Vatican says it was 'duped' on Kerry stance
VATICAN CITY -- A conservative US lawyer's attempt to enlist the Vatican in his drive to declare Senator John F. Kerry a heretic over his abortion views backfired yesterday when the Holy See said it had been hoodwinked.
Marc Balestrieri, head of a conservative Catholic group called De Fide, has been pushing for the church to rule that the Democratic presidential candidate has inflicted excommunication on himself because he supports a woman's right to an abortion.
But yesterday, the Vatican denied his assertions, which received widespread coverage in major US media.
Father Augustine Di Noia, third-ranking official in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal office, said that Balestrieri had hoodwinked the church by misrepresenting himself.
Kerry, a Roman Catholic, says he is ''prochoice but not proabortion" and that he cannot impose his views on those who do not share his faith. Bush, a Methodist, is against abortion except in certain circumstances.