Breaking: Patrick Kennedy barred from communion over abortion support

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for breaking.jpgThis is huge, with enormous implications. It's also quite sad. The Providence Journal reports this morning (and even reported in China):

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, the RI Democrat said Friday....

"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.

patrick kennedy barred from communion.jpg

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.

Bishop Tobin, through a spokesman, declined to address the question of whether he had told Kennedy not to receive Communion. But the bishop's office moved quickly to cast doubt on Kennedy's related assertion about instructions to the priests of Rhode Island.

bishop tobin, patrick kennedy, communion, abortion.jpg

"Bishop Tobin [pictured right] has never addressed matters relative to public officials receiving Holy Communion with pastors of the diocese," spokesman Michael K. Guilfoyle said in an e-mailed statement.

This latest exchange between Bishop Tobin and Kennedy, the only remaining public official in the nation's most prominent Catholic family, escalates their heated public debate over how the 8-term congressman's work for abortion rights bears on his standing in the church.

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.

The episode adds another volatile element to a highly emotional dispute that has complicated Mr. Obama's pursuit of his top legislative priority....


Comments:

Saw this on Fox News at 6 am & just posted it on my blog as well. This is great news. I predict that the usual pro-abortion Catholic groups will be coming out with their condemnations in short order.

It will be interesting to see if this gives any other Bishops the courage to speak up now. But it looks as if the pass enjoyed by the Kennedys in the past has been revoked in at least 1 diocese.

Posted by: Al at November 22, 2009 7:14 AM


In my opinion, he should be excomunicated....just plain and simple. We don't need any more "wayward" Catholics in our Church. This man is not above God.

Posted by: Cynthia Hintz at November 22, 2009 7:34 AM


First things first, Cynthia. I suspect that this is just step one in Kennedy's rehabilitation.

I think if he continues his outspoken support of abortion, defies the bishop, and insists that he has the right to the Eucharist, then maybe the bishop is gonna have to do a throwdown...

And on that note: Thank you, THANK YOU Bishop Tobin!!!!

Posted by: carder at November 22, 2009 8:01 AM


Good for Bishop Tobin. May his tribe increase.

Posted by: Maria at November 22, 2009 8:08 AM


OH!

The luck of the Irish.

Patty me boy.

The glitter is gone off the ole Kennedy gold.

Next time you come across the blarney stone, you shouldn't just kiss it, you should marry it.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at November 22, 2009 8:09 AM


What many people who will be reporting on this will completely miss is the fact that we believe that Kennedy is compounding his sin when he receives, and profaning the Body of Christ. An admonition such as the one from the Bishop serves multiple purposes.
1) Protect the Body of Christ from desecration
2) Prevent additional harm to the person's soul, at least with regards to the Holy Sacrament. He who receives while in a state of mortal sin receives death, not life.
3) Hopefully act as a catalyst so that the person will conform himself to the Catholic faith he professes.

Posted by: Matthew A. Siekierski at November 22, 2009 8:33 AM


I hope the other bishops back Tobin and not cave in to Kennedy and the liberals. If they waffle a schism will develop.
Does Kennedy think his family's money puts him above the rest of us Catholics? How dare he support baby murder and unworthily receive Our Lord! The scandal has gone on far too long with the Pelosis, Kerrys, and kennedys. End it now!

Posted by: jim at November 22, 2009 10:07 AM


Posted by: Matthew A. Siekierski at November 22, 2009 8:33 AM

What many people who will be reporting on this will completely miss is the fact that we believe that Kennedy is compounding his sin when he receives, and profaning the Body of Christ.

2) Prevent additional harm to the person's soul, at least with regards to the Holy Sacrament.

He who receives while in a state of mortal sin receives death, not life.

--------------------------------------------------

Patty has got to be mostly dead by now.

Gangrene is a distinct possibility.

As a fellow member of the body of Christ, is my first responsibility to the whole body or to the offending member?

How long do we wait before we get to the amputation talked about in Matthew 18?

It seems we have gone from the private confrontation to the public confrontation and Patty is not showing any signs of improvement.

Do we just wait and hope he continues to wither on the Vine without infecting the rest of the branches or do we bring out the pruning shears and 'loose' him immmediately?

