November 22nd, 2009
02:01 PM ET
8 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

    Folks! Go google on LAZARUS PHENOMENON and you'll understand what God expects of you.

    The story is about two men that died and came back to tell the stories of what they saw in heaven and hell.

    After watching this video, you'll understand what is important and what is not important and not worth fighting for...

    November 22, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. disaster

    He's a VOLUNTARY member of the church...he needs to follow their guidelines. If he does not, he should leave it or they shold kick him out. It's really not more complicated than that.

    November 22, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. ICARE

    To Lynda,,,

    That is the reason the Protestant broke out of the Catholics. We wanted God and we didnt want man-rule religion.

    God bless the Catholic Chruch. I am sure there are some great decent Catholics.

    For Protestant, we have moved on to a newwer freedom of reading the Bible for ourselves and having a direct relationship with God.

    November 22, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Ramy

    My favourite part of the anti-religion lobby's discourse is how they continue to call religious people hypocrites, idiots, morons, and repulsive and so on and then call members of the Church hateful. I wonder whom they would hate if the Church were not around...

    November 22, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. woodtrnr

    I was raised Catholic and because of the oppression of thought, grossly elaborate masses (akin to gold and idol worship) hypocrisy and double standards that exist within not only the heirarchy but in the general catholic population coupled with a superiority complex that catholics seem to never let go of, I left decades ago. It's has been one of those decisions that although difficult at the time given how I was raised, I am really satisfied with. In addition I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to not be associated with the catholic religion. These reminders come along from news reports, criminal and civil suits and via catholics I come across in my life. They are a laughable bunch, holding onto some romantic image of themselves as a pure, superior group. Thank GOD I am not one of them.

    November 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. Dr.Mike

    well, churches of any denomination should not be involved in politics. However this is beyond the politics, this is about protecting the miracle of life. Couple of months ago they did first sonogram on my wife, we are pregnant with our first child, seeing the heart beat on sonogram. It got me thinking that day, how can somebody end a life inside the womb, how can a doctor who takes Hippocrates oath be part of the killing.

    Catholic church and clergy are not dictating the policies in this country, just protecting the miracle of life. Catholic clergy to protect life and believers have suffered greatly under oppressive regimes all over the world.

    You just do not hear about clergy from other denominations who have separated from the mother catholic church do the same, when the going gets tough, back to US.

    November 22, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. ICARE

    To Steven

    We need to think about prevention and adoption not abortion. If you dont want the kid, put it up for abortion the minute it is born.

    A catholic friend told me that because of abortion, there is less babies to adopt. So years ago, he was very lucky that they were able to adopt babies.

    November 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Mojo

    Strip this church of their non-tax status, and start taxing them since they've become a political entity,

    November 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. juge

    Religion is the breeder of hate for others. We all are OTHERS. I do not think G-d is happy with what he has wrought. Love and caring for ALL was probably what he wanted. No pre-requisites. Abortion – well you will never stop that – if not legal it will be done illegally and then you will have 2 dead. Recall what we had before Roe vs Wade. Choice would go under the heading of Love and Caring. The moneyed people would still be able to have a safe abortion but the poor will be dead in an alley. And Birth Control Pills and education could eliminate many needs for CHOICE. Certainly NOT abstinence or the Rhythm system. ROFL Now that is ignorance and for that NO COMMUNION. Such silly hypocrits.

    November 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. Katie

    It's pretty amazing that the Catholic church hates abortion, but they won't support contraception in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Especially in times when we are facing global climate change and food and water shortages, it seems more than irresponsible to procreate and procreate and procreate as the church advocates.

    I've never met anyone who says abortion itself is good; most people would advocate fewer abortions. To do this, contraception education needs to be a priority. How about being a part of the solution instead of a perpetual voice of dissidence, Church?

    November 22, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Brad

    Time to find an accepting church.

    November 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. Proud member of "Global Zero:

    Does the church deny communion to people that support WARS or the death penalty? I really don't know. I am just asking a question.

    November 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. dwayne cobb

    ICARE wake up. There is no god or devil.

    November 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. John S

    As a Catholic I believe in the dignity of every human person, born or unborn, innocent or guilty. The senseless killing of millions of unborn children shows how cruel and heartless our society has become.

    His enemies demonized Jesus for standing up for the truth, for the poor and defenseless, for those who have no voice of their own against the powerful, the rich, the selfish. Should we be surprised that his enemies demonize the one Church he founded, the Roman Catholic Church? The press, our liberal government, so-called pro-choice "Catholics" (you can't be both, you hypocrits) – these are the enemies of love and freedom, especially when they work so hard to justify the crime of abortion, which is just "murder" by another name.

