Chris Matthews badgers Bishop Tobin

11/24, 10a: St. Michael Society has a post up reviewing MSNBC's history of anti-Catholic bias.

11/23, 10:37p: Read the backstory here.

RI Bishop Thomas Tobin appeared on pro-abort Catholic Chris Matthews' MSNBC show this evening, and it didn't go well.

I applaud the bishop's willingness to enter into enemy territory but was surprised how easily Matthews cornered him.

Perhaps not many people stand a chance when Matthews goes on the warpath (although I'd love to see Scott Klusendorf, Fr. Pavone, Mark Crutcher, or Robert George give that louse a whirl).

Matthews appeared quite agitated from the get-go, unfairly using his bully pulpit to hog the interview and badger Bishop Tobin much like a hostile prosecutor attempting to break someone down a witness on the stand. Matthews even had the gall to try to teach the preacher. I was shocked by Matthews' lack of respect, particularly bearing in mind he's Catholic.

I felt sorry for Bishop Tobin and do think he's a stand-up guy. O'Reilly announced tonight he's coming on his show tomorrow. I hope that interview goes better than this one...

I think the interview got thrown by John F. Kennedy's premise, which was false, an attempt to placate people 50 years ago who were fearful of electing a Catholic president....

And I think the conversation Matthews took all over the map should have stuck on one point: Are preborns human or not?

If they are, then we need laws to protect them, just as we do all other innocent human life.

If we're not sure - if the answer is above one's pay grade - then we should err on the side of life.

And any person who would attempt to argue they're not is an imbecile who doesn't know basic biology and should be dismissed.


Chris Matthews gets his 15 minutes of fame here on earth for an eternity in hell.

Bad, bad, bad exchange.

I say that's not a smart man that anyone should listen to.

Posted by: Phil Schembri is HisMan at November 23, 2009 11:16 PM

Judges and juries decide sentences. Not lawmakers. Idiot.

In the meantime, enjoy this classic beating on Hannity by Fr. Euteneuer of HLI.

Posted by: Cranky Catholic at November 23, 2009 11:16 PM

I'll answer that question for Chris Mathews. Abortion should be outlawed and the penalty should be psychological counseling for the mother similar to that which is given to people with suicidal tendencies and jail time for the abortionist. Simple and not above my pay-grade to answer for you Chris. Anybody care to respond to my answer about the penalty for Chris? How bout you Chris, care to respond yourself? Does Chris have an e-mail address, I'd like to give him the answer he so desperately seeks.

I'll say it again,as a Catholic I believe:
"Abortion should be outlawed and the penalty should be psychological counseling for the mother similar to that which is given to people with suicidal tendencies and jail time for the abortionist."

Posted by: truthseeker at November 23, 2009 11:36 PM

Hi CC,

Perhaps Attorney General Holder and Obama should remember that when they maintain the 9/11 terrorists will be convicted in civilian court!

My goodness, couldn't their comments be viewed as prejudicing future juries? I wonder if some smart defense lawyers will have fun with this one. How can these poor souls get a fair trial with the president and AG trumpeting their guilt?

Posted by: Mary at November 23, 2009 11:36 PM

Too bad Bishop Tobin isn't Matthews bishop. If he was I suspect he would have gotten a letter from Bishop Tobin as well.

Posted by: Al at November 23, 2009 11:41 PM

Chris Matthews is as much a Catholic as is Patrick Kennedy. Matthews was not defending Kennedy, he was defending himself. -gravey

Posted by: gravey at November 24, 2009 12:18 AM

why is Bishop Tobin going on this piece of crap tv show.

Posted by: Jasper at November 24, 2009 12:40 AM

Chris Matthews is just another Catholic with a chip on his shoulder. What a disrespectful lunatic. (I was wishing Father Pavone were the one in the hot seat because he has more experience with TV interviews. (I wouldn't be surprised if we hear from Fr. Pavone on this interview by Chris.)

I have to give Bishop Tobin some credit for listening carefully and patiently as a good priest should. Too bad Matthews didn't stop talking long enough for Tobin to give a thoughtful answer. I'm sure we'll hear more from Bishop Tobin on this as well.

Posted by: Janet at November 24, 2009 2:08 AM

I pray that Matthews will see the error of his ways and apologize to Bishop Tobin and his Catholic viewers for his embarrassing display during this interview.

Lord have mercy on our souls.

Posted by: Janet at November 24, 2009 2:16 AM

I'm surprised anyone who isn't a far left liberal bothers going on Matthews show.

He will be treated much better by Bill OReilly. I'm not a huge OReilly fan, but he is solidly pro life.

Posted by: Joanne at November 24, 2009 2:48 AM

I echo Janet's prayer, I pray a similar prayer for the President, That God quickens the truth in their hearts so they turn from wicked policies. Only then will they be able to lead or inform this nation wisely. Good blog!

Posted by: Digital Publius at November 24, 2009 5:32 AM

Matthews is a very angry buffoon. The truth that Matthews ignored as he filibustered Bishop Tobin is that Kennedy is not defending abortion in some static sense. He is actively promoting it through funding legislation, etc.

It's time for Rome to sharpen the definition of Formal Cooperation in abortion by including the crafting and passing of legislation that promotes and funds abortions. Then the question is more definitively resolved, moving way past receiving the Eucharist to excommunication.

If a man who pays for his girlfriend's abortion is excommunicated, how much moreso a politician who funds thousands of them?

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at November 24, 2009 6:06 AM

Chris Matthews gets his 15 minutes of fame here on earth for an eternity in hell.

oh, me thinks Mr. Matthews has done more than this to merit some eternal fire

His treatment of Bishop Tobin was absolutely disgraceful and I'm hoping some well placed Catholics will call him in on it.

He ranted and repeatedly interrupted Tobin and then told him he never answered his questions!

I think by the end of the interview Bishop Tobin realized he was dealing with a typical liberal cafeteria Catholic. His last words were great though - "I will reflect on that if you will reflect on the teachings of the church!"

Posted by: angel at November 24, 2009 6:19 AM

Wow, I saw anger and bitterness in Matthews, and Grace and Peace in Bishop Tobin. That says it all!

Posted by: IDSCforlife at November 24, 2009 8:32 AM

At the conclusion, Bishop Tobin got in some good points, although again he was LAMBASTED. As for Chris Matthews, I would suggest that rather than RUDELY cutting off guests before they've had a chance to answer questions, he study the IRRATIONALITY of his own argument. Hitler designated Jews inhuman. It follows from Chris's thinking that to maintain separation of church and state, the German clergy should have kept their mouths shut (as some unfortunately did) and not told The Third Reich they had a moral duty to stop killing Jews. I suppose Chris could say there's a difference between a baby in the womb and a person walking around. But what "fetus" are we talking about, Mr. Matthews, the one aborted at eight weeks with a central nervous system and a beating heart or the viable ones aborted because the mother doesn't want to hire a babysitter, wants to compete in the current rodeo season? MANY Americans believe abortion is murder. Science more and more is supporting this. Your ILLOGICALLY playing the "separation of church and state" card on a MORAL ISSUE, Mr. Matthews, was DEPLORABLE. May God forgive you. You're certainly NO Thomas Moore.

