Conservative Bishop Denies Kennedy His Holy Cracker*
The war of words between the Catholic bishop of Rhode Island and US Representative Patrick J. Kennedy escalated yesterday when Bishop Thomas J. Tobin criticized him for disclosing a confidential request the prelate made in 2007 to stop receiving Holy Communion because of his stand on moral issues.
Tobin said he was disappointed the congressman had told a newspaper that he had been forbidden from receiving communion in Rhode Island because of Kennedy’s support of abortion rights. The bishop also accused the son of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy of prolonging their public feud.
Tobin and Kennedy have been exchanging testy words for weeks. Earlier this month, the bishop, who was installed in 2005, disputed Kennedy’s contention that disagreeing with church hierarchy on matters like abortion rights makes him no less of a Catholic.
“Well in fact, congressman, in a way it does,’’ the bishop wrote in a commentary in the Rhode Island Catholic newspaper. “Your position is unacceptable to the church and scandalous to many of our members.’’
One of the bloggers over at Truthdig sounds the requisite note:
Hey, it’s their clubhouse and rules are rules—just as long as the church also denies communion to politicians who support the death penalty, cut poverty programs and covet thy neighbors’ wives.
Forgot to mention those who are gung-ho for perma-war!
* Kudos to Truthdig's blog for the headline "Give Kennedy His Cracker," presumably a reference to PZ Myers' "Cracker-gate" scandal.