November 22nd, 2009
02:01 PM ET
4 years ago

Bishop bars Patrick Kennedy from communion over abortion

Rep. Patrick Kennedy told a Rhode Island newspaper that a Catholic bishop has forbidden him from receiving communion due to Kennedy's support for abortion rights.
Rep. Patrick Kennedy told a Rhode Island newspaper that a Catholic bishop has forbidden him from receiving communion due to Kennedy's support for abortion rights.

Washington (CNN) - Rhode Island's top Roman Catholic leader has asked state congressman Patrick Kennedy to stop taking communion over his support for abortion rights, the diocese said Sunday.

In a statement issued Sunday, Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin said he told Kennedy in February 2007 that it would be "inappropriate" for him to continue receiving the fundamental Catholic sacrament, "and I now ask respectfully that you refrain from doing so."

Kennedy is the son of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy and scion of the most prominent Catholic family in modern U.S. politics.

The Roman Catholic church strongly opposes abortion, which has been legal across the United States since 1973. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops lobbied for tight restrictions on federal funding of abortion in the health-care bill the House of Representatives passed earlier this month.

Full story

Updated: 2:01 p.m.


Filed under: Abortion • Patrick Kennedy • Popular Posts
soundoff (327 Responses)
  1. ICARE

    I think if 99.9% of us, had to help perform an abortion and use the machine to see where the baby is at to kill it, we will all be against abortion. Can you imagine seeing a baby fleeing inside the mother's womb to escape being killed?

    The baby has a heartbeat and that is all that matters. Why do we let criminals live? They have heartbeats.

    November 22, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. a

    Its the same as telling him "if you support abortion rights, Santa Claus will not bring you any presents."

    November 22, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. Bob

    Hypocrites ...

    November 22, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Pushed away

    I was a catholic and spoke to 3 different priest about recieving communion as a freemasonand it ok with I recently went through the steps to recieve communion and at the end of the process I was informed that unless I give up being a mason(because they are against the church,and are trying to overthrow the the government) I would never be able to recieve communion.The church is very misinformed and I am happily not part of it.

    November 22, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. bill

    Hey, Patrick, come on over to my house. I'll share my wine and crackers with you!

    November 22, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. Tammy

    icare: how does God tell you it's wrong - through some old celibate MALE priest who may impregnate women or molest boys but will never get pregnant himself??!

    November 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. JR

    Yes, the church considers abortion a sin and only grants communion to those who repent from their sins, but Kennedy hasn't had an abortion, he's just not opposed to them. Is disagreeing with the church - philosophically and in thought - the brand of a sinner?

    November 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. ICARE

    To Duckie,

    Oh dont worry!! When the rapture takes place, all God-fearing and loving Christians will be taken out of earth.

    You all will be left with non-believers. You'll have earth all to yourself. So dont worry about the church!!

    You can all do whatever you want and no one will stop anyone of you. But beware, that is also the end of the world.

    November 22, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. FastEddie

    Church dogma is that abortion is murder. Fine. As far as I can tell, Mr. Kennedy hasn't had an abortion, nor has he recommended to any woman to have an abortion.

    What Mr. Kennedy has done is argue that women should be allowed access to abortion. Does merely making the wrong kind of argument now warrant punishment from the Church? Yes, and this is nothing new. Ask Mr. Luther, the Templars, Mr. Galileo, and any number of other people who have done nothing but publicly disagree with Rome.

    Organized religions cannot die fast enough for me.

    November 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. steven STEVENS

    and to those who say this is a private matter..they are wrong..when one is given and " if or else ultimatum that is black male...if you support abortion we will not permit you to receive our holiest sacrement.of your church....has nothing to do with morals

    November 22, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Texas Liberal

    Please start taxing all the religious organizations that influence the way their members vote. The deficit will be gone in no time.

    November 22, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Paul

    The purpose of the church is to prevent religious experience.

    November 22, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. LacrosseMom

    To Ryan,

    Sorry, sir, but this has ...... everything........ to do with the church attempting to influence politicians and their politics, by taking away the Eucharist which we, Catholics, hold as precious.