Posted by: Mary Shearer at November 24, 2009 8:39 AM

Kennedy represents his constituents. They've been electing him for 12 terms. If Tobin wants to kick Kennedy out of the Church he should man up and just do it. It wouldn't hurt Kennedy. He'd be elected by even bigger margins. Bishop Tobin does not represent his constituents. Nobody elected him. He represents the Pope in Rome. That's not the same as God. Really, it's not. No one comprehends the mind of God but God. Each person should find the will of God in their own heart, not in the words of some twisted, closeted, Catholic bishop with marching orders from the Pope.

Matthews gets a little foamy at the mouth but only because he thinks his Church has been high jacked. If it has, nobody is forcing him to stay aboard. All the Catholics who are tired of listening to the priests read edicts from Rome should walk. They help no one by staying in the Church. There are other Churches in the Catholic tradition out from under the Vatican yoke.

Nobody has to pay taxes for abortion or have abortions if they don't want. The Government can use their taxes for the Wars, they'll still come up short and mine for the abortions. I don't like abortion. I don't oppose abortion. I remember when it was illegal. It wasn't good. Criminalizing abortion does not save lives or solve problems. It causes additional death and injury and creates problems. Women in countries where abortion is illegal have just as many abortions as where it not.

I say, put it to a vote, once and for all. National plebicite, straight up. Amend the Constitution accordingly. I think that's fair. Roe may have been the right thing but it was bad law. Scalia is right about that. It may be the only thing.

Posted by: Johnny Vo at November 24, 2009 8:52 AM

I saw the exchange on Morning Joe, was quite disappointed with Bishop Tobin's appearence, and was prepared to criticize him for it. However, on reflection it's probably very easy for me to say since I wasn't in his shoes.

Ultimately I completely agree with Mrs. Stanek: "[T]he conversation Matthews took all over the map should have stuck on one point: Are preborns human or not?" What I'd like to see for bishops or anyone else entering into these venues is stick to that question and that question only themselves. Meanwhile, I would be curious to know if Mr. Matthews thought Archbishop Rummel of New Orleans overstepped his bounds with his excommunication of three Catholic politicians in 1950's Louisiana for openly defying their Church regarding segregation. My guess would be no.

Posted by: TerryD at November 24, 2009 8:58 AM

Good for Bishop Tobin for being courageous in this most important battle for LIFE!
We need to pray everyday for the Bishops. They need our prayer support to see them through this battle.

Posted by: Bob Brown at November 24, 2009 9:09 AM

I think Bishop Tobin did a little better than Ms. Stanek gives him credit for, but I agree that he allowed Matthews to frame the debate in a false way. We are not against abortion because we are catholics, we are against abortion because we are human beings. The civil penalty for an abortion could be any number of things short of jail time, including counseling as the writer above mentioned, community service, or nothing (as in the case of civil laws against sodomy). Not all violations of the law result in criminal prosecution - - in fact most never do. That doesn't mean that we don't outlaw theft.

Posted by: Jack Kennedy at November 24, 2009 9:17 AM

I just sent the good Bishop an email congratulating him and encouraging him in his stand of faith. Matthews had his agenda all planned out. The Bishop walked into an ambush and like Jill said, until you've been through a few of these battles, the more skilled debater will have the upper hand.

I'm going to analyze the interview and send him some information hoping that he'll ask to be interviewed again, perhaps with Padre Pavone at his side.

Welcome to the Front Lines in the Battle for Life Bishop Tobin!

"All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Mt 5:11-12

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 9:17 AM

The bishop did not do badly but Matthews would not allow him to speak. As Matthews stands before his maker I think that clip will be played and Matthews will be ashamed.

Posted by: Maria at November 24, 2009 9:21 AM

Another mild mistake on the part of Bishop Tobin was allowing Matthews to steer the discussion away from internal Church discipline of Kennedy. Matthews doesn't want to talk about that because he is a such a long time advocate of legalized abortion. So he moves the debate into the false realm of "imposing religious views" on a "secular" nation.

Posted by: Jack Kennedy at November 24, 2009 9:22 AM

As a RI Reform Jew, Bishop Tobin does not speak for me. My religious tradition neither believes that abortion is murder nor do we believe, as does Bishop Tobin, that women who have abortions are murderers. As my duly elected representative to Congress, Patrick Kennedy is obliged to all of his consitutuents - not just Roman Catholics. RI was founded on religious freedom; but Bishop Tobin would impose his views on those of us who don't answer to the Bishop of Providence and Rome. And it's not just Jews - Episcopalians, UCC, Methodists, Unitarians and others believe in a woman's right to choose what is best for her life. If it were up to Bishop Tobin, all women (not just Catholic) would be back in the not so good old days of the coathanger. If Catholic politicians need to put the dictates of their church over the needs of their religiously diverse constituency, then they should no longer run for office as this country, despite the Catholic bishops, is not a theocracy. Catholic politicians should primarily serve the people (not all of whom are Catholic) - not the Catholic Church which has no right to impose its theology on the rest of us. So, Jill, are my rabbis who interpret the Talmud, "imbeciles?" Are we, in addition to being "Christ killers," now "baby killers?" Just curious...

Posted by: sabra at November 24, 2009 10:21 AM

Wow, talk about anti-Catholic bias. That post sounds like it was written by the Know Nothings in the 19th century. Sabra is showing no hesitation to impose his views on us. As has been stated a hundred times, the immorality of abortion is not a mater of Church law, it is a matter of the divine law, i.e., the 5th commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill. It seems to me that puts the Bishop squarely in the middle of the Judaeo-Christian moral tradition.

Posted by: Millie at November 24, 2009 10:32 AM

Mathews worships law as his god as if these laws existed apart from the human beings who made these laws! Doesn't he know that all of our laws were voted into law by human beings...and these beings were/are moral some degree or other. Morality inheres in a human being. ALL of our laws flow from this inherent morality of the lawmakers, past and present. Every single lawmaker in Congress brings his/her moral position into play when voting for or against a bill.
There is NO separation between a person who is delegated to make laws, (Kennedy) and the morality inherent in that person (Kennedy). Bishop Tobin is giving a moral instruction to Kennedy, as is his duty as Bishop. So for Mathews to try to separate law and the morality of the person(s) who voted the law into being, is irrational. I applaud Bishop Tobin's posture and demeanor on Hardball...clearly mature, dignified, strong. As for Mathews...well, shouldn't he change the title from Hardball to Curveball, or Spitball, or Screwball? He sure doesn't play fair and balanced!

Posted by: anne m. norcross at November 24, 2009 10:41 AM


Every law that is passed imposes someone's morality on someone else.