Hasn't Patty by his willful sin already joined the body of Christ to a harlot?

It is all in the 'book'.

Just asking.

yor bro ken


Posted by: kbhvac at November 22, 2009 10:12 AM


For those of you who might wish to express your support for Bishop Tobin, the best way to get an email to him is through Karen Davis (kdavis@dioceseofprovidence.org) in the Office of Communications. She's very prompt in replying and she happily passes on your comments to the bishop. He doesn't have a personal public email address.

Posted by: Courtney at November 22, 2009 10:18 AM


Matt,

There are at least two other possibilities.

Patty is not now, nor has he ever been, a member of the body of Christ.

'church' is repleat with people like that.

Or maybe God really does love sinners and really is patient and desires that none be lost and that all be saved and HE causes the rain to fall on the unjust.

That is in the 'book' as well.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at November 22, 2009 10:22 AM


People of God are supposed to stand for God and not for people of influence and wealth.

God and you, if you are in His will, are a majority.

Don't ever forget that Catholics.

Posted by: Phil Schembri is HisMan at November 22, 2009 11:00 AM


kbhvac,
I think the Bishop did the right thing. I just know that the reporting on it, in most places, will be horrible. There will be accusations that the Bishop is playing politics with the Eucharist (as if most people in the media care about that). I just wanted to point out that the Bishop is probably more concerned with the Eucharist itself, along with Kennedy's immortal soul. And the scandal involved with having a prominent Catholic publically opposing Church teaching.

I hope Kennedy can conform himself to the teaching of the Church, and this act by his Bishop reaches him and all who are watching.

Posted by: Matthew A. Siekierski at November 22, 2009 11:28 AM


Phil,
This is not a case of the bishop vs. Kennedy. The bishop is looking out for the soul of one of his flock. The member of his flock doesn't want to hear it. This member of the flock happens to have a very influential position that can lead many astray along with him. Faithful Catholics are going to support bishops who have the courage to do what they are supposed to do. So if it sounds like we are standing with the bishop, it is only because the bishop is doing the right thing.

Catholics have been standing for God (including martyrdom) for 2,000 years, and we will continue to do so.

Posted by: Eileen at November 22, 2009 11:34 AM


Here's the reaal question:

If Kennedy opposes RCC teaching why does he not just leave the church? There are plenty of churches that are pro-abortion and do not attach any real signifcnace to the Holy Eucharist.

Kennedy arrogance goes beyond the pale even to the point of thinking that they can change the mind of a Holy and Infinite God.

This is the very definition of foolishness and we wonder why the family is cursed. They bring it on themselve.

Posted by: Phil Schembri is HisMan at November 22, 2009 11:38 AM


The Bible warns that if you receive communion with open, unrepentant sin in your life, you are putting your health in danger. It actually says that "some sleep" (have died) for doing so, because to disobey in this way is to thumb your nose at God. Remember, pride and stubborn disobedience is what got Satan thrown out of heaven.

Posted by: Sydney M at November 22, 2009 12:42 PM


Phil,

Patty has fallen into the error so common to much of humanity (I include myself), including the body of Christ( I includer myself), in which we fashion/make GOD in our own image/understanding/imaginings.

Then when someone has an image of GOD that is divergent from our own we want to disown them.

But if we ask GOD, HE will disabuse us of our 'false' knowledge of HIM.

It is written in the 'book' that Jesus Himself said we would know the TRUTH and the TRUTH would set us free and HE [Jesus] would send the HOLY SPIRIT and HE [HOLY SPIRIT would lead us into all TRUTH.

Jesus is the TRUTH.

Jesus says, This is eternal life, that you may know GOD and the Son whom HE sent. The SON is the TRUTH.


Col 2:2 2[For my concern is] that their hearts may be braced (comforted, cheered, and encouraged) as they are knit together in love, that they may come to have all the abounding wealth and blessings of assured conviction of understanding, and that they may become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, [which is] Christ (the Anointed One). AMP

Col 3:10 10 And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it. [Gen 1:26.] AMP

2 Peter 1:3, 8 3For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).

8 For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). AMP

The knowledge and understanding that Peter and Paul are writing about are not 'book smarts'.

