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Kennedy raps Church stand on health-care reform; bishop fights back

Catholic World News - October 23, 2009

Congressman Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, has charged that the American bishops are provoking "dissent and discord" by opposing a health-care reform bill that would allow public subsidies for abortion coverage. "I can't understand for the life of me" how Church leaders could oppose the legislation, Kennedy said.

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, fired back that Kennedy's statement was "irresponsible and ignorant of the facts." He disclosed that the had written to Kennedy (and other members of the state's congressional delegation) to explain that the Church supported health-care reform, but would oppose any bill that " threatens the life of unborn children, requires taxpayers to pay for abortion, rations health care, or compromises the conscience of individuals."

"Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment to the Catholic Church and to the citizens of the State of Rhode Island," Bishop Tobin said. "I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments."

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  • Posted by: a son of Mary - Oct. 24, 2009 6:25 AM ET USA

    God save us from the Kennedys! Or perhaps more correctly, God save the souls of the Kennedys because they sure ain't helping themselves on earth! Bravo to Bishop Tobin for writing them with the facts and then blasting Paddy when he insulted the Bishop and the Church. Hey maybe Paddy and Co. can join the Anglicans? That'd be fair trade, eh?

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Oct. 24, 2009 12:00 AM ET USA

    Given the grand Catholic funeral his old man was sent off with, I can see why the kid is perplexed with the Church.

  • Posted by: unum - Oct. 23, 2009 10:53 PM ET USA

    The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but the tree may have had more finesse.

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 23, 2009 8:19 PM ET USA

    It must run in the family. He "...can't understand..." seems to be what Ted never understood too.

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