This is a partial transcript from "HANNITY & COLMES", July 9, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Well, just 116 days left until Americans go to the polls on November 2 and put John Kerry and John Edwards into the White House.


COLMES: We'll see.

But how will John Kerry's stance on abortion affect his support within the Catholic community? Recently, a Catholic attorney filed heresy charges against Kerry, accusing him of bringing a most serious scandal to the American public by receiving communion as a pro-choice Catholic.

If the church decides to press heresy charges, the Senator could be excommunicated.

We're now joined by canon lawyer and the man who filed the suit, Marc Balestrieri. Marc, thank you for being on the program tonight.


COLMES: Why are you doing this?

BALESTRIERI: I'm fed up.

COLMES: With what?

BALESTRIERI: It's been 31 years, Alan, since Roe v. Wade and since American Catholic politicians have continued to persist in professing a doctrine, a heresy against the core tenet of the Christian and Catholic faith.

At the same time, it's -- nothing has really changed in 31 years. It's come to a head this year, and it's just become very critical.

COLMES: So it just so happens that a Democrat who's a Catholic, named John Kerry from Boston, whose archdiocese you're suing, is running for president. And you happen, I guess, not to be supporting him.

Clearly, there's a political backdrop to this in a presidential year.

BALESTRIERI: Clearly, there are political ramifications, but clearly, also, Senator Kerry has been and is the most public and visible Catholic politician out there.

There are other pro-choice Catholic politicians. But unlike any of the other ones, Senator Kerry has gone out of his way to make this an issue against the teaching of the church, in violation of the Vatican's directives and he is using Catholics to...

COLMES: Well, it sounds like you're making it an issue. I'm just wondering, will you -- should you also go after Catholic legislators who are for the death penalty?

BALESTRIERI: Those who are for the death penalty must apply the strict criteria of the Catholic Church, deciding whether or not there's absolutely no other way to protect the community apart from executing the criminal.

COLMES: But why single out John Kerry? There are many legislators who are pro-death penalty, and that's not what the church talks about.

There are many other legislators who agree with John Kerry on the issue of abortion who also happen to be in office. Maybe they're not running for president. So it's clear to me that you're singling out John Kerry because of politics?

BALESTRIERI: Alan, I think it's -- I think it's difficult if you're not a Catholic to understand the exact difference between abortion, which is a heresy, and capital punishment, which is not always the case.

Abortion is an intrinsically evil act. It can never be performed if it's direct and voluntary. Whereas capital punishment is only extrinsically evil, and under certain strict circumstances, it can be permitted. There's a great difference there.

CROWLEY: It's Monica Crowley here. You sound like you're more frustrated with the Catholic Church than you are with John Kerry in particular.

You cited over 30 years of the Catholic Church perhaps looking the other way on politicians who are pro-choice, who are out there saying that they're Roman Catholics as well. I think of the former governor of New York state, Mario Cuomo, who is a practicing Catholic.

Also came out very publicly and said he was pro choice and was going to fight for a woman's right to choose.

So is your problem really with the Catholic Church for not taking a tougher stand on American politicians?

BALESTRIERI: I think the problem really lies with those Catholic politicians, who claim to be Catholic in the public forum, and who publicly violates externally the precepts of the church and dare the Vatican to do something about it.

Senator Kerry, for instance, and not just Senator Kerry but other Catholic politicians, have been going very recently into churches, into the pews, with camera crews trailing them, really trying to see whether or not the church will do something about it. That's very grave.

CROWLEY: Now what -- what do you say to people who say, "Hey, look, anybody in America can believe whatever they want to believe. Everybody should take care of their own soul? So why should you or anyone else be concerned about John Kerry's soul?"

BALESTRIERI: I as a professional have decided that, as a duty and conscience, I have to stand up when no one else is and say things as they are, call a spade a spade.

To say that someone may have the right to choose abortion, to commit murder in the theology of the Catholic Church, is something which is absolutely intolerable. It has to stop. And it's a contradiction. It's not coherent.

CROWLEY: Now, my understanding is that the Boston Archdiocese, where you filed this lawsuit, the Boston archbishop is under no obligation to prosecute the case. So do you expect that you will hear from the archdiocese? Do you expect, in fact, to hear from the Vatican on this?

BALESTRIERI: Archbishop O'Malley, whom I respect greatly, has a serious obligation to view the facts of the case, which are indisputable, these external violations of canon and liturgical law, which are indisputable, to decide in justice and in truth what the best resolution of this case is.

And I submit that it is to declare Senator John Kerry excommunicated automatically for heresy.

CROWLEY: So you would like to see him excommunicated?

BALESTRIERI: Ultimately, any pro-choice Catholic politician. Pardon?

CROWLEY: You would like to see Kerry excommunicated?

BALESTRIERI: I'd like to see John F. Kerry recant his pro-choice position and return into the good graces of the church.

CROWLEY: So what do you make of the fact he's out there campaigning as being a Catholic, talking about his faith?

BALESTRIERI: It's a serious contradiction. Why all of a sudden did he say this Sunday, "I believe that conception does begin -- that life does begin at conception." It's only because of this suit. He's trying to avoid the confrontation.

COLMES: Marc, we -- we're just out of time. Thank you for being with us tonight.

NORTH: Michael, Ann, thank you both. Motion to close.

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