Abortion is no more a religious issue than was slavery and segregation. These are all moral issues and people will bring their religious or secular beliefs to the table when dealing with them.

Were the Quakers forcing their religious beliefs on Americans when they formed the first anti-slavery society in colonial America? How about their decades of involvement in the Abolitionist Movement and the Underground Railroad?

Were the Christians, including Catholics, imposing their religious beliefs on the populations of Nazi Germany and occupied territories when they hid Jews and helped them escape??

Posted by: Mary at November 24, 2009 11:09 AM

Matthews may have a tingle in his leg but it appears that there is no tingle, no feeling, nada, in his heart.

Posted by: that was ugly at November 24, 2009 11:26 AM

I am proud of Bishop Tobin for going on the Obama Channel. The left accuses Christians of intolerance, but Matthews is the one who showed intolerance. I'm glad Tobin wouldn't take the bait to answer the question about punishment if abortion is outlawed. If he had answered it, the left would have run with that as the Church proposing laws and advocating a theocracy. Matthews wouldn't have badgered him on the punishment issue if he hadn't planned to abuse him with the answer. Well done, Bishop Tobin, and thank you.

Posted by: Fed Up at November 24, 2009 11:44 AM

"And I think the conversation Matthews took all over the map should have stuck on one point: Are preborns human or not?"

What does this question have to do with Tobin telling Kennedy how to vote? It is a presupposition on Tobin's part. Once you get past that presupposition, then the questions Matthews was asking are the next logical step. The only reason that question should be the topic is because, apparently, it's the only one Tobin was prepared to talk about. Tobin made the mistake of not preparing himself properly for the interview.

Posted by: Horace at November 24, 2009 11:53 AM


Hey, maybe we're getting somewhere here:

We agree that treating people like slaves is wrong - check!

And what Hitler did was wrong - check!

And if a baby was born, and was 1 minute old, and the doctor pulled it's limbs off and crushed his/her precious little skull, that would be wrong, right?

Ok, let's back up 2 minutes, 1 minute before birth, the doctor kills the same child, that's Ok?

Surely you're not that stupid.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 11:54 AM

Hi Ed,

I didn't see Minno's post so I will respond to your response.

Not every agreed slavery was wrong and religious "justification" could be found. Slavery was legal so what gave the Quakers any right to force their religious beliefs on the country?

Dittos for the Christians who protected and hid Jews.

Posted by: Mary at November 24, 2009 12:06 PM

Why complain about a pro-abort badgering a bishop? It's like complaining about a murderer not caring about his victim. Just pray for them, because than you will call down God's Mercy and Grace.

Posted by: Nick at November 24, 2009 12:14 PM

Minno is deleted whenever we catch her posts. Virginia/Asitis/Minnow/Minno is banned.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at November 24, 2009 12:14 PM

Matthews is 100% correct. There is a separation of church and state for a reason. Our founding fathers knew the consequences of the church's meddling in public policy. The people of Iran live in a theocracy. The United States is secular and the church has no business getting involved in setting public policy. The church is free to preach to congressmen about its views, but should not cross the line by usurping the authority of the US Constitution.

Posted by: Otto at November 24, 2009 12:21 PM

Actually, I thought Bishop Tobin did quite well. He managed to keep his cool and Matthews really just looked like a raving lunatic, repeating the same stupid question and never actually giving Bishop Tobin the opportunity to speak (except when Bishop Tobin gracefully and calmly mentioned his thanks over the chance to speak).

Posted by: MaryRose at November 24, 2009 12:24 PM

Arrogant mind games, Chris Matthews. You'll be no match for Him who created the universe. You won't be able to BADGER, RUDELY INTERRUPT at the final judgment.

Posted by: Lynn at November 24, 2009 12:29 PM

"Our founding fathers knew the consequences of the church's meddling in public policy."

No. You've got it totally backwards. Our founding fathers knew that the government should not interfere with a person's free practice of religion.

Posted by: Janet at November 24, 2009 12:41 PM

I'm glad Chris Matthews attacked the Bishop! The reason being, it gives me and those who love the Church another reason NOT to watch Hardball! Chris Matthews is one of the worst Catholics I know. What is wrong with him? Am I missing something? Does anyone watch Chris Matthews? I have stopped long time ago, but because this was news I wanted to hear, I watched this interview online.

Posted by: George Alexa at November 24, 2009 12:48 PM

Otto, take a look at the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. Where did the Church usurp authority? Kennedy is free to vote for pro-abort legislation if he wants. He has chosen to label himself Catholic, the Church hasn't forced this on him. Freedom of religion gives the bishop the right to say that Kennedy cannot be in good standing with the Church if he votes pro-abort. Kennedy is free to decide which he wants, pro-abort politics or good standing with the Church.

Posted by: Fed Up at November 24, 2009 12:48 PM


Great, we are getting somewhere. It sounded like you and many others (excluding Danielle) would have a problem with late term abortion if there were no extenuating circumstances other than the mother's desire not to carry to term.

Is this correct? Why?

Your heart might be softening! That's a great thing! Isn't truth great!

Now, if you'll just check out the following short clip: clip

What do you think?

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 12:51 PM

Bishop Tobin's appearance on little Chrissy Matthews show was tremendously revealing. To all those Catholics who may not have known what a complete and total hypocrite Matthews is - this showed it. For someone who presents himself as Catholic - Matthews displayed shockingly arrogant disrespect to a bishop in his Church. Remember the old saying? "Jesus is coming and is He pissed!" Matthews should remember that he will have to answer to his Maker eventually. And curb his nasty tongue.

Posted by: Gayle Miller at November 24, 2009 12:52 PM

Oops, let me try to fix the link.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 12:53 PM

Here you go Minno, I fixed it: clip

I'd like to know what you think.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 12:59 PM

Matthews displayed shockingly arrogant disrespect to a bishop in his Church.

Indeed. I'd gotten lax on my GE boycot. Thank you, Mr Matthews, for renewing my enthusiasm to avoid purchasing GE products.

Posted by: Fed Up at November 24, 2009 1:00 PM


"little Chrissy Matthews...."


Posted by: Janet at November 24, 2009 1:09 PM

Watching the clip is a great indicator of the true condition of your heart Minno.

I'm sure you are a very compassionate person and you deeply empathize with women facing a crisis pregnancy.

But the true condition of your heart is revealed when you consider the lost, the poor, the vulnerable, the innocent.

Do you feel any empathy toward these little babies. Perhaps you tell yourself that they're not babies, just fetuses. Did you know that fetus means "baby" in Latin?

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 1:17 PM

1st and 2nd trimester Minno.

I doubt you'll have the courage to open the link when you get to a computer.

I'm impressed you tried from your Iphone though.

Maybe I'll catch up to you later. If you do muster the courage to watch the short clip, I would be very impressed.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 1:25 PM

Our religious leaders have to be expected to face up to the likes of Chris Matthews and we can't whine every time they get roughed up a little by some talk show host.

