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Friday, November 13, 2009

Patrick Kennedy clashes with outspoken RI bishop


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.

21 comments:

Tracy said...

I admire that the bishop stands up for his belief and to defend the defenseless. I do question why this discussion was not behind closed doors.

JD Curtis said...

I think that it' incumbent upon Kennedy to contact the bishop and schedule an appointment. We'll see.

Leo B. VadalĂ  said...

We don't know what has already gone on behind closed doors. It is truly a matter of church discipline, which according to the Matthew 18 formula, is first done privately between a few individuals, the circle of those involved is increased if there is no resolution or repentance, and which finally results in ex-communication if the person is obstinate and refuses to repent after many appeals. Unfortunately, in cases like this, it would have to become public sooner rather than later. Even assuming that PK is a person of genuine conscience and truly cares about being included in the community of the faith, he would be advised to abstain from communion even at the early stages of church discipline. Because he is a politician, this would become a matter of public debate almost immediately.

JD Curtis said...

There's a certain NE US (RC) senator, Leo, who I think was supposed to make an appt. with a Bishop, but didnt. It's my understnding that the bishop throws out that he wants to talk and then the senator is supposed to work something out with the bishop's receptionist and they arrange a meeting. Seems reasonable. Is that your take on it?

Tracy said...

Good point Leo, it may very well be that discussions have already taken place behind closed doors.

Reynold said...

Given that the church has always spoken out on the moral issues of the day,
Oh?

*cough*pedophile priests*cough*

then he is completely within his rights as an American to speak out against the shedding of innocent blood.
 
Except of course, when your "god" does it...

As an aside, Is the Catholic church a force for good?

For that matter, what about moral dilemmas like this?

I know what the Catholic church was doing at that time in history...

JD Curtis said...

Reynold, you're way off topic.

Reynold said...

You're talking about the Bishop who is a man of "principles" right? Because he's supposedly "pro-life"? The Catholic Church is one of tha LAST institutions of the planet that anyone should consider to be "pro-life" if one looks at there history.

Did you look at the debate link yet? That'll help explain what I mean.

In the meantime, here's some more pro-life activities of the church.


Can't get much more "pro-life" than ...suspend its social services to the poor, the homeless and others rather than provide employee benefits to same-sex married couples or allow them to adopt.!

JD Curtis said...

This would all be relevant if we were not discussing an institution that has moral absolutes. Duh.

Reynold said...

Like it or not, it is relevent; the catholic church is a branch of xianity, which does claim to have moral absolutes. Duh.

JD Curtis said...

Exactly Einstein. If they claim that homosexuality is a sin, then why should they be compelled to support same-sex marraiges?

Tracy said...

I think you've made your point JD-moral absolutes mean that you believe some things to be right or wrong and must act accordingly. The thing about pedofile preiests is a horrific tragedy; it makes me sad to say this, but we all know it - you look long & hard enough at any relgious group (Christian or otherwise) you WILL find morally reprehensible, contrary to what that religion teaches, things happening. I look at this as showing the truth that Christianity declares - that ALL humans are sinners and in desperate need of a savior.

Reynold said...

Exactly Einstein. If they claim that homosexuality is a sin, then why should they be compelled to support same-sex marraiges?
 
If they claim that homosexuality is a sin and they're against that, then why cover up pedophile priests, if they're "pro-life", why is their history so bloody, if they claim moral absolutes why are they such hypocrites? That's why I had all the links, was to show all this.

Do I have to use smaller words or something?

Reynold said...

Tracy
...you look long & hard enough at any relgious group (Christian or otherwise) you WILL find morally reprehensible, contrary to what that religion teaches, things happening. I look at this as showing the truth that Christianity declares - that ALL humans are sinners and in desperate need of a savior.
 
In the case of the history of the Catholic church, it's not a matter of "looking hard and long enough".

That stuff is easy to find and happens way too god-damned often in the church.

The only reason that it could be hard to find is the cover-ups the church officials, including Pope Ratty were involved in.

That says something more than just "we're all sinners".

Besides, isn't it true that in the xian mythology that one is supposed to become a "new creature" in Christ?

Reynold said...

