Kennedy banned from Communion over abortion stance
A Roman Catholic bishop in the US has banned Patrick Kennedy from receiving Communion, the central sacrament of the Church, because of the congressman’s support for abortion rights, Mr Kennedy said in a newspaper interview published today.
The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion,” Mr Kennedy told the The Providence Journal in Rhode Island in an interview conducted on Friday.
Church law permits Bishop Tobin to ban Mr Kennedy from receiving Communion within the Diocese of Providence.
Mr Kennedy represents constituents from Rhode Island in Congress.
Mr Kennedy said the bishop had explained the penalty by telling him “that I am not a good practising Catholic because of the positions that I’ve taken as a public official,” particularly on abortion.
Mr Kennedy could appeal the decision to officials in the Vatican, but the hierarchy of the Catholic church is unlikely to overturn a bishop, said Michael Sean Winters, a church observer and author of 'Left At the Altar: How Democrats Lost The Catholics And How Catholics Can Save The Democrats'.
Mr. Kennedy had written “I embrace my faith which acknowledges the existence of an imperfect humanity.”
Bishop Tobin had responded to Kennedy by writing “Sorry, you can’t chalk it up to an ‘imperfect humanity‘. Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your Communion with the Church.”
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