The Catholic Church, which heavily influenced and even authored language of the anti-abortion language in the health care bill in the House, in clear violation of the constitution, has escalated its war over the separation of church and state by barring Rep. Patrick Kennedy from receiving communion by Catholic Bishop of Rhode Island Thomas Tobin.
Tobin’s barring of Kennedy was the result of Kennedy’s criticism of the church for threatening to oppose health care reform unless it contained tighter restrictions on abortion.
Now just how many things can you get wrong in an article? Well this reporter is going for a world record. Clear violation of the Constitution? Gee the part about religious group not being able to speak up about legislation in not in my copy of the Constitution. The author goes on to talk about Thomas Jefferson and his famous phrase. Gee I was also unaware that Jefferson’s letters were part of the Constitution. Though of course his letter to the Danbury Baptists on the wall between Church in state was about the government not being able to interfere with the churches, not vice versa. But liberals can’t be troubled by facts when popular myths are all they need.
The reporter also did not find out that the letter to Rep Kennedy by Bishop Tobin is actually sent in 2007, so it was not a result of the Healthcare Debate as it is being framed in so many stories. The Boston Globe reports:
Bishop Thomas Tobin divulged details of his confidential exchange with Kennedy after the Democratic lawmaker told The Providence Journal in a story published Sunday that Tobin had instructed him not to receive Communion. The two men have clashed repeatedly in the past few weeks over abortion.
Kennedy did not say where or how he received those instructions. He declined to say whether he has obeyed the bishop’s request.
“The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion,” Kennedy told the paper in an interview conducted Friday.
,,Tobin said in a statement Sunday that he “has never addressed matters relative to public officials receiving Holy Communion with pastors of the diocese.”
If Bishop Tobin had told his pastors not to give him Communion two years ago surely the story would have leaked out. So I wold say that Rep. Kennedy is not being honest about that part. Though if the Bishop did indeed write this letter in 2007 I wish that he would also have instructed his pastors about this.
It looks like Bishop Tobin was doing the same thing that Archbishop Joseph Naumann did in regard to Gov. Sebelius who was told not to present herself before Communion, but that priests were not instructed to deny Communion if she went forward.
Being only an armchair bishop I have wondered why if you instruct a person to not receive Communion why you wouldn’t instruct priests, deacons, and EMHC to not give Communion to those persons if they put themselves forward. Though maybe it is not necessary if the person does not go forward for Communion. Rep. Kennedy will not say whether he has followed the Bishop’s instructions or not.