It is the priceless treasure of knowing HIM intimately like the good wife knows and is known by her husband or the good son knows and is known by his father to which Paul in comparison reduced everything else to the value of 'dung'.

Or we can settle for 'church'.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at November 22, 2009 12:48 PM


Not to rain on everybody's parade, but according to the statement from Bp. Tobin, Kennedy was asked to not participate in the Eucharist two years ago. As far as I can tell, Kennedy has not been banned from the sacrament but is instead trying to spin the private pastoral action of the good bishop into a public spectacle.

You can read the statement here:
http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/21692154/detail.html

Posted by: Dakota at November 22, 2009 1:58 PM


Operationcounterstrike,

Really? Then why are there so many Catholic Democrats? Why did the Catholics vote for Obama?

The Roman Catholic Church is a religious institution. Bishop Tobin's duty to those who watched the activities of one of his more influential parishioners was to make the RCC's stance clear about Sen. Kennedy's statements.

Yes, being an open supporter of abortion separates you from the Catholic Church. It makes you in effect less Catholic, and unrepentantly receiving Communion in a state of mortal sin is death to you and death to those who follow your example.

Patrick Kennedy is not simply soiling his own soul. He is leading those who believe his lies to the slaughter. He is telling them the grave lie that one can actively work for the deaths of millions of humans and still accept Our Lord's body without impunity.

Bishop Tobin's responsibility as a shepherd, and our responsibility as witnesses, is to clearly and unremittingly profess the Truth.

If you have a problem with the RCC standing up for their Catechism, I'd like to know exactly how it is wrong. How is it wrong to tell an individual that they should not be accepting a Sacrament(!) when they are leading themselves and others into sin?... How is it wrong to say, "Your lifestyle and behaviors are in direct contention with the Church. Therefore, you are now instructed to stop receiving this Sacrament"?

Posted by: MaryRose at November 22, 2009 5:10 PM


The other bishops should take the cue from Bishop Tobin as there are still more Catholics who are in direct defiance of Church law. Nevertheless, it is always good to shepherd these Catholic politicians who have strayed back to the Church through prayer and gentle persuasion. When these do not work, prayer and a harder nudge is called for. As one priest I have read said: a liberal Catholic is oxymoronic.

Posted by: PeterM at November 22, 2009 6:23 PM


I'm not Catholic, but am proud of the stand the Catholic church and Bishops are taking, not only in this instance, but in the health care debate.

Where are the protestant churches? As far as I know they are silent. Only the Catholic church is speaking out.

Good for them, they have my admiration and respect.

Posted by: Joanne at November 22, 2009 6:31 PM


It's amusing to watch the news outlets as they change the headline of the Kennedy/Tobin story from one hour to the next trying to get the facts right.

Mario Cuomo, who should know better by now, still doesn't understand the problem after 25 years:

(From: www.islandpacket.com/front/story/1044204.html)
Other Catholic politicians have wrestled with the same issue Kennedy faces.

In 1984, former Democratic New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, a Catholic who supported abortion rights and was at the time a potential presidential candidate, delivered a speech at the University of Notre Dame explaining that Catholic lawmakers shouldn't be pressured by church leaders to work for anti-abortion legislation. He said Sunday it's dangerous for the church to pressure politicians because of the potential for unintended consequences.

"If you're required (by the church) to make everybody follow your Catholic role, then nobody would vote for Catholics because it's clear that when you get the authority, you're going to be guided by your faith," the former governor told the AP.

Cuomo said there are two positions a politician can take: They can oppose church doctrine outright or, as he did, accept church teachings personally but refuse to carry them into the public arena where they would affect people of every faith.

"Don't ask me to make everybody live by it because they are not members of the church," Cuomo said. "If that were the operative rule, how could you get any Catholic politician in office? And would that be better for the Catholic church?"

Lord have mercy.

Posted by: Janet at November 22, 2009 7:50 PM


It is nice to se that someone is finally taking a stand and sticking to their convictions.

