Even as they agreed to postpone a planned face-to-face meeting that had been set for Thursday, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin turned up the heat Monday on U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy over his “rejection” of church teaching on abortion, calling on him to enter into a process of conversion and repentance.
In a letter to Kennedy posted Monday on the Web site of the Diocese of Providence’s weekly newspaper, the bishop disputes Kennedy’s assertion that his disagreement with the hierarchy “on some issues” including abortion did not make him any less of a Catholic.
“Well, in fact, Congressman, in a way it does,” the bishop said in a letter issued just two days after Kennedy was among a group of minority lawmakers who attempted to block tough new restrictions on abortion that were added Saturday to the House’s health-care reform legislation.
“Although I wouldn’t chose those particular words, when someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion,” the bishop declared.
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