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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An Offer He Shouldn't Refuse

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (Teddy's kid and by consensus the dumbest Kennedy of them all) recently spoke out against the Stupak Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortions in the recently passed health care bill. Kennedy later issued a statement insisting: “the fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” To which the Bishop of Providence, Thomas Tobin, responded in an open letter to him: Oh yes it does.
[B]eing a Catholic (said the bishop) means that you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.

Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals, including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially?
As already noted, Patrick is a little slow so he may not know all the answers to His Grace's questions but the rest of us probably do. Bishop Tobin then delivers the one-two punch.
Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.
His Grace closes his missive offering to assist Patrick Kennedy as he "travel[s] the road of faith." Since it is generally agreed Kennedys need all the help they can get when on the road let us hope he accepts the Bishop's kind offer.

(h/t Creative Minority Report.)

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