In reference to the discussion below about Constitution Party presidential candidate Michael Peroutka and his having renounced his faith, a reader writes with some interesting information. Under the old Code of Canon Law (pre-1983), there were two classifications of excommunicated persons: vitandus and toleratus. For the former, they had to be shunned by Catholics completely, while Catholics could maintain necessary business and social contacts with the latter. Those classifications no longer exist.
So it’s possible that a Catholic could have been forbidden by canon law, under the old code, from voting for Peroutka, who would have been excommunicated latae sententiae, i.e. automatically, upon leaving his faith. It would also have applied to John Kerry, who we now are told by an unofficial communication from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, may have incurred automatic excommunication for his position on abortion.
In fact, Peroutka is less offensive, and would have been even under the old code, because he doesn’t claim to be Catholic like Kerry does.
Of course, I do hope and pray for the repentance of both Peroutka and Kerry to return to their faith. We all know that as Catholics we are obligated to pray for them, right?