(CNSNews.com) - Pro-life activists have a message for presidential hopeful John Kerry: You can't call yourself a Catholic if you support abortion.
In response to recent statements from Sen. Kerry - in which he reaffirmed his support for abortion on demand -- American Life League's Crusade for the Defense of our Catholic Church plans to hold a pro-life demonstration at Kerry's Northern Virginia rally on Tuesday, Feb. 10.
Joseph M. Starrs, director of ALL's Crusade, said Sen. Kerry's recent comments to various media outlets show he knows it is wrong for Catholics to support abortion.
Catholic Church teaching on this point is non-negotiable: Supporting abortion can place a Catholic in a state of mortal sin, Starrs said in a press release.
"For Kerry to openly support abortion causes grave scandal among the faithful. No matter how he tries to spin it, with the tired old mantra that he is 'personally pro-life, but publicly for choice,' it does not change the simple fact that you cannot be a Catholic in good standing and pro-abortion."
The ALL Crusade says it hopes the Tuesday rally will prompt Sen. Kerry to "mend his ways."
"At the very least, Kerry should heed the admonition of his own bishop (Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston, Mass.), who said an elected official who favors legal abortion should not present himself for Holy Communion until he publicly recants his position.
"Kerry also made public statements recently to the effect that surviving the Vietnam War taught him that he should always do the right thing, no matter how unpopular that might be. Protecting and preserving the civil rights of all Americans, born and preborn, is always the right thing to do.
"We hope Sen. Kerry will recognize that," Starrs said.
Tuesday's rally is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.