Catholic Bishop Thomas J Tobin of Rhode Island has barred US Congressman Patrick J Kennedy from communion. Indeed, the Bishop went even further: he accused Kennedy of “false advertising” for describing himself as a Catholic. Tobin added, “If you freely choose to be a Catholic, it means you believe certain things, you do certain things. …If you cannot do all that in conscience, then you should perhaps feel free to go somewhere else.” Is this Tobin’s private initiative or does he have the Pope’s approval to send people away from the Catholic Church?
I take it, that in Bishop Tobin’s book, his colleagues who have systematically lied, cheated and covered up sexual abuse by their priests are not false Catholics and do not have to go seek another Church.
Kennedy’s sin is his political stance against the legal prohibition of abortion. The issue has resurfaced in recent days, as the machinery of the US Catholic Church has lobbied with all its might to exclude abortion from the new health care bill. To that end, the Catholic Bishops were willing to let the very poor Americans, who do not have medical cover, continue to suffer.
Just in case you did not know on whose side the Catholic Church is.