Okay, here's the John Kerry/excommunication story:
Further commentary by Phil Lawler regarding the canonist who offered the opinion in question, and the apparent qualification of the intended weight or import of the opinion:
as does the Powerline Blog
As for me, I don't have any sense of what this means, nor do I have a great deal of interest in it - I'm very interested in parsing and fisking Kerry's faith-based statements, in examining questions of the interaction between faith and public policy in general, the challenges of being a disciple in a secular society and so on...but when it comes to another person's canonical status (not to speak of the state of his/her soul) - I step aside, and I'm not terrifically interested in blogspace being used up for that purpose. Plus, this story seems odd to me. I am as enraged by Kerry's misrepresentation of the Catholic faith as anyone, and I wish some more PTB would address it, but excommunication isn't not my job or area of expertise to discuss, as I said, his canonical status.
Two further bits of commentary you should read:
So, a Catholic politician might say, “I believe that human life begins at conception and that abortion kills an innocent baby. But I want to be elected to office, and that means I support abortion.” Such reprehensible words/deeds would be gravely sinful and would place the politician in peril of his soul. But it is not clear that his sin would be heresy. At least, it is not clear how this scenario would be held as heresy, and we not be required to hold virtually every other deliberate violation of grave moral law as heretical.