A Los Angeles attorney told EWTN's Raymond Arroyo on Friday that he had received a letter from Father Basil Cole of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, indicating the JF Kerry had been excommunicated from the Catholic church.
Father Cole wrote, "If a Catholic publicly and obstinately supports the civil right to abortion, knowing that the Church teaches officially against that legislation, he or she commits that heresy envisioned by Can. 751 of the Code [of Canon Law]. Provided that the presumptions of knowledge of the law and penalty and imputability are not rebutted in the external forum, one is automatically excommunicated ...."If, by chance, Kerry has been excommunicated, this will have implications to Catholics beyond him. And he and Ted Kennedy could then take on the Pope.
I'd ask for word from someone higher up the Vatican chain before I'd look at this story as fact.
The document from the Vatican wasn't an act of formal excommunication. It was stating, as has been church law for ever, that people actively involved in abortion (including in the modern sense, politicians that enable it by voting for it) are informally excommuncated, like anyone else who had done major public sin. Problem here is there are some bishops who don't want to make an issue and cause problems, so they wink the other way when these guys find priests that will give communion. Each bishop in his own diocese has a lot of authority...there are certain dioceses where Kerry could not ever receive communion, some as long as it wasn't the bishop officating, where he could recieve, and others where there would be no problem at all. The church teachings are clear, but some feel it's between God and the communicant, and others who take a more proactive role.
There is a movement afoot to have him formally excommunicated, but don't look for that to be resolved in the near future! The furor isn't something the Vatican would be looking forward to, I am sure, especially before the election.