Good grief, religious leaders have endured far worse than snottiness from Matthews, like persecution, imprisonment, torture, public ridicule, verbal and physical abuse and murder. Did Dr.King and his followers whine every time King was thrown in prison or endured verbal abuse?

Come on folks. Bishop Tobin and the others had better be able to dish it out as well as take it.

Posted by: Mary at November 24, 2009 1:34 PM

An embryo is defined up to 8 weeks of development.

Have you seen images of 9-12 week old aborted fetuses?

What do you do with them? Doesn't something in you, somewhere deep down tell you that this is wrong?

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 1:36 PM

By the way, hellfire and brimstone is a stretch for most people. It certainly was for me until I had completed 2-3 years of study on the subject.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 1:39 PM


You're right. I'm thinking that this was the first time the good Bishop was ambushed like that.

I'm sure he'll sharpen his Sword and be better equipped next time.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 1:42 PM


Who is "whining"? (Pointing out that Matthews was a total ignoramous is a matter of fact. Pointing out the anti-Catholic bias in the United States is a matter of fact.)

Posted by: Janet at November 24, 2009 1:43 PM

Gotta get back to work.

See Y'all.


I haven't seen Jennifer. If you happen to see her post, tell her I said she was right, I was wrong.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 1:45 PM

The argument which equates abortion to slavery is a specious one in that the issue of slavery was related to the nature of freedom for an individual who was, in your parlance, post born. Slavery, as it affects a society at large, is antithetical to the notion of a free society. Abortion is a medical procedure which relates to a woman's body. Hence, her abortion affects only her and is, as such, nobody else's business. Neither the Catholic church nor the state has any right to demand what anybody does with their own body. Likewise, they shouldn't, like China, impose forced abortion. It's a choice best left to the woman - which is the position of the liberal American Protestants and Jewsish clergy. Abortion is readily available in Western Europe. Liberal Lutheran Denmark, which allows abortion, has the happiest and healthiest people in the world. But regarding the "Judeo-Christian" position of Bishop Tobin, who believes that abortion must be criminalized, how do you square that with the Conservative and Reform Jewish Talmudic teachings which are very different? Do you actually believe that the Catholic Church is the only "true" church and all other belief systems wrong?

Posted by: sabra at November 24, 2009 1:46 PM

I was taken aback at the lack of respect and professionalism displayed by C. Matthews for Bishop Tobin. What came to mind was the Scripture about Jesus standing before Pilate, to name one. I don't know if Bishop Tobin was being "silent" and calm for a reason but his demeanor caused C. Matthews to sound so out of control. Perhaps Chris might take lessons from those "gentlemen" reporters from the past, who were so respectful and professional in their job, even when they differed in opinion from the "PERSON" being interviewed by them. I have been disappointed about the rudeness and lack of respect among young people but to see this displayed by an adult who should know better and who is in the public eye all the time, just saddens me totally.

Posted by: Patricia from Colorado at November 24, 2009 1:48 PM

If abortion didn't kill an unborn human being I would have no problem with it either.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at November 24, 2009 1:50 PM

What are your Church's teachings on abortion? Are there trimester limitations? Do you know why?

Posted by: Janet at November 24, 2009 1:54 PM

Chris M. is a Catholic. He seems to be a Catholic that favors abortion. Once again: "You cannot be a Catholic and Pro-Abortion." I can quote this and mean it because I am a Catholic. Chris needs prayer. I cannot and will not pray for him. Why? Simply for the reason of what you just visualized. He thinks he knows more than the Bishop about Catholicism. Sorry Chris you do not and you just proved it.

Posted by: poptoy at November 24, 2009 1:57 PM

Interesting conversation everyone. Jesus tells us that the Spirit will remain with and protect the Church. This is the one whom we are following, Johnny Vo, not just a human being, but the Steward of Jesus Christ (The Pope), guided in word and deed by the Holy Spirit (God). The rest of this issue is all a result of poor catechesis as well mind you. Mr. Matthews misunderstands two things as do my dear cousins those other Kennedys and their Georgetown advisors. 1. There is a difference between freedom and license and 2. Moral law is the basis for any civil law. (Yes, Mr. Matthews morality does dictate law) One does not have the license nor the authority to make decisions in a vacuum. If I set my faith aside for the sake of my role as a congressman or when I go into the voting booth, I may forget where I left it.

Posted by: Seraphim at November 24, 2009 2:06 PM


Congratulations on your handsome sons! I have three of my own. The first two were 6 and 4 when my wife's friend missed her period, came over and convinced by wife to get pregnant with her. You know, get big, go to Lamas classes...

Well I said sure, she got pregnant that month and about a month later the girlfriend came back and said, "Guess what, I'm not pregnant."

That third son has brought our family so much joy!

But suppose we had a change of heart. Suppose we decided not to go through with the pregnancy.

If we had consented to an abortion, my son would have been ripped limb from limb!

And the same thing would have happened to your precious sons if you had made the same decision!

Don't you see how wrong and evil it is?

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 2:12 PM

Interesting post-modern conversation everyone. Jesus tells us that the Spirit will remain with and protect the Church. This is the one whom we are following, Johnny Vo, not just a human being, but the Steward of Jesus Christ (The Pope), guided in word and deed by the Holy Spirit (God). Yes, Sabra, this means that we believe that you are wrong. Basic logic dictates that when two opposites are stated both cannot be correct. Either abortion either is or is not the will of God. The rest of this issue is all a result of poor catechesis as well mind you. Mr. Matthews misunderstands two things as do my dear cousins those other Kennedys and their Georgetown advisors. 1. There is a difference between freedom and license and 2. Moral law is the basis for any civil law. (Yes, Mr. Matthews morality does dictate law) One does not have the license nor the authority to make decisions in a vacuum. If I set my faith aside for the sake of my role as a congressman or when I go into the voting booth, I may forget where I left it.

Posted by: Seraphim at November 24, 2009 2:15 PM

For immediate release:
November 24, 2009

For more information:
Barth E. Bracy, Executive Director
Office: 401.521.1860 / Mobile: 401.225.8646

Applause for Bishop Tobin’s handling of a “bratty child”

Providence, RI—The Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee commends Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin for his composure on the Chris Matthew’s show. Said Barth E. Bracy, Executive Director of the Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee, “Being the father of young children, I know how hard it can be to remain patient in the face of a child’s temper tantrum. I know how hard it can be to try to get a word in edge-wise. And I know how deaf an overly emotional child can be to reason.”

At issue was Bishop Tobin’s Monday appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball. “It is intellectually dishonest” continues Bracy, “for Matthew’s to call his tirade an interview. His ambush interrogation had nothing whatsoever to do with the topic at-hand, namely, Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s (D, RI) recent vote in favor of federal subsidies for abortion-on-demand and his attacks against the Catholic Church. Instead, Matthews posed the straw man question of whether the Bishop advocates putting women in prison, and his condescending monologue left little time for Bishop Tobin to respond.”

