It was three years ago when Bishop Tom Tobin told Rep.Patrick Kennedy to refrain from receiving Holy Communion. Kennedy told The Providence Journal on Saturday that Bishop Tobin had also instructed priests not to give him Communion. If you listen to Kennedy, you would think this event just happened, but Tobin was surprised that Kennedy brought it up after all this time. Perhaps Kennedy wanted to bring his personal spiritual relationship with the Catholic Church to the public forefront now that the abortion issue will be debated in the Senate.Let's be clear. The Catholic Church has been against abortion for its entire 2000 year history. The Bishop was not trying to make a public statement because he considered the matter confidential. It seems that Kennedy is the one trying to politicize the situation with health-care and federally funded abortions that are presently up for debate.
Last month, Kennedy (rehashing Obama's earlier sentiments against the Catholic Church being out of sync with modern views) attacked the Pope and American Bishops for their stand against abortion.
"I have no desire to continue the discussion of Congressman Kennedy's spiritual life in public," he said. "At the same time, I will absolutely respond publicly and strongly whenever he attacks the Catholic Church, misrepresents the teachings of the church or issues inaccurate statements about my pastoral ministry."
Abortion is a serious matter to the Catholic Church. Though Catholics are divided over the Church's role in politics, many believe it is the attempt by the government to use public tax payer dollars that has caused Bishops to turn against health-care in its present state.
Patrick Kennedy's attacks against Bishop Tobin will not change the fact that Catholics simply consider abortion wrong.