Sunday, November 22, 2009

Patrick Kennedy Banned From Receiving Communion

Per FoxNews:

Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin has banned Rep. Patrick Kennedy from receiving Communion, the central sacrament of the church, in Rhode Island because of the congressman's support for abortion rights, Kennedy said in a newspaper interview published Sunday.

The decision by the outspoken prelate, reported on The Providence Journal's Web site, significantly escalates a bitter dispute between Tobin, an ultra orthodox bishop, and Kennedy, a son of the nation's most famous Roman Catholic family.

"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.

Kennedy said the bishop had explained the penalty by telling him "that I am not a good practicing Catholic because of the positions that I've taken as a public official," particularly on abortion.

In case you don't recall, Kennedy came out with a completely asinine statement that basically said that being a heretic and schismatic didn't make him any less of a Catholic. Bishop Tobin issued a response that was based in reason and simple logic. Of course, this guaranteed that Kennedy would completely reject everything His Excellency said.

Looks like this has finally come to a head. Even in reading the FoxNews report, though, it's amazing to see the complete lack of coherent thought on the side of the heterodox. Consider this gem:

Kennedy could appeal the decision to officials in the Vatican, but the hierarchy of the Catholic church is unlikely to overturn a bishop, said Michael Sean Winters, a church observer and author of "Left At the Altar: How Democrats Lost The Catholics And How Catholics Can Save The Democrats."

"It's really bad theology," said Winters, who opposes abortion. "You're turning the altar rail into a battle field, a political battlefield no less, and it does a disservice to the Eucharist."

No, Winters, the disservice to the Eucharist is the sacrilege that takes place when heretics and schismatics are allowed to approach the Body of Christ completely unrepentant, nay, defiant and obstinate in their sins.

Really, it all comes down to this exchange:

"While I greatly respect the Catholic Church and its leaders, like many Rhode Islanders, the fact that I disagree with the hierarchy of the church on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic," Kennedy wrote in a letter to Tobin, agreeing to a sitdown. "I embrace my faith which acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity."

"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," Tobin wrote.

You signed up for a kingdom, Patrick. Not a democracy. Come to repentance. Let go of your pride. Nobody will think less of you except a bunch of folks who want you to remain in your sins.

Here's my question, though. If we're going to go to war, why not just go with the outright excom?

1 comment:

Roisin said...

Every time I read something from Winters, I want to ask him (and probably Kennedy), "why exactly do you want to be Catholic?"

There's a similar article in the NCR today as well, stating that Tobin and others like him are turning the Eucharist into a political tool, which is outrageous.

Just today I had a friend try to one-up me with this "How come no bishop has publicly denied the sacraments to Scalia for his role in the death penalty? Or any other public Catholic official that participates in execution?"

Everyone seems to be missing the point...