Kennedy v Tobin

Bishop Thomas Tobin and RI Rep. Patrick Kennedy

Representative Patrick J. Kennedy may not be attending mass this next weekend.  His Bishop, Thomas J. Tobin, asked him not to receive holy communion since his actions and statements about abortion were not lining up with the Catholic belief, according to a New York Times article.

Kennedy is not enthused about this recent development in the twos public feud that has been going on for a couple of months now.  Kennedy has been attacking the Catholic Church’s position on the healthcare legislation, specifically its pro-life stance, and its threats to pull support for any bill that covers abortion.

Bishop Tobin has been an outspoken critic of Kennedy, saying he is concerned for his well being (Kennedy has been in and out of rehab for substance abuse, according to this article), and that Kennedy has been acting “erratically”.  The Bishop said that if this is how he is going to continue on, then he should look elsewhere to foster his faith.

I see the Bishop’s point.  If someone is a part of the church, but out speaking against it, and disowning a core belief of the church, that life is to be cherished, then he should look elsewhere to attend.  People may criticize the Bishop’s move, but I think it is good to note that he did not make this public, Kennedy did.  Bishop Tobin only speaks about his decision now because Kennedy made it public.

Kennedy obviously has an agenda here, and the Bishop is caught up in this public feud, trying to defend his church and its position.  The fact that this ugly feud is playing out before the publics eyes is unfortunate, but it is not only the fault of the Bishop, but Kennedy as well.

This is an interesting feud, and I will continue to watch it unfold.  What do you think?  Should Kennedy be speaking out so much against the church he claims to be apart of?  Should the church be allowed to basically disown him?  Tell me in the comments section.


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