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Bishop Bars Kennedy from Communion Over Abortion Views

Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), was reportedly barred from receiving communion by Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin in 2007 due to Kennedy’s pro-choice position on abortion. Kennedy told the Providence Journal Friday that the “bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion.”

Bishop Tobin told the Providence Journal that “If [Kennedy] took it as an instruction, so be it, but it was really a request.” He also said that his “correspondence with [Kennedy] was nearly three years ago…[and] was intended to be personal and confidential and pastoral. It was never intended for the public domain.”

According to Irish Central, Kennedy wrote a letter to Tobin several years ago, in which he said that “the fact that I disagree with the hierarchy of the church on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic…I embrace my faith which acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity.” The bishop reportedly responded by writing, “Sorry, you can’t chalk it up to an ‘imperfect humanity.’ Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your Communion with the Church.”

Sources:

Providence Journal 11/23/09; Irish Central 11/23/09