlier this year to endorse Mr. Bush. He said Mr. Bush’s unwavering opinions contrasted favorably with what he called the “hypocrisy” of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, who Mr. Koch said has wavered on Iraq and homosexual “marriage.”

The former mayor, who has long dodged questions about his sexuality, called the uproar over New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey‘sresignation “a Greek tragedy.”

“I don’t think people are distressed in largest numbers … about his lover, who is male. I think they’re distressed that he put his lover on the payroll,” he said.

Mr. Koch said he had never specified his own sexual orientation out of a desire for privacy.

“If there’s one area of privacy, it’s still sexual activity,” he said. “Although I will tell you, at the age of 80, I consider any question concerning my sexual exploits to be complimentary.”

A low bounce

President Bush‘sre-election campaign is lowering expectations for a big bounce in opinion polls from the Republican nominating convention in New York next week.

Campaign advisers said they expect Mr. Bush to gain at most a jump of three or four percentage points from the national attention he and the Republican Party will get during the four-day televised event, Reuters news agency reports.

The Bush campaign watched with interest as Democrat John Kerry got only a delayed bounce of up to five or six points from his nominating convention in Boston last month.

They decided it was a reflection of a divided electorate that has left few undecided voters from which to get a traditional bump. Mr. Bush, as the incumbent, will at most get two-thirds of the bounce that Mr. Kerry received, they said.

“We’re realistic about the political environment and realize that this is going to be a very close election,” said campaign spokesman Terry Holt.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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