Roman Catholic bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence Rhode Island (pictured above) apparently takes the church's pro-life stance much more seriously than one of the congregants of his diocese, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI). Link
"Their feud over a proposal expanding the nation's health insurance system has escalated to the point where Tobin has publicly questioned Kennedy's faith and membership in the church and said he should not receive communion, the central sacrament in Catholic worship. It's an uncomfortable tangle of faith and politics for a congressman whose uncle John F. Kennedy was elected the first Roman Catholic president in 1960 after declaring to wary Protestants that he did not speak for his church on public matters, and that the church did not speak for him.
"I don't think there's any winner here," said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a church observer and senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. "I think this is the kind of thing that would be better discussed between a member of Congress and his bishop behind closed doors."
Kudos to Bishop Tobin for standing up for principles. Too many other bishops are far more concerned with their public image or what people will think about them than advocating an aggressive defense of life that is both innocent and completely defenseless. Let me try to head off a potential church vs. state criticism. If Bishop Tobin were to inject himself into a street paving matter or a bond issue, then I'm certain that his opinionswould not be very welcome. Given that the church has always spoken out on the moral issues of the day, then he is completely within his rights as an American to speak out against the shedding of innocent blood.