Rep. Patrick Kennedy - "The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.”
I grabbed this article out of Catholicnewsagency.com. Bishop Thomas Tobin, Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, is a good and brave teacher of the faith. Here is his exchange with Representative Patrick Kennedy.
Providence, R.I., Nov 11, 2009 - Bishop of Providence Thomas J. Tobin has responded to Rep. Patrick Kennedy’s contention that his dissent from Catholic teaching on abortion does not make him “less of a Catholic.” Saying that such dissent renders the lawmaker's communion “flawed,” he urged Kennedy to become a “profile in courage” and to defend the unborn.
Rep. Kennedy (D-R.I.), the son of the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, had accused the Catholic Church of fanning “the flames of dissent and discord” because of the Catholic bishops’ opposition to proposed health care reform that does not explicitly prohibit funding of abortion.
Bishop Tobin responded critically to the congressman and asked for an apology.
A meeting had been scheduled between the prelate and the politician, but a Tuesday statement from the Diocese of Providence said it had been postponed.
“Bishop Tobin remains hopeful the he can meet with Congressman Kennedy in a personal and pastoral setting in the very near future,” the diocese reported.
Responding to Rep. Kennedy in his Nov. 12 diocesan newspaper column, Bishop Tobin said he usually does not speak about someone’s faith in a public setting but it has become an issue in his exchange with Rep. Kennedy.
The bishop focused on Rep. Kennedy’s comment in an Oct. 29 letter in which the Congressman said:
“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.”
Bishop Tobin said the statement could not go unchallenged because it raises an important question about what it means to be a Catholic.
Read the rest of the article HERE