November 22, 2009
Paper: Bishop bars Kennedy from communion
Posted: November 22nd, 2009 09:48 AM ET
Washington (CNN) – Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, A Rhode Island Democrat, said the Roman Catholic bishop of Providence has forbidden him from receiving communion due to his support for abortion rights, the Providence Journal reported on its Web site Sunday.
Kennedy said Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin "instructed me not to take communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me communion," the paper reported.
The report said a spokesman for Tobin declined to comment on whether the bishop told Kennedy not to receive communion. According to the report, the spokesman denied that Tobin ordered any priests to refuse Kennedy the fundamental Catholic sacrament.
The item was posted on the 46th anniversary of the assassination of Kennedy's uncle, John F. Kennedy, the nation's first Catholic president.
Patrick Kennedy recently opposed the strengthening of anti-abortion language in the House health care bill. He later supported the final version of the bill, which included tough language on the use of federal money for abortions.
Kennedy is the last member of his family serving in Congress after the death this year of his father, Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. The Kennedys have been the most prominent Catholic family in U.S. politics for the past 60 years.