Mr. Matthews is apparently ignorant of the fact that prior to Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the 1973 Court decisions that legalized abortion during all nine months of pregnancy for practically any reason whatsoever, state abortion laws targeted abortionists, not women. The reality is that women were expressly treated as the “second victim” of abortion. “Of course,” adds Bracy “far be it from Mr. Matthews to let silly little things like facts stand in the way of his ideological commitments.”

Bracy notes that, “Matthews soliloquy comes right from the talking points of the abortion industry. The reality is that the current health care debate has nothing to do with making abortion illegal. It has everything to do with the abortion industry’s desire for federal subsidies. And the fact is that Kennedy cast his vote in favor of federal subsidies for abortion-on-demand.”

Rhode Island Right to Life applauds Bishop Tobin for his continued courage and candor in standing up for innocent human life.

About Rhode Island Right to Life: Rhode Island Right to Life was founded in 1970 with the mission to advocate for a state, nation and world in which the innocent lives of the unborn, the disabled, the elderly and the ill are valued by the citizenry and protected by civil law. RI Right to Life lobbies for legislation that advances the cause of the sanctity of human life at both the state and federal levels. RI Right to Life is the state affiliate of the National Right to Life committee.


Posted by: Barth E. Bracy at November 24, 2009 2:17 PM

Well done, Mr Bracy, thank you.

Posted by: Fed Up at November 24, 2009 2:23 PM


The so-called Judeo-Christian stand on abortion is not entirely accurate, as you point out. I've seen orthodox rabbis refer patients to doctors for terminations - even escort them. The conservative and orthodox Jews I have seen have a very logical stand on abortion. They believe in producing as many healthy children as 'god gives them'. But on discovery of a serious defect in the womb, they immediately terminate the fetus. IMO, that doesn't make them cold, evil, or even hypocritical.

But to think that Jews stand with Catholics against abortion is just plain false.

And I should also point out that NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has done more to advance and protect the medical practice of abortion than any mayor in US history. I can't stand the little putz. But history has recorded that Bloomberg mandated that every resident in city-owned hospitals learn both DNCs and DNEs. That's unprecedented and has done a lot to keep this necessary medical practice alive for the next generation.

Posted by: Dhalgren at November 24, 2009 2:23 PM

Great, we are getting somewhere. It sounded like you and many others (excluding Danielle) would have a problem with late term abortion if there were no extenuating circumstances other than the mother's desire not to carry to term.
Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 12:51 PM

-Found myself lurking today and caught this this referring to me? Not sure. And, if so, unclear on the context of the conversation - clarity requested. Thanks.

Posted by: Danielle at November 24, 2009 2:23 PM

Hey Danielle,

I was wondering if you were still lurking out there.

Many moon ago, when I first started frequenting this website, you and I engaged in a similar line of reasoning. I hypothetically tossed out a scenario where someone killed a newborn and you agreed that it was criminal.

Then I asked you if you thought it was acceptable for a mother choose to terminate her pregnancy in the 9th month, and you said it was acceptable.

If your views have changed since then, I'll gladly stand corrected.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 2:29 PM

Great to see you're still lurking Danielle! :)

We like lurkers :)

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 2:31 PM

The Bishop did pretty well for one not used to being on the CM disaster. Then nobody who disagrees with that scumbag, Matthews, should ever submit to his grilling. He is a master of deceit, twisting, and dodging.

It is my own opinion that anyone who knowingly and willingly, and with premeditation, murders anyone, should be subject to the same penalties as the various states provide for all murderers - long prison sentences, long parole terms, and in some cases, the death penalty. Matthews was just trying to trap the Bishop into saying something that would explode onto the headlines and provide fodder for those who wish to continue having unabated and unremitting sex without any risk of any consequences.

I wish the Bishop would have said that - but then again, perhaps it would have done more harm than good.

Posted by: Brad at November 24, 2009 2:36 PM

This site is totally lurker-friendly.

We're lurker-likers!

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 2:37 PM

In response to Mr. Matthew's question as to what law Bishop Tobin would pass, the answer is to simply pass a law (in the absence of a Supreme Court decision)that the fetus is a person from conception to birth. From that point on, all of the standing laws regarding acts committed against any person (murder, etc.) would apply. If that law were passed by the Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court, that would settle the discussion.

Posted by: Deacon at November 24, 2009 2:40 PM

sorry, but everytime matthews pauses with "Your Excellency", it makes me want to punch him in the face. what a self-righteous sleaze ball.

Posted by: Mike at November 24, 2009 2:47 PM

Do you have any children Danielle? Nieces? Nephews?

Does the thought of them being dismembered in their mother's womb trouble you at all?

No need to respond, just some food for thought.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 2:48 PM

"I don't see where I cannot use my religious beliefs to influance government. The prohibition is one-way, our founding fathers would never have asked citizens of this country to leave their religious beliefs at the door."

Excellent point, Ray. It raises the question- why should secularism be the default position of governance? Wouldn't it make more sense to consider all arguments that people give based on reason and sound philosophy? And if I can defend my religious convictions with reason and sound philosophy, why should that not be heard in the public square? A great book that rips through the stupidity of the lame "blow-off-anything-I-don't-like" phrase that is "separation of church and state" is the book "The End of Secularism" by Hunter Baker for anyone who is interested. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at November 24, 2009 3:00 PM

Thanks Ed - I think I remember that conversation now. I still stand behind my original response.

As for your other question on family members: no children of my own, but many children and babies in our family. We have two new ones this year, which is very exciting. I'm looking forward to spending the holidays with some of them. Happy that they've joined the family. That said, if their mothers would have had abortions and chose not to have them, we would have never known them. It's a wistful thought now that they are born; but if they hadn't been, it wouldn't.

Posted by: Danielle at November 24, 2009 3:16 PM

How much did Kennedy pay Matthews to sandbag the Bishop?

Don't call yourself Catholic if you don't follow the teachings of Catholicism. Kennedy, Palosi, and many other politicians=C.I.N.O. (Catholic in Name Only).

Posted by: Catholic Voter at November 24, 2009 3:20 PM

This was 17 years ago Minno so my exact chronology might be a little off but I seem to recall my wife was in her third month 9-12 weeks when we found out Linda wasn't pregnant. But I know she didn't have a miscarriage because I would have remembered that. I do remember thinking it odd that she would have missed 3-4 periods. How should I know, I've never had one:)

And I must confess, I do not know what the abortion procedure of choice would have been back then (perhaps someone else could enlighten us) but the thought of my precious Nathan being killed in the womb breaks my heart.

So let me get this straight, you would "have been fine with" terminating your sons, killing them in your womb? Your sons? The ones you have right now?

Don't you love them?

I'm not trying to be sarcastic. I'm just trying to understand.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 3:30 PM

Minno is a banned commenter. We delete her posts.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at November 24, 2009 3:37 PM

Sorry Carla, I thought I might have been getting somewhere.

