Dr. Patrick Whelan, a Boston physician, was teaching a course in medical ethics at Harvard University when then-St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke, in the heat of the 2004 election, declared that Democratic presidential nominee, John Kerry should be denied Communion because of his positions on abortion and embryonic stem-cell research (NCRonline, Aug. 8, 2008).
That was enough.
Whelan writes he realized then that “the issues that interfaced between Catholicism and politics were medical ethics issues” and he was curious that there were no doctors involved in the conversation. So he contacted the Kerry campaign to ask how he could get involved in Catholic outreach, only to be told the campaign had no such outreach effort.
That’s when the energized Whelan started a Web site that resulted in “Catholics for Kerry.” He discovered that throughout the country “there were groups of dedicated people” aware that “Catholic issues had been misappropriated to serve the Republican agenda.”