FAIL: Rep. Kennedy publicly takes on bishop over communion

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My comments in blue:

U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) said in an interview Sunday that Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin has instructed him to refrain from Communion because of his pro-abortion political position [So the bishop is doing his job and has privately reminded Kennedy that he shouldn’t present himself for communion while being publicly complicit in grave sin]. In response to Kennedy’s statement, Bishop Tobin has clarified that his request was issued in 2007 and was not the result of the recent highly public exchange between Kennedy and himself.  [Oh Snap.  So Kennedy is the one who decided to embarrass himself by making this thing public and is seemingly trying to use it in some sort of political game?  I don’t get it.  Just seems pretty ignorant and arrogant to me.  Not only was it appropriate of the bishop to ask this of Kennedy for the purpose of preventing public scandal, but it was for the benefit of Kennedy’s soul.  And this is how Kennedy shows his thanks?  The bishop very well could have made it a public statement to Kennedy in the first place as Kennedy is creating public scandal with his receiving communion while publicly supporting abortion.  But Bishop Tobin very generously did not do that.]

[Kennedy, the fact that you didn’t know you shouldn’t be taking communion in the first place and had to have your bishop tell you is pretty embarrassing.  I wouldn’t go telling the press or anything.] “The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion,” Kennedy told the Providence Journal. [doh!]

The admission comes after a verbal fight between Kennedy and Bishop Tobin, sparked by Kennedy’s saying that the Church was fanning the “flames of dissent and discord” by opposing the health care bill then in the House, which would have brought about federally-funded abortions. Kennedy also questioned whether or not the bishops were really “pro-life” based upon their opposition to the health bill. [Riiigggghtt – what kind of bubble is this guy living in?]

[Understatement alert.] Bishop Tobin responded by calling Kennedy a “disappointment to the Catholic Church and the citizens of Rhode Island. [full story]”

Kennedy – take a survival lesson from all the other bad Catholics in public life: You’re supposed to hide behind your ignorance, not flaunt it. On another note, thank you for giving the Church opportunities to remind people that being Catholic is supposed to actually mean something.  We all need to pray for Kennedy and politicians like him that they will better understand the obligation and responsibility that their Catholic identity brings to their political power.

Here’s a pretty good interview of Bishop Tobin on the O’reilly Factor:

11 comments Add comment

JL November 25, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Did you see Bishop Tobin on Hardball? It was horrifying to see how Chris Matthews (a Catholic) treated Bishop Tobin.

Jason November 25, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Now that interview was fair and balanced.

Tim November 25, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I really admire the Kennedy family and what they have done for America, it is sad that they don’t do the same for the unborn. I believe the bishop was in the right. However, when are the bishops going to reprimand Catholics who support other serious issues such as an unjust war, the death penalty, and American capitalism in its current form that favors the wealthy and forgets about the least of our brethren?

AC December 1, 2009 at 11:07 pm

When are people going to start to actually listen to what the Church *actually* teaches about abortion, just war doctrine, the death penalty, and capitalism.

In short the Catholic teaching is that…

Abortion is always wrong.
Wars are not always wrong.
The death penalty is not always wrong.
Capitalism is not always wrong.

Fr. Jim Tucker November 25, 2009 at 2:00 pm

At Bill O’Reilly was using his head in the questions he was raising. Chris Matthews just made my blood boil and my BP rise . . . It must be the Holy Spirit that kept Bishop Tobin so calm in the face of such a tirade.

I ask: What kind of world are we living in?

Jill November 25, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Off topic here, but Happy Thanksgiving Matthew, may God bless you and your family.

Matthew Warner December 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Thanks Jill!! Hope yours was wonderful!

Cade_One November 25, 2009 at 9:09 pm

The Bishop was invited to appear on these network programs (O’reilly and Matthews). Rather than let speculation and hearsay run amuck,? Bishop Tobin accepted, only to be lectured by those who do not live the faith. I give the Bishop props for even bothering to talk to the media.

David November 27, 2009 at 7:57 am

I watched the Chris Matthews’ interview and I was struck by the end of his diatribe. He told the Bishop to listen to the words of Jesus and ” …to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s..” But Chris Matthews forgot the next line in the Gospel, “render unto God what is God’s”. Who here is really stepping where they don’t belong?

AC December 1, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I find it extremely funny/sad/irritating/annoying that Chris Matthews is going to tell a Bishop to listen to the words of Jesus, meanwhile taking the words of Christ out of context.

Political news guys like Chris Matthews and yes even Bill O’Reilly make me cringe in regards to Catholic teaching. I really hope Bill O’Reilly was asking a set up question when he was asked if abortion was ok for the cases of rape and incest.

Matthew Warner December 3, 2009 at 11:59 am

Artie! Good to hear from you! It’s been awhile. And yes, I agree about O’reilly. I think he was more trying to be a good questioner in that instance…but from his commentary on other things Catholic I get the sense he doesn’t have as good of a grasp on his Catholic faith as he does on many other issues. Usually makes me cringe as well.

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