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 3:43 PM

In analyzing his behavior last night, you have to understand that Matthews loves two things far more than the Church or the unborn - - the Kennedys and the Democrat party.

Posted by: Jeff at November 24, 2009 4:11 PM

I don't know why Mathews (or Kennedy) have any desire to remain in the Catholic Church. There are other organizations that match their views better and probably are more fun.

Posted by: Hal at November 24, 2009 4:14 PM

Chris Matthews a classic Name Only, Cafeteria, Catholic...

Listen, either you practice the faith and agree with the Church's teaching or you don't. If you don't, stop calling yourself a Catholic. There are over 33,000 rebellious sects that all disagree with God's Church. Surely there is a place for a quasi Christian such as yourself Mr. Matthews in one of these sects. Just stop calling yourself a Catholic...

And as a side note: The God Fearing, Moral Democratic Party of JFK's day was not advocating the wholesale destruction of human lives as the Democratic Party today and their name only Luciferian, so call Catholic members who protect and support this vile industry and their abortuaries throughout the land; and they call themselves Catholic...CATHOLIC... HORRIBLE!!!

Posted by: Will at November 24, 2009 4:19 PM

Last post to Minno and Danielle Carla, then I've got work to do.

But that was the point I was driving at with both you and Danielle. You love your sons and to lose them now would be unthinkable, unspeakable. Like you I'm so thankful my sons are healthy and doing well and I could not imagine the grief and devastation of losing one of them.

And I'm sure when you decided to have children your emotional bond with them began in your womb. You caressed them, talked to them, nurtured them and loved them until the day they greeted the world.

But they were your precious sons before they greeted the world. They were no less precious when they were in your womb.

What I'm trying to say is that the value of an unborn child is not, can not be arbitrary, solely dependent on the value that their mother subjectively ascribes to him/her.

Every unborn child, exactly like your beautiful sons when they were inside you, is intrinsically valuable, a gift from Heaven.

This is the core belief of the Pro-Life movement. That all pre-born children are as precious as the born children that we know and love.

Another way to say it is that we know we love our pre-born children, before we even know them, because we know how much we will love them, once they are older. And we hope and we pray that they are healthy and that they develop normally through 7 wks, and 12 weeks, and 24 weeks...

And to harm one of these precious little ones is an unspeakable crime.

I'm sorry that you're banned Minno. I've enjoyed chatting with you and Danielle.

Have a good night!

Posted by: Ed at November 24, 2009 4:34 PM

sabra 1:46PM,

You really did not address the issue of religious involvement in ending slavery and segregation.

I did not equate slavery with abortion, I only argue they were and are the moral and ethical issues of their day.
I agree slavery is evil, but there has not always been, and is not now, universal agreement on the morality of slavery.
In fact, slavery was very economical for the south.
Slavery exists today and people have no moral qualms about it.

Again I ask, were the Quakers forcing their religious beliefs on other Americans when they organized against and battled slavery for decades?
Was Dr.King forcing his religious and moral ethics when he struggled for civil rights? This was a very religiously oriented movement.

Do you agree laws in this country are in fact morality forced on citizens?

Posted by: Mary at November 24, 2009 5:14 PM

St. Bellarmine:

Bishop Tobin hesitated when Matthews pressed the false secular assumptions about law that we all swim in. What an opportunity to affirm the true nature of authority, Ecclesiastical and civil. Too bad.

“The king serves God in one way as a man, and in another as a king; as a man, he serves Him by living in fidelity to His law, and since he is also a king, he serves by promulgating just laws, and forbidding the opposite, and by giving them a fitting and strong sanction" St. Augustine

“O my most gentle son, although you rule with earthly pomp over the human race, yet, as a devout man, you yield submission to those who have authority in Divine things, and at their hands you await the means of your salvation, and in receiving the heavenly Sacraments from those whose duty it is to dispense them, you acknowledge that you should submit to the ordained authority in religion rather than command. Know, therefore, that in these matters you are dependent upon their judgment, and that they cannot be made to conform to your will.” Gelasius to Emperor Athanasius

Posted by: Robert B. at November 24, 2009 5:16 PM

Chris Mathews needs to step down with his liberal and non-moral judgements along with Bill Moyers.I admire the Bishop and felt his answers were right on. The first commitment you have in any job or position is your faith. The problem is the Kennedy's and other law makers, do not regard themselves as working for anyone. They work only for themselves and faith and moral issues do not apply only votes so they may get wealthy and retire.

Posted by: ron at November 24, 2009 5:42 PM

Bishop Tobin appeared on the O'Reilly Factor tonight.

Unlike Chris Matthews, Bill O'Reilly was respectful and let the Bishop speak.

Here's the video:

Posted by: Mr. H at November 24, 2009 7:51 PM

I would have to say that Chris Matthews displayed the most disrespectful, arrogant rant under the so-called disguise of an interview I have ever seen toward anyone. Even Jeremiah "G-- D---" Wright was not treated with such disdain. The "Liberal Derangement Syndrome" of the pro-death crew like Matthews has reached an all time high that I never imagined. As a Christian who is not even Catholic, I can barely contain my disgust for the condescening treatment displayed by this so-called journalist. His angry, attacking demeanor was as if he was interviewing a convicted criminal. I could see horns rising from his head as he unleached a demonic tirade chastising a man of God for the teaching of the church. I would advise him to repent quickly for this and will pray he will do so. If he has such hatred and disdain for his church, it's clergy and it's teachings why does he say he is a Catholic? May God have mercy on his soul.

Posted by: Prolifer L at November 24, 2009 9:06 PM

Chris Matthews should learn how to listen.

Then he would land a job on a cable channel that has viewers.

Posted by: Dan at November 24, 2009 9:56 PM


Matthews goes back to the actual words and insists on the original meaning of the words spoken by JFK.

Ha, Ha, Ha.

Matthews sure doesn't agree that is the way to read the US Constitution.

Posted by: hippie at November 24, 2009 10:18 PM

There is but one truth in this issue and that is abortion is wrong because it is the taking of an innocent human life. No other rights make any difference if the defense of the right to life in the first place is ignored. This is not a debatable issue! Congratulations to Bishop Tobin for defending the Catholic Church's teaching on life. We need more clergymen like him!

Posted by: Mike at November 25, 2009 12:01 AM

Here's the deal with the interview. The real argument with regard to abortion has to do with the question of when a human being can be called a person. If a person is as such at conception, then that person has the right to life. There are plenty of common sense arguments from basic ethics here. There is not even a need to invoke the infallibility of Church dogma. The good Bishop has a responsibility within his own realm to tend his flock, including politicians who freely call themselves Catholic. This would imply that such politicians form their consciences according to the teachings of the Church. If they do not wish to do that, they shouldn't be Catholic! There is no coercion here. There is freedom of religion and a separation of church and state. What is the real issue in the issue is not abortion at all, but what is the relationship between law and morality? The argument is within the locus of philosophy of law! As a Catholic, I take up the Natural Law tradition, in the footsteps of Aquinas. In this case, human law is just inasmuch as it reflects and instantiates the natural law. The natural law has sway in the formation of conscience. Law and morality are bound. However, in a good deal of secular approaches to law, a more positivistic tone is struck in which morality and law are divorced. These are the assumptions that are unsaid in the interview and really drive the whole conversation. Abortion, as an issue, is sidelined. If it is the case, which it is, that morality ought to dictate what laws should be at times, then those who have the obligation of speaking on faith and morals are obliged to exercise their authority.

