Patrick Kennedy: Bishop's public reprimands "very disconcerting"

Patrick Kennedy, abortion, healthcare, pro-life, Bishop Tobin photo.jpgPatrick Kennedy started all this with a public denunciation almost 3 weeks ago of his church's position opposing socialized healthcare unless it specifically excluded abortion.

Now Kennedy is complaining that his bishop has dared to publicly respond to Kennedy's self-started firestorm. And although Kennedy's statement that he finds Bishop Tobin's public reproaches (here and here) "very disconcerting" may reveal a heart in turmoil, he's not showing it by his actions. Most recently Kennedy voted against the Stupak/Pitts pro-life amendment to the House healthcare bill....

Kennedy has considerable obstacles to surmount before agreeing with his church that abortion is wrong. He needs our prayers.

There is the Democrat Party and the Kennedy family's prominent standing. There is the constituency that elected him. There is Kennedy's social network of supporters, as evidenced in the following article. There is the Kennedy family, which is almost entirely and adamantly pro-abortion. WSJ described abortion as Kennedy "dogma."

Patrick Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, abortion, Bishop Tobin.jpgBut I think most importantly, there is Kennedy's father. To reject abortion would be to reject much of what Ted Kennedy stood for. It would be to call into question his father's eternal resting place, since the Catholic faith believes this is determined through a combination of faith and works.

Like I said, Kennedy has considerable obstacles.

From the Providence Journal, today:

U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy said he was "not going to dignify with an answer" Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin's public comments that Kennedy could not be a good Catholic and still support abortion rights. Kennedy called those comments "unfortunate," and said, "I'm not going to engage [in] this anymore."...

Kennedy said he also finds it "very disconcerting" that Bishop Tobin will not agree to keep private the discussion of Kennedy's faith, and that is why his scheduled meeting with the bishop Thursday has been postponed....

Kennedy said yesterday that he has a pastor, and "I have my sacraments through that pastor. I have sought the sacraments of reconciliation and Communion and all the rest." He said he preferred to keep his pastor's name private.

His comments were the latest in a series of sharp exchanges during the past few weeks between Kennedy and the bishop. They started when Kennedy attacked the Catholic Church's opposition to abortion-related aspects of the House bill to overhaul the country's health-care system.

Kennedy said, "I had initially agreed to a meeting with him [Thursday], provided we would not debate this in public in terms of my personal faith, but unfortunately, he hasn't kept to that agreement, and that's very disconcerting to me." But he also said he expects to meet with the bishop, if matters of faith will be kept "between us."

Michael Guilfoyle, spokesman for the diocese, said the meeting was postponed "by mutual agreement," but noted, "The bishop's schedule is still free on Thursday if the congressman would like to have that personal and pastoral meeting. The contents between any personal conversation between the bishop and the congressman could certainly remain private. However, the congressman has made this a very public debate, and the bishop is responding to his public comments."

Asked if he had been threatened with denial of Communion or other sanctions, Kennedy said, "Those are all a subject the bishop and I will discuss, and ideally, hopefully, we will keep it between us."

Guilfoyle was asked later whether Kennedy would be denied Communion or any other sacrament, should he attend church in Rhode Island. Guilfoyle referred the question to Bishop Tobin, who could not be reached Tuesday evening.

Kennedy took reporters' questions outside the Chafee Health Center in Providence after more than 100 volunteers from progressive groups and health-care organizations thanked him and U.S. Rep. James Langevin for their work on health-care reform, and their vote in favor of a House bill that passed Saturday night.

The bill contained an abortion provision that Kennedy had opposed when the amendment came up for a vote: Langevin had voted for it, after his and others' efforts at compromise language failed. The provision prohibits women insured under the public option, or who obtain federal health insurance tax credits, from purchasing abortion insurance. Kennedy said - and Langevin echoed Tuesday - that they did not want to see a single issue such as the abortion provision derail health-care reform.

Kennedy accused the church of "spinning" his position after he criticized the U.S. Catholic bishops because they said that they would oppose the health-care reform bills pending in Congress if they did not explicitly deny federal funding for abortion.

[HT: Curt Jester]


Comments:

Boo, hoo, hoo....


Kennedy: I made a public statement and HOW DARE Bishop Tobin respond in a public manner! I can say whatever I want to about my faith, however misleading and untrue, but HOW DARE Bishop Tobin set the record straight and defend Catholicism with Catholic teaching! HOW DARE, HOW DARE, HOW DARE HE!

Cry me a river, will ya?

Posted by: Kristen at November 11, 2009 8:31 AM


The rotten apple does not fall far from the tree that produced it.

yor bro ken

ps: Typical liberal response to being confronted with indisputable facts and an overwhelming refutation of their own emotinally laden tautologies which are no more than decreasing radius devolutions into to a dark abyss of despair and destruction. (Think of turd circling the drain in the toilet before it disappears from sight).

Posted by: kbhvac at November 11, 2009 8:39 AM


As my young children would whine in protest:

"He hit me back first."