Posted by: Abortion Support at November 22, 2009 9:35 PM


Cuomo said there are two positions a politician can take: They can oppose church doctrine outright or, as he did, accept church teachings personally but refuse to carry them into the public arena where they would affect people of every faith.
Posted by: Janet at November 22, 2009 7:50 PM
wow, a closet Catholic. I assume he leaves Jesus at the door too when he goes to work.

Posted by: truthseeker at November 22, 2009 9:37 PM


What Cuomo said is ridiculous. Opposing abortion isn't about pushing Catholic beliefs; it is about defending human rights. Defending the right to life is totally consistent with defending the inalienable right to Life delcared in our AMERICAN Declaration of Independence.

Not only are their beliefs inconsistent with their Catholic faith, they are also inconsistent with American values (both acknowledge the dignity of the human person).

Posted by: Eileen at November 22, 2009 9:53 PM


Eileen:

The Scripture is clear: "Galatians 1:6-9....6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!"

A so-called Christian who embraces abortion is no Christian at all and has no clue who Christ is; the Author of Life, the Creator of Life, the Enemy of Death.

The Gospel of Abortion is the Gospel of Death and is in total opposition to the Gospel of Life.

The majority of the Kennedy's, due to the implantation of the demonic teaching that somehow being a pro-abort is the right thing to be, should study the Scripture, learn about the Living Christ and repent before it is too late.

Posted by: Phil Schembri is HisMan at November 22, 2009 10:24 PM


Phil, Amen!

Posted by: Eileen at November 22, 2009 10:50 PM


Repentance brings forgiveness.

Posted by: truthseeker at November 22, 2009 11:22 PM


what a wonderful example this Bishop has set!

Posted by: Andy Moore at November 23, 2009 1:19 AM


Too bad the Catholic church in the USA can't be consistent. It has every right to bar us pro-aborts from its sacraments. But what about politicians who vote for unjust wars or support the death penalty? Where is their punishment for violating two positions the Church has held since at least the 19th century?

What Cuomo said back in the 80s was correct. He was one of the most rational politicians in my lifetime and would have made a fine SP justice. I do think he should have left the church, but declaring oneself an atheist was more taboo back then.

Posted by: Dhalgren at November 23, 2009 8:02 AM


"But what about politicians who vote for unjust wars or support the death penalty? Where is their punishment for violating two positions the Church has held since at least the 19th century? "

For the millionth time, the Catholic Church does not teach that the death penalty is intrinsically evil. If you can produce a single Vatican document which refers to the death penalty as "grave" or "evil", then fine. But I've never seen one.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at November 23, 2009 8:12 AM


Dhalgren wrote:
Too bad the Catholic church in the USA can't be consistent.

The Catholic Church is finally being consistent by exercising some church discipline in this case. So you get your wish, right?

It has every right to bar us pro-aborts from its sacraments. But what about politicians who vote for unjust wars or support the death penalty? Where is their punishment for violating two positions the Church has held since at least the 19th century?

I'll refer you back to Bobby's point. The Catholic Church teaches that all of those things (unjust war, capital punishment, and abortion) are bad, but they have specifically placed abortion into a different category of evil. Merely participating in an abortion provokes a latae sententiae excommunication from the Catholic Church.

Posted by: Naaman at November 23, 2009 9:01 AM


I used to be Catholic. I went through RCIA and married with a full mass in the Catholic church. I respect their position in championing the cause of innocent human life. I have returned to my Baptist roots because I was not comfortable with the teachings of salvation in the Catholic church ( I did not find it to be based on the Bible, but on different Pope's teachings). ANYHOW, my point is, I do agree and wish that Protestant churches would be out in the trenches fighting for women and children too as the Catholic church does. I hope the Catholic church will continue to admonish those politicians who use their positions to advance the cause of Satan. No one who has seen or had an abortion can deny it is the cause of Satan. It is pure evil. So I am cheering for this Bishop! Go Bishop go!

Posted by: Sydney M at November 23, 2009 9:44 AM


"But what about politicians who vote for unjust wars or support the death penalty? Where is their punishment for violating two positions the Church has held since at least the 19th century? "

For the millionth time, the Catholic Church does not teach that the death penalty is intrinsically evil. If you can produce a single Vatican document which refers to the death penalty as "grave" or "evil", then fine. But I've never seen one.
Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at November 23, 2009 8:12 AM

Yes, Bobby, you're right. But the Church as condemned the death penalty in situations like we have in the United States. And It does not take any action against politicians who disregard It's teachings.

