November 22nd, 2009
02:01 PM ET
5 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. jimmie castello

    the doctorines of Catholicism are not the by-laws of a country club. it's ideoologies are not to make you feel good...they are to make you think...about your motives...to instill a conscience to your actions...to consider a greater good than the good that will benefit our individual needs and desires.

    is this man for abortion because it will gain him more votes?
    the bishop isn't running for office...and neither is the Church.
    .
    we the people of this country have about as much separation of church and state as we can stand...we are militant, self-serving, and hateful..and hardly ever Trusting in God.

    November 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. tim kenney

    Please people. It's LOSE not LOOSE. You lose your mind, your pants are too loose.

    Why has 80% of America forgotten how to spell.?

    November 22, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. John F

    Why not wait until we find out if this is actually true before making this a podium for your long-held views–on both sides?

    November 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. bill

    Hey ICARE – Where is Jesus when women are being raped, and crack mom's are selling sex for drugs? Oh, wait, I know – Jesus is in your imagination!

    November 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Meka

    This Bishop, must be a Republician!

    November 22, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  6. Meredith Ladd

    He can always leave the church if he doen't beleive in her teachings.
    If he is complaining he shouldn't. Everyone knows the Church does
    not beleive in abortion . Rose must be turning over in her grave Isn't
    that the old saying??

    November 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. UR not God

    Thomas Tobin, you are not God. You don't any special relationship with god over your brothers in this world and you have no authority to deny a brother a Holy ritual which was established by Jesus Christ and not you or the catholic church. If you were a true Christian, you would let God do the Judging and your place is to communicate love and forgiveness to your brother. Stop making the body something that separates you from yourself who is your brother. The body is not real and has no value to God IMHO. Everyone deserves Love. You do not have authority to deny love, you only have illusions that let you think you do. Just like everyone else. Thanks.

    November 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Theresa

    Communion in the Catholic church is a privelege, not a right. Just like any "club" – if you don't wanna follow the rules, then you can't be in the club. What is so hard to understand about that?

    November 22, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  9. j

    Tell the Catholic Church to stick it. Their views are too parochial for the present day and time... at least 300 years worth.

    Talk about public funding... why is our government paying out tax dollars to fund religious charities and other religious organizations? That's not where I want my tax dollars to go.

    November 22, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  10. Mr. Head

    It is truly sad when the concept of seperation of church and state are being ignored by both sides

    November 22, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Gail Klink

    The Catholic church cannot deny communion to any believer, because it is not theirs. It is Christ's table, and all are invited.

    That is like a private club saying only their members in good stnding may salute the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Rep. Kennedy should go to another church and receive communion,one that doesn't hyjack God's sacrament.

    Why do some bishops think God can't sort out believers from non-believers without their help?

    November 22, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  12. Mark C

    *** 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 ***

    Well it doesn't sound like you'd make much of a Catholic either, since the Catholic Church DOES NOT make exceptions for rape or incest.

    November 22, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  13. L Brown

    I agree with GI Joe. Religion is the basis for 95% of the wars on Earth during the entire existence of Man. If you're going to make such a mess of society, you have to pay for it.

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  14. LIz Baechlin

    The bishop's office HAS commented and said that the bishop never gave any such instructions. You see CNN...there's this thing called "checking facts"...it goes like this.....

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Dan in FL

    Interesting that the Catholic Church should take such a tough stand against its members supporting rights for non-Catholics, yet for decades ignored the sexual abuses perpetrated by its own priests. The Church is apparently willing to use its influence to scuttle health care for everyone in order to force their beliefs on others. As the Church apparently sees it, once an unwanted child is born, that life is "in the hands of God" (i.e. is someone else's problem). Let's take away the tax exemption for all churches and use the money to pay for universal health care.

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. john

    Take away the their tax exemption! If they are meddling in politics, they should not be tax-exempt.

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. Death Panel Sarah

    Hey wagon....it is a 'church and state' matter when they try to push their values politically...
    What would you call it if they refused communion to you just because you were(are) retarded?

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    How many men who decry abortion have themselves gotten a women pregnant and gone on to become a dead beat dad not paying child support? A great many I imagine. Our courts are full of them.

    Go figure...

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. Theresa

    Hey GI Joe, I don't want MY tax dollars going to support murder. Simple as that. Should I stop paying MY taxes, because I disagree with how the government is spending it???

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. GREAT PRETENDER

    Hey Patches or Splash Jr. - quit pretending to be a Catholic at election time to get votes. The Catholic church granted your dishonorable dad a Catholic burial and you continue to disgrace the church. What a loser you are!!! Say Hi to your father in hell.

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. Mary Palmer

    I am appalled that the Catholic Church should use the kind of tactics they reportedly used towards Senator Kerry, Senator Ted Kennedy and
    now Senator Kennedy's son. As with Muslim nations, the church or
    mosque should not try to impose their views on others. If they were to
    refuse Communion to women who practice birth control, the majority of women would be banned! The separation of Church and State is a
    vital part of the freedom one shuld enjoy in a Democracy! By not allow-
    ing priests to marry, how many break a Catholic rule? By refusing to
    deal with priests who harm children and young people, they themselves break rules. As a practicing Catholic, I ask the Church to please clean up their own house. Thank You.

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. Joe

    I am fascinated by Bishop Tobin's sense of righteousness.

    In August 2009, a priest in Pawtucket resigned for sexual misconduct with a minor.

    According to news reports, Bishop Tobin was aware of the sexual misconduct by this priest with a minor.

    BISHOP TOBIN FAILED TO WARN THE PUBLIC OR PARISHIONERS ABOUT THIS PRIEST!

    The story of Rev. Kevin R. Fisette and Bishop Tobin can be found in several news accounts.

    I am not a fan of the Kennedy family, but is a vote in the House of Representatives a worse crime than a priest having sex with a minor?

    Help me understand how the cover-up of sexual misconduct is fine, but the voting record of a House member (who represents people of many faiths in his House District) is so despicable that he should be denied Communion.

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. little red

    the catholic church's policies are backwards and out of date, and they only pick certain issues to get all riled about. how many people do they give communion to that use birth control, or ate meat on a friday? the world will be better when this wretched institution falls by the wayside.

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Jesse

    Everyone assumes that all priest are perverts, molesting little boys, sitting on their high horse. No one has mentioned the teachers, nursing home nurses, fathers, mothers, uncles, and siblings who do the same thing everyday. Its not the Catholic Church which is corrupt, its human nature. Its in everybody, regardless what church you belong to, or any at all. I myself am Pro Life, but that is a choice that I have made. I do not force my beliefs on anyone. However, I do have a problem with where my tax dollars are spent, especially if it goes against my beliefs. People need to realize we are in this thing together, and its okay to disagree, but don't tear down someone's beliefs just because you dont agree. We should be beyond that.

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Tom in Wheaton, IL

    I guess the moderator likes ICARE. Like Sarah Palin, she is good for lowering the bar in the debate. Of course, I think this is all as silly as debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin (or a pin head).

    November 22, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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