    The bishop, and others like him are clearly saying "do as we believe or lose your right to Holy Communion".

    I take great comfort in the Gospels, where Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites for forcing people to follow the law, while they themselves did as they pleased!

    All I have to say is, PEDOPHILE PRIESTS have been PROTECTED by these very bishops!

    NO ONE IS PERFECT, we are ALL sinners, here. Bishops are not gods, nor do they have the right to judge and condemn!

    November 22, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. ICARE

    To Jason B

    With Jesus, the standard is HIGH. He said to the prostitute 'Go and Sin no more'.

    Jesus EXPECTS the best from all of us and if we cant reach it, he's provided a way, repenteance and forgiveness....

    Jesus did not come to set the bar low, but to give us a mean to live above the level of our sins. Through Christ, we can ask for forgiveness and be made right with God.

    Yes, you can come as you are, and he will accept you and give you guidelines to be the best you can be.

    November 22, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. Steven A. Taylor

    I am a practicing Catholic. I have watched my church hide pedophiles and look the other way when their members support the death penalty and immoral wars. i will continue to receive communion and work toward equality of all people, gay or straight, black or white, sinners or saints, as long as I am able, fallible church or not.

    November 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. Tom

    this is why i have left the catholic church
    they hate gays
    and chase away more with thier plotical statements
    and how church and state is abused in our political arena

    November 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Tom in Wheaton, IL

    No more tax exemptions for ANY church. Why do we subsidize nonsense? It is quite clear that God has nothing to do with politics OR religion.

    November 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. terry,va

    About time that a priest has stepped up. Abortion is murder, plain and simple.

    November 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. FALSE NEWS...not really the news .. just propaganda from hate mongers to the no brainers

    The Catholic Bishops and Pat Robertson should agree to this as well; that the church like Islam is now a part of the United States poliical process....Politicians should NOW be afraid of whatEVER they do in their public or political life; like supporting the status quo in abortion laws could draw the ire of the likes of catholic bishops who will de-communion you...all in the same breath as the Islamic religion; it is tantamount to an Iraqi or Afghanistan politician getting killed or banned for entering the mosque for opposing Sharia law, by the Taliban; just another religious zealot...or a t e r r o r i s t fate!

    Mixing politics and church or the Islamic religion is a recipe for disaster!...and the catholic bishops like the Taliban are threading on this dangerous path!!!!

    November 22, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. steven STEVENS

    icare..and if you ever witnessed a back ally abortion you woul not want to prevent a woman from having a proper medical proceduar abortion in a micidal clinic...i guesss ou woul like to go back to the pre- roe vs. wade era

    November 22, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. ICARE

    To JR

    The church is against stealing. You are an individual in power. You vote to allow stealing. How is it right?

    There are certain things in your life that you must know what God expects of you. You need to listen to God and not men, political parties or power.

    It starts with knowing God and then everything will fall in place.

    November 22, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  22. NJ Mom

    There is separation of church and state in this country. Our country was founded on FREEDOM OF RELIGION. The 10 commandments have no place in our public, tax payer built buildings and spaces. There should be no prayer in public schools. Priests should not tell their parishioners how to vote. PS I am a Pro-Choice Catholic.

    November 22, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. JT in Fla

    I suppose now, that Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is off to molest a little boy! This idiot would probably like to start up the torture chambers of the Inquisition again. How disgusting!!

    November 22, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. AP in Illinois

    Now the Catholic Church is deciding which sinners it wants to demonize. And Patrick Kennedy for only his actions as a representative. Not even for anything he has really done himself. Every other sinner gets a pass. Apparently supporting abortion rights is worse than actually having an abortion. Or using birth control. Or any number of sins.

    How do you spell hypocrisy? C-A-T-H-O-L-I-C

    November 22, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  25. dwayne cobb

    I may not have a lot or be the most successful but I did it by myself without a god or bishop. I don't have to bow down to any god or bishop. Religion is for people who do not have enough confidence in themselves, bigots and racists. Forget the bishop.

    November 22, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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