Statement of Bishop Tobin in Response to Congressman Kennedy’s Attack on Catholic Church
Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I) told CNSNews.com that the Catholic Church is doing nothing but fanning “the flames of dissent and discord” by taking the position that it will oppose the health-care reform bill under consideration in Congress unless it is amended to explicitly prohibit funding of abortion.
(PROVIDENCE, R.I.)-The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, today issued the following statement in response to a Cybercast News Service article that reported:
“Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s statement about the Catholic Church’s position on health care reform is irresponsible and ignorant of the facts. But the Congressman is correct in stating that “he can’t understand.” He got that part right.
As I wrote to Congressman Kennedy and other members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation recently, the Bishops of the United States are indeed in favor of comprehensive health care reform and have been for many years. But we are adamantly opposed to health care legislation that threatens the life of unborn children, requires taxpayers to pay for abortion, rations health care, or compromises the conscience of individuals.
Congressman Kennedy continues to be a disappointment to the Catholic Church and to the citizens of the State of Rhode Island. I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide more effective and morally responsible leadership for our state.”
• Cybercast News Service Article and Video of Interview with Congressman Kennedy
• Bishop Tobin’s 9/21/09 Letter to Members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation Urging Passage of Morally Responsible Health Care Reform