Posted by: Ty at November 25, 2009 1:53 AM

I would never attack a bishop like this. For me, A BISHOP HAS THE SAME MORAL AUTHORITY AS ONE OF THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES. If a lay Catholic goes after his bishop, he'd better have Tradition and the teaching authority of the church on his side, something Chris Matthews definitely does not have here.

As a Catholic, John F. Kennedy GOT IT COMPLETELY WRONG when he said he would not listen to the Pope. THAT'S LIKE SAYING HE WOULDN'T LISTEN TO JESUS. JESUS INVESTED HIS TEACHING AUTHORITY IN HIS DICIPLES. It is tantamount to what Lucifer said just before he fell: "I will not serve." If you SAY you are a member of the church Jesus founded, then you must LISTEN to what your bishop says -- and not just listen, YOU MUST ACT CONSISTENTLY WITH WHAT YOU'VE BEEN TAUGHT. In short, a good Catholic DOES listen to his bishop (or the pope) when it comes to lawmaking.

Separation of church and state WAS NOT MEANT TO KEEP THE CHURCH OUT OF THE STATE, IT WAS MEANT TO KEEP THE STATE OUT OF THE CHURCH. When a high-profile Catholic like Patrick Kennedy publicly attacks his bishop, he publicly pushes back on the church (something he may not legally have the right to do as a member of the government), and he invites a public response (which he got from his bishop).

If Patrick were anything more than the "Catholic in Name Only" cafeteria Catholic that he is, he would infuse his every breath and action with Catholic morals and values, and his votes on bills and amendments would exemplify his Catholic identity.

Instead, his votes exemplify his Democratic Party identity. The "religion" Patrick Kennedy follows is the Democratic Party Platform. He doesn't represent Catholics, because he doesn't act like one. (And might I finally add, he doesn’t act like one for no good reason.)

Posted by: Makis at November 25, 2009 1:53 AM

I am new to the Catholic Church and I might not be very educated as much as the rest of you are. I think this way, God has put the Bishop in his posistion and as Catholics, we should respect him and what he says. To disrespect a Bishop in this way is something I would be very afraid to do. I also think that all Catholics who are in the government and support abortion should be excommunicated as this brings scandle on the church.

Posted by: Rob at November 25, 2009 2:44 AM

Chris Matthew is a nagger with no morality.
He is totally wrong. A killing is a killing. Over a billion children have been killed in the world.

A decision to terminate a life, any life is a wrong decision.

Any woman can decide not conceive. It takes a woman and a man to create and conceive a child. It is a decision, however irresponsible it may be.

Why conceive a child to kill? The abortion law is wrong and it is immoral. We all have a right to be born once we are conceived. We did not have a right to be conceived, it was not our decision. Chris Matthew is wrong, he is lost, a nagger, a bagger, a a big mouth who thinks having over one billion children killed by abortion is perfectly all right. Laws are made by human beings and often they do not solve problems but create them.
The right to live and be born supersedes the right to kill. Woman has the right not conceive, not to engage in procreation.

Posted by: B. Macedo at November 25, 2009 5:38 AM

Sunday, November 15, 2009
Cable News Ratings: Chris Matthews The Lowest Rated Program On All Of Cable News

Chris "I Felt This Thrill Going Up My Leg" Matthews is a leftist punk and (my opinion) Bishop Tobin should not lower himself and avoid Matthews and MSNBC in the future.

Posted by: Sock at November 25, 2009 6:08 AM

I didn't think this was a bad interview for Bishop Tobin. I felt he held his own very well and by liberal standards he won- because he didn't lose his cool and get angry.

On the other hand Chris Matthews comes off as a bully.

Posted by: mrsL at November 25, 2009 8:27 AM

The Bishop wasn't well prepared and wasn't suited to play "Hardball" on that style of TV program. As a result, the Bishop didn't come off too well. In comparison with the way Chris Matthews disrespects most of his guests, I thought Matthews showed a slightly higher degree of respect towards the Bishop. The Bishops should present their message in clear, simple and logical terms. (Not another pastoral letter which are not easy reading for the modern anybody!!) They need to be stronger in their message against abortion and the use of any tax money for funding abortion. The Bishops need to address themselves to not only Catholic leaders, but all leaders in the government. The message against abortion needs to be seen as for the common good and advancement of humanity.

Posted by: Dennis at November 25, 2009 8:30 AM

I don't think the interview was all that bad. Matthews acts that way to everyone - that's what he does to keep his job. He is not always right and many times is wrong as in this case. But he's always fun to watch – this is what makes his ratings and he knows it and is really good at it. Reading between the lines you can clearly see the incorrect logic Matthews uses to approach the issue. The bottom line is we should give to God the things that are God's and Caesar the things that are Caesar's. (Mr. Matthews says this.) This is true but our great Country was founded on proclaiming God's love and is reflected in many of our founding documents. All we have that our great Country was based on stands firmly on the belief of God and our love for Him. The romans did not found their country or world belief on God. We did. As such when we are do not recognize murder for what it is, and abortion is, and that it is violation of the fifth commandment of God, then our Country has turned away from God. This is why we are experiencing things in the world today. We are gradually saying we do not need God and He is starting to let us on our own. We can clearly see how well we are doing without Him or maybe people should take the plank out their own eyes before they tell what God has created is wrong and we do not need God's creation. I love Bishop Tobin's honest and humble approach, for he was chosen by God and all priests were chosen by God; however sometime people such as Mr. Matthews need to talk to God about men before talking to men about God. I believe this reflection would have set the truth free as to what abortion really is. We must pray that all can see the truth. But why would Mr. Matthews do that, for he is liked and is great at controversy – that's what he is all about. Please accept the news for what it really is and pray to God for guidance.

Posted by: Brian at November 25, 2009 8:55 AM

Matthews is a plain lousy newsman, which in large part explains his ratings. After the 2008 election, he actively lobbied for a post in Obama's Administration. His reporting during the campaign was so legendarily awful and biased its not possible to exaggerate. Although I applaud the bishop for making himself available, he seemed unprepared for this kind of " journalism ". Ugh !