    November 22, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Harry Pfeffer

    I am a practicing Roman Catholic educated in Catholic private schools. I am appalled at the interference in politics and the private lives of citizens undertaken by my own church. And now intimidation of an elected congressman. I thought the revelation of sexual abuse of children was the low point for my church. The vatican and it's minions have now stepped off the cliff. It is time to stand up and tell Benedict to shut up.

    November 22, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. TJB

    Wow, lots of Catholic bashing... Not sure you need to insult people for having a great relationship with God and their faith. Look, if you don't want to believe, that's up to you, but rediculing someone for having faith and being Catholic is just unnecessary and hurtful. In short, it shows a lack of maturity and understanding.

    That said, I'm not sure you can legislate morality either with respect to the abortion issue. Plus, the fact that the bishops chose to withhold something that is not theirs to give (i.e. a gift from God, not man) makes me angry. It's decisions like this that make the Catholic church misunderstood in the eyes of the public. The Catholic Church does great things for the poor, sick, and needy, but decisions like this make it look callous and arrogant.

    November 22, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. DC "Catholic"

    It is time for all of us who "grew up Catholic" and also are educated and enlightened to the causes of social justice to leave the U.S. Catholic Church. Good bye Catholic Church, you certainly drove me away from the flock with your right-wing political power games and your profoundly backwards positions on birth control, gay marriage, etc. You add to the suffering in the world, and I personally have had it with the right-wing U.S. Bishops now firmly in power. Best wishes to Patrick Kennedy. Tens of millions of Catholics like me have moved on and are finding our place in other churches or groups who believe that Christ has called us to action to make the world a better and more loving place. For you many Catholics on the fence, just go. Don't worry, there are many great communities of faith out there - religious and non-religious - and you will be amazed at their spirit of charity and giving. Ask yourself, do you really think the "spirit of Christ" dwells among these U.S. Bishops? Open your eyes & hearts and you will see that spirit resides in so many other places. The U.S. Catholic Bishops have reduced the Church to a simple formula fitting for sheep - you must come to our church every Sunday, give us money, think and vote the way we tell you (or at least pretend to), or otherwise we will condemn you and push you out. These are men of ignorance and arrogance, like pharisees that Christ would revolt against if he were here. Just say no to these powerful Bishops. Walk away from their man-made "church" and power-structure.

    November 22, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. David

    Don;t go to that church. It's that simple.

    November 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. BostonMichael

    The Bishop denies Patrick communion, but continue to give it tothe pedofile Priests. The Catholic church needs to be more concerned about living.

    November 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. Anonymous

    Beware right wing religious fanatics. The fiscal conservatives are deserting you as you poush them ouut of the Republican Party. The very shrewd Pope knows that you now need Catholics more than ever so he is stepping up his own

    November 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. Beth

    Congressman Patrick Kennedy should not refer himself as Catholic when he does not believe, practice, and support the church teaching that abortion is wrong. Killing innocent babies through abortion as a result of the women promiscous behavior. Pregnancy could have been prevented if women and men would not involved themselves in irresponsible sexual activities. These women were having fun during their sexual activities then they should burden the consequences of their risky behavior, except if the result is through rape, incest, or could result on life threat of the woman. So Congressman Kennedy stop calling your self Catholic.

    November 22, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. JinDC

    Kennedy should leave the catholic church. Everyone should. I was raised catholic. Four years of catholic high school (even my catholic parents knew better than expose me to the nuns!) and four years of catholic university (where I minored in Theology, actually). One day – an epiphany. The catholic church was the most intellectually and morally retarding force in my life. I left the church and never looked back. I take pride in very few things in my life, but leaving the catholic church tops the list.

    November 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. LG

    to clarify the cloud of confusion here.

    There are actually three states in the abortion battle

    1. Those who oppose abortion and feel that position should be imposed on everyone else.

    2. Those who feel abortion is a good.

    and finally,

    3. Those who do feel abortion is a personal matter that should not be controlled by the government.

    To remind folks fo the libertarian position. There are many things I may think are wrong but I prefer not to impose my beliefs on everyone else - including those who may believe the opposite.

    What ever happened to live and let live instead of forcing everyone to believe what I believe?

    The debate constantly tries to eliminate the third position by characterizing pro-choise as being pro-abortion.

    November 22, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. David from VA

    Get the church out of politics!! Agree, no more exemptions. I also agree, what about killing people (who are already here) in war? What a bunch of crap. I was raised Catholic, but then I got an education. It doesn't make me w/out a spirit or soul, just not a blind "follower." The priest who performed my father's memorial service was later discovered to be a child abuser, that creep. How dare the church do crap like this!

    November 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  25. Mark C

    Bunch of useless pedophiles. I guess they're worried that abortion is killing off their next generation of victims.

    The Catholic Church is against capital punishment as well, but I don't see them banning politicians who support it. Hypocrits.

    November 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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