Posted by: Hal at November 23, 2009 3:08 PM


Hal,

"But the Church as condemned the death penalty in situations like we have in the United States."

Have they? Whatever the Church teaches I'm 100% behind, but I don't know of anytime where they mention certain crimes and say that the death penalty is grave in that situation. It's possible, but I haven't seen it. And granted JPII's Evangelium Vitae hints at this, but I don't recall him mentioning specifics. Do you have anything on mind, Hal?

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at November 23, 2009 3:22 PM


Bobby, doesn't the church teach that the death penalty is appropriate only when it is the sole means of protecting society from the offender? I never went through all the USCCB documents, but I think that's their position. They have a section on their site if you want to check it out.

Hal, there are many more dying each day from abortion than from the death penalty. That is the reason I heard one bishop give for the emphasis on abortion in politics. But your point is well taken.

Sorry for jumping in on your dialogue, guys, back to lurking.

Posted by: Fed Up at November 23, 2009 3:53 PM


Fed Up,

"doesn't the church teach that the death penalty is appropriate only when it is the sole means of protecting society from the offender? I never went through all the USCCB documents, but I think that's their position."

This is the USCCB position, I believe. I remember Janet pointing this out to me before, so I'm pretty sure you're correct there. However, we do need to make the distinction between Magesterial teachings and USCCB teachings (which are not ALSO Magesterial teachings). The latter does not make pronouncements of the same authority as the Magesterium. That being said, we American Catholics must take what the USCCB says very, very seriously and it should weigh very heavily in one's personal decision as far as what they support. But that means that it is possible to disagree with a teaching of the USCCB (which is NOT also taught by the Magesterium) and still be in good standing. Now personally, I will almost always go with the US bishops.

But really Fed Up, if you think about it, it doesn't make any sense for there to be a matter of faith or morals which two people in different parts of the world can hold the same belief but one is committing grave matter and the other is not. Do you see what I'm saying? In other words, if it WAS the case that all American Catholics had to hold to the US Bishop's teaching on the death penalty under pain of mortal sin, then you could have one person in American believing that the death penalty was OK in the case of kidnapping and another person in African believing the exact same thing, and the American would be committing grave matter but the African would not. Now this is possible for matters of disciple (like fasting on Fridays or Holy days of obligation) but it should not be the case in matters of faith and morals because of the Universality of the Catholic Church.

If I get a chance to, I'll try and look deeper into this (may take days) and actually find some documentation. God love you.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at November 23, 2009 4:51 PM


Hi Bobby, thanks for your reply. I found what I was looking for.

http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/penaltyofdeath.pdf (see page 13)

I understand your point about magisterial authority. Doesn't 2267 of the CCC apply to Catholics worldwide?

Posted by: Fed Up at November 23, 2009 5:20 PM


"But what about politicians who vote for unjust wars or support the death penalty? Where is their punishment for violating two positions the Church has held since at least the 19th century? "

For the millionth time, the Catholic Church does not teach that the death penalty is intrinsically evil. If you can produce a single Vatican document which refers to the death penalty as "grave" or "evil", then fine. But I've never seen one.
Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at November 23, 2009 8:12 AM

Yes, Bobby, you're right. But the Church as condemned the death penalty in situations like we have in the United States. And It does not take any action against politicians who disregard It's teachings.
Posted by: Hal at November 23, 2009 3:08 PM

Hal,

This was discussed recently, so I don't know why you bring it up again. I'd say perhaps the operative word to look at here is "condemned" as you use it in your 3:08 PM comment. Make sense?

Merriam Webster Dictionary:
Main Entry: con·demn
Pronunciation: \kən-ˈdem\
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French condempner, from Latin condemnare, from com- + damnare to condemn — more at damn
Date: 14th century
1 : to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation
2 a : to pronounce guilty : convict b : sentence, doom
*****


Posted by: Janet at November 23, 2009 5:30 PM


I don't know why the last part of my comment is highlighted in red. That wasn't my intent.

Posted by: Janet at November 23, 2009 5:32 PM