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at November 11, 2009 8:42 AM


"Catholic's for Choice" must be furious. The Catechism Rocks!

Posted by: truthseeker at November 11, 2009 8:49 AM


time for the Kennedys to retire from Public Service.
We don't need or want them.

Posted by: Maria at November 11, 2009 9:24 AM


Quite often we can measure the depth of a Catholic's comprehension of Church teaching just by the words and phrases he selects in his argumentation. "My personal faith" (as opposed to "my faith" or "my Catholic faith") is one such clue that reveals the shallowness of Kennedy's catechesis.

Posted by: Cranky Catholic at November 11, 2009 9:45 AM


Kennedy said - and Langevin echoed Tuesday - that they did not want to see a single issue such as the abortion provision derail health-care reform.

Says all you need to know about the expediency with which they treat human life.

If single issues such as Federally subsidizing ending the life of human beings is not important enough to fully consider, and reject, then perhaps both Kennedy and Langevin need to look for a different line of work, and we Rhode Islanders should help them in that direction.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 11, 2009 10:08 AM


Michael Guilfoyle, spokesman for the diocese, said the meeting was postponed "by mutual agreement," but noted, "The bishop's schedule is still free on Thursday if the congressman would like to have that personal and pastoral meeting."

LOL. That's one of the best responses ever.

Posted by: Keli Hu at November 11, 2009 10:37 AM


The sad irony is that members of the Kennedy family are missing because of abortion. John F. Kennedy's mistress aborted his child months before he was assassinated with Kennedy's knowledge and blessing. JFK's own son impregnated Caroline Basset Kennedy when they were on the outs and she was not sure who the father was, Kennedy or another guy, so she also aborted. Who knows what other Kennedy family members were never allowed to draw their first breath? I think that family has made a deal with the devil...political power in exchange for their souls.

Posted by: Sydney M at November 11, 2009 11:39 AM


I don't see why anyone would have any desire to be part of that club, especially when he doesn't agree with them on some things they believe in. What's in it for him anyway?

Posted by: Hal at November 11, 2009 12:17 PM


Hal said: I don't see why anyone would have any desire to be part of that club...What's in it for him anyway?
----

Club? What's in it for him?

Maybe you should read Psalm 22 then Psalm 23.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 11, 2009 1:51 PM


Just to set this straight...... the Kennedys' misguided loyalty to Ted (set up as a deity above God) is idolatry.

Let there be no mistake........ real Catholics are allowed to honor(venerate), pray for, and request intercession-to-God from the deceased ancestors, but they are NOT ALLOWED to worship them as gods.

So...... the Kennedys who have ancestor worship going on with the abortion idolatry, are not practicing Catholics.

Posted by: pharmer at November 11, 2009 4:13 PM


*waaaahh!* My Bishop called me out for outright lying and misrepresenting the Catechism, something about which I know next to nothing! *waaahh!!* Why can't I have my cake and eat it, too?

Blech

Posted by: MaryRose at November 11, 2009 5:09 PM


Kennedy's are not used to being told off by their Bishops, I take it?

Tough.

Nice to see some Episcopal Spine.

Posted by: Louise at November 11, 2009 5:52 PM


Maybe you should read Psalm 22 then Psalm 23.
Posted by: Chris Arsenault at November 11, 2009 1:51 PM

I'll pass.

Posted by: Hal at November 11, 2009 8:18 PM


My pastor talked this past Sunday about the importance of Christians respecting authority - including spiritual authority. Reading the Bishop's letter made me think that the corollary to the teaching about respecting spiritual authority is that spiritual leaders need to properly exercise their spiritual authority and not remain silent in the face of injustice or immorality. I am very impressed by Bishop Tobin's willingness to properly exercise his spiritual authority for the sake of Kennedy and his flock in general. Great job!! Great, great job!!

Posted by: Valerie at November 11, 2009 9:56 PM


Louise I couldn't agree more.

However, I also think Kennedy's response is not surprising. He just vomiting out all the "pap" he's been fed by the liberal priests and Catholics in the church over the past 40 years, much of which has gone unchallenged.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy said he was "not going to dignify with an answer" Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin's public comments that Kennedy could not be a good Catholic and still support abortion rights. Kennedy called those comments "unfortunate," and said, "I'm not going to engage [in] this anymore."...

probably because there IS no way to defend oneself and his position is largely untenable.

Patrick Kennedy: you are a reprobate and not in union with the Catholic church.
Either go to confession and follow the church's teachings on abortion or LEAVE.

Posted by: angel at November 12, 2009 7:34 AM


Posted by: Valerie at November 11, 2009 9:56 PM

Excellent post.

yor bro ken

Posted by: kbhvac at November 12, 2009 9:01 AM


Hal: "I don't see why anyone would have any desire to be part of that club, especially when he doesn't agree with them on some things they believe in. What's in it for him anyway?"

Votes, if he can get people to buy the whole "my faith is extremely important to me" line.

Posted by: bmmg39 at November 12, 2009 4:56 PM