Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kennedy's Bishop Seeks Apology, Calls Him "Disappointment" on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 23, 2009

Washington, DC ( -- Congressman Patrick Kennedy's bishop didn't mince words in his response to remarks criticism the Catholic Church and saying its officials are not pro-life because they oppose the pro-abortion health care plans in Congress.

Bishop Thomas Tobin called on Kennedy to issue an apology and said he is a "disappointment" because of his pro-abortion voting record.

As reported today, Kennedy told CNS News that in an interview that the Catholic Church is fanning “the flames of dissent and discord” by taking the position.

“You mean to tell me the Catholic Church is going to be denying those people life saving health care? I thought they were pro-life?” he continued.

The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Providence, took exception to his comments in an email to

“Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s statement about the Catholic Church’s position on health care reform is irresponsible and ignorant of the facts," he said.

He continued: "But the Congressman is correct in stating that 'he can't understand.' He got that part right."

"As I wrote to Congressman Kennedy and other members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation recently, the Bishops of the United States are indeed in favor of comprehensive health care reform and have been for many years," the Catholic official said. "But we are adamantly opposed to health care legislation that threatens the life of unborn children, requires taxpayers to pay for abortion, rations health care, or compromises the conscience of individuals."

Kennedy has a 100% pro-abortion voting record, according to National Right to Life, and Bishop Tobin said that makes him an embarrassment to the Catholic Church.

"Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment to the Catholic Church and to the citizens of the State of Rhode Island,' Tobin said.

"I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide more effective and morally responsible leadership for our state," he concluded.

Kennedy's office has not responded to a request from for comment or a response to Tobin's remarks.

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