Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bishop Bars Kennedy from Communion

Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has forbidden Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy to receive the Roman Catholic sacrament of Holy Communion because of his advocacy of abortion rights . . .

UPDATE 11/24/09: Two Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidates slam Catholic Church as hypocritic

-- From "Bishop confirms banning Kennedy from receiving communion" by John Moroney, NECN 11/22/09

Bishop Thomas Tobin say he made his request public after Kennedy revealed it to the Providence Journal. Tobin released a letter he wrote to Kennedy in 2007. The letter read in part:

"In light of the Church's clear teaching, and your consistent actions, therefore, I believe it is inappropriate for you to be receiving Holy Communion and I now ask respectfully that you refrain from doing so."

The bishop said he did not want to make this issue public, but felt he was forced to by Kennedy's actions.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Kennedy: Barred from Communion" by John E. Mulligan, The Providence Journal Washington Bureau 11/22/09

“The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion,” Kennedy said in a telephone interview.

Kennedy said the bishop had explained the penalty by telling him “that I am not a good practicing Catholic because of the positions that I’ve taken as a public official,” particularly on abortion. He declined to say when or how Bishop Tobin told him not to take the sacrament. And he declined to say whether he has obeyed the bishop’s injunction.

Their dispute comes against the backdrop of the national debate about whether U.S. taxpayers should subsidize abortions in the new health-care system that President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress have labored for months to create.

Because every bishop has wide latitude in his own diocese, the controversy between Kennedy and Bishop Tobin is likely to be greeted with silence from other bishops — even if most would disagree with action to deny Communion to a Catholic legislator, according to Father Reese.

Orders by bishops to deny Communion to Catholic public officials are very unusual but not unprecedented. In 2003, another prominent Catholic Democrat with a mixed voting record on abortion, Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, was admonished not to take Communion in his congressional district by Bishop Raymond Burke of LaCrosse.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.