Fr. Basil Cole issued the following clarification to his responce to Marc Balestrieri regarding a heresy question. Story beow.
Several weeks ago, Fr. DiNoia, the undersecretary for the Congregation of Doctrine and Faith, asked me to communicate with Marc Balestrieri about a question concerning abortion, excommunication and the like. I was neither delegated by the Congregation to speak for it, nor was I in any sense a "consultor" to the Congregation. I was simply someone trying to help someone understand the gravity of the evil of abortion and the possible penalties associated by formally and publically teaching that abortion was not per se a grave sin. Both Fr. DiNoia and I assumed that the person was a student wanting to understand the Church's teaching. I was told he was seeking to do a JCD degree by the person in question. Neither Fr. DiNoia nor I had any knowledge that he was going to "go after" Kerry or any other Catholic figure for their public stance concerning the evil of abortion. So, in my letter to Marc Balestrieri, I began by mentioning that my letter is a personal and private opinion to him about anyone who would publically and persistently teach that abortion is not morally prohibited. It in no way is authoritative from the Congregation nor was I representing the Congregation. It's only weight is that of a priest and a theologian who appeals to sacred sources. I was helping out Fr. DiNoia who asked me to do this for him.
Fraternally in St. Dominic, Fr. Basil Cole, OP