..(Bishop Tobin) said no one knows how many bishops confidentially bring that teaching to individual Catholic officials. He added, finally, that he had never contemplated that his letter to Kennedy would become public.
What is the distinction, Tobin was asked, between what Kennedy recollected as an “instruction” not to take Communion and what the bishop considered a request. How is a Catholic to take such a suggestion, coming from a bishop, he was asked?
Tobin said he “presumed” that Kennedy had complied with the request and was not certain what he would have done if Kennedy continued to take the sacrament. “If I had found out that he was regularly violating that request, the next step might have been more direct. An instruction? A decree? I don’t know what.”
Kennedy has said that he has taken Communion, but he did not give any specifics.
Tobin was asked whether, by taking his firm public stands on abortion, he is seeking to advance his career within the church.
“No,” he replied. “Bishops who tend to be really outspoken don’t tend to get promoted …
“It’s simply one bishop — me — doing my job as best I can.”