The point of all this, is that you religous right types are constantly going on about the moral failings of "liberals", atheists, et al, yet when you finally get a taste of your own medicine we're supposed to treat you with kid gloves.

JD Curtis said...

OK Reynold. You seems to be a bit fixated on "pedophile priests". You have brought this up of couple of times now. Being "Catholic" or even "Christian" is not an overall panacea that prevents one from sinning or even commiting crimes. Anyone who would say that would be wrong. The sexual abuse of children is a societal problem not something confined to or even pervasive in the catholic church. As the first reports of this type of abuse came out, a study was commisssioned. Such institutions as John Jay College and Penn State University among others were consulted. The results were as follows.

Between 1.5% and 1.8% of priests were accused of abuse of this type.

Among protestant clergy, the figures range between between 2% and 3%.

Among school teachers the figure is about 5%.

Furthermore, this CBS news article makes mention of the 2002 Department of Education study (Shakeshaft PhD) which states that "“The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” Link

You shouldnt let your prejudices get in the way of facts.

Reynold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reynold said...

Didn't you look at who the Catholic League president is from your link? It's Bill Donohue, the same guy who wigged out over a cracker yet tried to downplay the pedophile priest problem.

Read it for yourself. The man is a bloody spin-doctor. I'm not going to trust anything he says about the pedophile priest problem...bugger that.


One difference between priests and schoolteachers though, is that the school unions don't try to cover them up. (Least not up here) Everyone knows about Ratzingers' orders dealing with pedophile priests.

I'm not claiming that xians are supposed to be perfect, but a simple look at the history and current actions of the Catholic hiearchy show that it's just bloody corrupt.

Where's the spirit of god in that nonesense? Would jesus have tried to cover something like that up?

JD Curtis said...

Insofar as any "cover up" why don't you take that up with catholics and post on their blogs?

Insofar as pedophile priests, I think that by now you would have cited statistical information that countered that which I just cited if you could have.

Since when are Penn State University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice considered Christian apologists?

Insofar as Donahue is considered, couldnt Meyers contain his social autism to merely writing critical attacks of Christianity? Of course not. I'm just waiting for him to flush a Koran down the toilet and put it on you-tube exclaiming "I hope that Allah has a life-vest".

Reynold said...

JD Curtis said...

Insofar as any "cover up" why don't you take that up with catholics and post on their blogs?
 
It's been proven to be as useless as talking to you. Besides, they've been exposed. I'm hoping that the law and the outrage of truly moral people will help.

Why do you have the words cover up in quotes? Do you have evidence which contradicts that shown in the relevent link I gave?

As for you, you were the one who got the ball rolling on this particular topic, about "pro-life" and morality.

I'm weird in that I don't consider the covering up of pedophilia to be pro-life! Maybe I'm wrong?

Insofar as pedophile priests, I think that by now you would have cited statistical information that countered that which I just cited if you could have.
 
How much would you accept?

By the way, you DO realize that the link that you gave about teachers was an article written by Catholic apologists right?

Tom Hoopes is executive editor of the National Catholic Register and, with his wife, April, is editorial director of Faith & Family magazine.

The other link was from the Catholic League itself, whose president, as Myers has documented tried to downplay the abuse in Ireland!

Not exactly an unbiased, outside reference, are they?


Besides, it's not just the number of abuse cases, it's the fact that the current pope tried to cover them up!


Since when are Penn State University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice considered Christian apologists?
 
They are people who know the law, and what constitutes breaking of it.

Insofar as Donahue is considered, couldnt Meyers contain his social autism to merely writing critical attacks of Christianity?
 
His social autism? Did you not even bother to read the links the man posted which led to your hero Donohue? Donohue was the one who was trying to downplay the Irish catholic abuse scandal, not Myers.

Donohue is the one with "social autism"

Of course not. I'm just waiting for him to flush a Koran down the toilet and put it on you-tube exclaiming "I hope that Allah has a life-vest".
 
When Myers "desecrated" the all-holy cracker, he did the same with the Koran, and one of Richard Dawkins books. Guess who did the most whining?

The Catholics. Specifically, Donohue.

Reynold said...

Something else: Do you have any evidence that that "outspoken" bishop ever spoke out against Pope ratty's decison to try and cover up the pedophilia scandal?