Posted by: Tony in Central PA at November 25, 2009 10:22 AM

Bishop Tobin is to be commended for his attempt to save both Kennedy's and Matthew's souls; for that is what he is obliged to do as a Catholic bishop. I am sure he prays for them; yet I am not sure whether the bishop is overly naive regarding the consequences of the mortally sinful lifestyle both these proto-hypocrites are living or whether he fully understands just how far along the road to hell they have travelled.
Fraternal correction, in love, is one of the chief obligations of a bishop, and - indeed - of every Catholic. The fact that in the American Catholic Church such love has been lacking for so long is a cause of the desperate situatuon the Kennedys and the Matthews types are currently in.
The kind of loving fraternal correction that was lacking in the bishops, as a group, responding to the scandal of priestly sexual abuse has caused the American Catholic Church to be in a position where their moral authority can be openly questioned. It has caused confusion in many persons minds and even now the delayed response by the NCCB to the holocaust of abortion still discourages the proper response many true Catholics would like to exhibit.
One more thing - Kennedy went public first - not Bishop Tobin; Kennedy attacked the Catholic Church; Bishop Tobin is defending the Church and defending every American Catholc who honors the venerable teaching of the Church on life issues. Matthew's bishop should have a try at fraternally correcting this seriously spiritually sick person who is doing much harm by his public disobedience to Church teaching.

Posted by: Kieran at November 25, 2009 10:25 AM

Matthews acts that way to everyone

I don't watch him any more so I wouldn't know. I wonder if he's ever presumed to tell a muslim cleric or a rabbi that they are in error and berated them for exercising their 1st amendment rights.

Posted by: Fed Up at November 25, 2009 10:33 AM

There is but one truth in this issue and that is abortion is wrong because it is the taking of an innocent human life. No other rights make any difference if the defense of the right to life in the first place is ignored. This is not a debatable issue!

If the abortion debate was only the definition of when life begins, you anti-aborts would win. You're right, it is not a debatable issue. But we pro-aborts and the rest of the democratic, civilized, industrialized world have decided that the life of the fetus should never outweigh the life of a girl or woman. Your side says, 'no other rights make any difference.' But our side chooses to defend women and their health. That's the key, unbreakable impasse between our sides.

Posted by: Dhalgren at November 25, 2009 11:24 AM

our side chooses to defend women and their health

Try explaining that to Gianna Jessen.

Posted by: Fed Up at November 25, 2009 11:29 AM

May God have mercy on our souls. God is the author of life. Do you think he is pro-life of pro-choice? If you believe in God The Father and His Son Jesus the Christ, King of the Universe who came to save souls from eternal death, why or why would anyone be mislead by choice of life. As Mother Theresa said, Woe is the nation that kills it's unborn. He (God) knew you before your were formed in your mother's womb. He created your life..He creates all life. The ememy is the one who rejoices at death and lose of souls. Those little ones are with Jesus, but the distroyers of life will suffer for eternity. Unless, they repent! Lord have mercy on our nation.

Posted by: Jean at November 25, 2009 8:09 PM

"But we pro-aborts and the rest of the democratic, civilized, industrialized world have decided that the life of the fetus should never outweigh the life of a girl or woman."

Dhalgren, your statement is ludicrous. No one believes that the life of the fetus outweighs the life of the mother. They are both human lives that are equal in the sight of God.

What you evidently think (and what U.S. law allows) is that if the woman would suffer from inconvenience, embarrassment, financial setbacks, or in any other way, however slight, from having a child, then these considerations completely outweigh her child's very right to existence. That's scarcely an equal contest.

The only way a life is pitted against a life when abortion is in question is when the continuation of the pregnancy directly threatens the mother's life, and as I'm sure you know, that is probably true of less than 1% of all abortions, and is why the "life of the mother" exception is the only one that prolifers ever agree to.

But even then, though I agree that premature removal of the child may be necessary, I've never been able to see how the deliberate killing of the child helps the mother in any way. If the doctor, as he should, does everything he reasonably can to save the baby, then it's moral and is not even really an abortion.

As for the rest of the "democratic, industrial, civilized world," most of the countries in Europe have much more restrictive abortion laws than the U.S. Typically, it is permitted for the first 3 months, but strictly forbidden thereafter, except for special cases. Study up on it sometime. In most countries, it is recognized that the right of the child to live does often take precedence over that of the mother's other, lesser rights.

I am glad to know that you agree a fetus is a human being. Now you really need to open your eyes to the rest of the truth.

Posted by: Lori Pieper at November 25, 2009 8:26 PM

The deal is matthews is distinguishing between a moral beleif, and how we translate that into what should be legal or illegal. Clearly we know that it's immorral to worship false idols. However we don't support a law to make it illegal to be anything but Catholic.

Secondly, if we Want a law that says abortion is illegal, we do need to have some sort of penalty, and worry about the outcomes that will come with it. And whether it'll be more hurtful or helpful overall to society. Even thoguh we agree people shouldn't do it.

Kind of like we don't like underaged sex, but does that mean we don't teach them the real life dangers of sex, as well as the advantageous of condomns?

This was the distinction he submitted and set forth. I do think the dialogue was fast paced, and Mathews overwhelmed Bishop Tobin a bit. But I do think he brought up valid points.

Posted by: Nick at November 25, 2009 10:15 PM

OK, great Nick. So reiterate again for me so I can address it, because I'm not positive if you are saying what you have above counts- what is a valid point that Matthews brought up?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at November 25, 2009 10:26 PM

I might be for legalized abortion if the unborn child had a fighting chance. Maybe if could arm the unborn child with a weapon of some sort that could kill the abortionist, then we could consider it. Then the creepy doctors who do it would think long and hard about it. As it is, it's too easy.

Posted by: millie at November 26, 2009 6:36 AM

In my opinion, the Bishop is still a man, and any incapability by him to answer questions, which, come on, it's pretty obvious he had, should not be glanced over because of his religious ordination. Chris interviewed him as any other on his show. He isn't one to give up on the questions he asks if they're not answered. And furthermore, why is every criticism towards a Church policy considered an "unfair attack"? For an organization that's been around for as long as the Catholic Church has and with such a history, they're hardly vulnerable.

Posted by: Joe at November 26, 2009 11:44 AM

Nothing gets a person as riled up as when he is questioned about his morality and his conscience is tweaked. Matthews was obviously incensed that Bishop Tobin has the audacity to remind Catholics such as he of such petty things as the Ten Commandments. Matthews made an idiot of himself trying to make an unmakable point. His attempt to say that Bishop Tobin has no right to remind him and Rep Kennedy of their Catholic faiths requiremnents is laughable. He should join the Episcopal Church with his fellow Dem McGreevy.

Posted by: Mike Heim at November 26, 2009 12:48 PM

I think Chris Matthews speaks did a great job. He speaks for a lot of Catholics.

Posted by: Frank at November 29, 2009 9:40 PM

We are all sinners....most of the people who receive Communion are hypocritical for that bishop to deny Kennedy Communion. Bishop Tobin was tongue tied about what the penalty for having an abortion should be because he hasn't thought that through. What should the penalty be? Life in prison for the doctor and woman, 40 years?

Posted by: mary at December 2, 2009 2:41 PM