So I'm reading this Washington Post story about how John Kerry is making faith a larger part of his campaign, and I read about how last Saturday he attended Mass (his attendance was unannounced, which I give him credit for), and how the priest -- one Father Lawrence Hummer -- praised Kerry and told him, "God bless you. Win, will you?" after Mass.
This led me on a series of Google searches, in which I found out that Fr. Hummer is a priest at St. Mary's Church in Chillicothe, Ohio, which is in the Diocese of Columbus, and only about 45 miles from my in-laws, also in the Columbus Diocese.
I also found this article in the local paper, in which some locals who happened to be at the Kerry-attended Mass commented on the experience. One, in particular, was interesting:
- "It was so exciting," said Eileen Lovensheimer. "He was so reverent and prayerful."
Just speaking about the experience brought tears to Lovensheimer's eyes. Kerry didn't speak, she said, but shared with parishioners how he felt about the church he called a "great place" once outside among the crowd.
"He was so excited to be around friends and have a peaceful celebration with people he could call his friend," she said.
Now, I know that this post might come across as mean-spirited and judgmental to some. I mean, how can I demean the man's faith and reverence, right? Okay, let's make some things clear: I think John Kerry is sincere. But I also think he's more interested in politics than in his faith. Based on his public statements on various issues, I see no evidence of an attempt by Kerry to really understand his religion's position on various moral issues and on the duties of a Catholic (politician or not) in the public realm. Frankly, I don't see how someone who so egregiously misunderstands his faith and its teachings on any number of issues relevant in today's society can be understood as a good Catholic. Sincere, yes. But sincerely wrong.
I know that this is a harsh post, and maybe I'll edit it tomorrow. But right now, I'm really worked up. I'm tired of Catholic politicians who so thoroughly misunderstand the faith which to which they belong. I'm tired of Catholic politicians who are legal positivists. I'm tired of Catholic politicians who are indistinguishable from politicians who practice no faith whatsoever. Being Catholic is supposed to mean something, it's supposed to impact you all week, not just on Sunday mornings. I see no evidence that this is the case with John Kerry. His stances on any number of issues are just as easily attributed to his political ideology as they are to his faith.