Read backstory here.
It turns out the Providence Journal story yesterday reporting that rebel Catholic pro-abort Rep. Patrick Kennedy had been barred by his bishop, Thomas Tobin, from receiving communion missed a key point: This happened back in 2007, and Kennedy is furthermore now embellishing.
Kennedy instigated a fight with his church a month ago on the issue of abortion in healthcare. Apparently in over his head now, Kennedy appears to be going for sympathy support by slipping private details and exaggerating claims….
The Journal quoted Kennedy as stating, “The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion.”
Again, Tobin’s request came in the form of a letter – in 2007 – and was intended to be private. Kennedy’s decision to disclose the correspondence can only be seen as self-serving, particularly in conjunction with exaggerations of its contents.
Furthermore, Kennedy has flouted his bishop’s request and received communion anyway. According to the follow-up Providence Journal story:
… Tobin on Sunday disputed key details of… Kennedy’s account of their 2007 communication about whether the congressman should take Communion, given his support for abortion rights.
The leader of RI’s Catholics criticized the timing of Kennedy’s decision to publicize what the bishop called a private, “pastoral” message. He termed “absolutely inaccurate” Kennedy’s assertion that the bishop had instructed the priests of RI not to give him Communion….
“If I had told 300 priests of the diocese in any format not to give Communion to Kennedy or anybody else, you think that would have remained confidential?” Bishop Tobin asked.
Bishop Tobin spoke in an interview after Kennedy’s assertion in The Providence Sunday Journal that the “bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion.”
“If he took it as an instruction, so be it, but it was really a request,” Bishop Tobin said upon releasing excerpts of a Feb. 21, 2007, letter to the RI Democrat. The bishop said he felt he had to comment on the letter because Kennedy had chosen to “break it open.”
“My correspondence with him was nearly 4 years ago – and I think it’s important to stress that – [and] was intended to be personal and confidential and pastoral,” the bishop said. “It was never intended for the public domain.”
Kennedy made his disclosure Friday, escalating a heated dispute with the bishop that began last month when the congressman assailed the Catholic stance on the abortion clauses in the health-care overhaul legislation pending before Congress. But Kennedy declined Friday to give any details of when or how the bishop had communicated his message about Communion. Kennedy has not answered telephone messages left Saturday and Sunday….
“I’m not picking on Patrick Kennedy,” Bishop Tobin said. “I’m responding to things Patrick Kennedy has said” in recent weeks. “In each case,” Bishop Tobin said, Kennedy “has started the dialogue and in each case I have responded to him.”…
Tobin said he “presumed” that Kennedy had complied with the request….
Kennedy has said that he has taken Communion, but he did not give any specifics….
[Photo via the Catholic News Agency]