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Bishop Tobin Publicly Calls Rep. Kennedy to ‘Conversion and Repentance’
Catholic World News ^ | 11/10/09

Posted on 11/10/2009 5:55:49 AM PST by marshmallow

By a mutual decision, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence and Representative Patrick Kennedy-- the son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy-- have postponed their meeting to discuss the Catholic congressman’s support of abortion. Over the weekend, the Rhode Island congressman sided with abortion advocates in voting against the Stupak amendment, which barred the use of federal funds from paying for most abortions in the House’s health care reform legislation.

Following the vote, Bishop Tobin issued a public letter to Representative Kennedy in which he ripped the congressman’s statement that “the fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.”

“That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true,” wrote Bishop Tobin in the letter, which will appear in the November 12 edition of his diocesan newspaper. “And it raises an important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic?”

The bishop continued:

[W]hen 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, their unity with the Church. This principle is based on the Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church and is made more explicit in recent documents …

But let’s get down to a more practical question; let’s approach it this way: What does it mean, really, to be a Catholic? After all, being a Catholic has to mean something, right?

Well, in simple terms – and here I refer only to those more visible, structural elements of Church membership – being a Catholic means that you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.

Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals, including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially?

In your letter you say that you “embrace your faith.” Terrific. But if you don’t fulfill the basic requirements of membership, what is it exactly that makes you a Catholic? Your baptism as an infant? Your family ties? Your cultural heritage?

The prelate concluded:

[I]n confronting your rejection of the Church’s teaching, we’re not dealing just with “an imperfect humanity” – as we do when we wrestle with sins such as anger, pride, greed, impurity or dishonesty. We all struggle with those things, and often fail.

Your rejection of the Church’s teaching on abortion falls into a different category – it’s a deliberate and obstinate act of the will; a conscious decision that you’ve re-affirmed on many occasions. 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.

Congressman Kennedy, I write these words not to embarrass you or to judge the state of your conscience or soul. That’s ultimately between you and God. But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance. It’s not too late for you to repair your relationship with the Church, redeem your public image, and emerge as an authentic “profile in courage,” especially by defending the sanctity of human life for all people, including unborn children. And if I can ever be of assistance as you travel the road of faith, I would be honored and happy to do so.

Bishop's letter in full; Dear Congressman Kennedy (Rhode Island Catholic)


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholic
I sometimes wonder what sort of a felony or atrocity the Kennedys would need to commit before the nitwits in Rhode Island and Massachusetts finally quit sending them to Washington. Killing unborn children obviously isn't an issue and neither is leaving young women to drown. The good voters of New England never seemed to bother much about either of these issues. Is there any intelligent life in the north east?

The younger Kennedy is an embarrassment even to the Kennedys and that's saying something. Aside from being a dim bulb, he never seems to know when to shut his yap. The bishop's words won't make the slightest impression on his dense cranium but they will cheer faithful Catholics and may possibly enlighten some of the confused hoi polloi.

1 posted on 11/10/2009 5:55:50 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

Related:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2382914/posts


2 posted on 11/10/2009 6:00:57 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: marshmallow

> Is there any intelligent life in the north east?

There is, but sadly it is in the minority.


3 posted on 11/10/2009 6:01:50 AM PST by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it.)
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To: marshmallow; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment

Obama: “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

4 posted on 11/10/2009 6:04:13 AM PST by narses ("These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.")
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To: marshmallow

When people like Kennedy defy Church teachings while still claiming to be “Catholic,” this type of public response is necessary on the part of more bishops. Kudos to this Bishop!


5 posted on 11/10/2009 6:11:19 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: marshmallow

I live in Massachusetts. Is there anything you’d like to say to me?


6 posted on 11/10/2009 6:18:09 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: marshmallow

Well, well, well. I wonder how big the check will be from the Kennedy family to shut this guy up? Or which archbishop, or member of the mafia, will be nominated to make a discreet call to the good father.

If only ALL Catholic clerics were this clear and concise on this issue (instead of the 20 pages of vague blather they usually issue) and applied it to ALL the phony Catholics in Congress, THEN we would be getting somewhere.

Good work padre.


7 posted on 11/10/2009 6:22:47 AM PST by Happyinmygarden (Yes, actually, I have pretty much seen and heard it all before...)
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To: trisham
I live in Massachusetts. Is there anything you’d like to say to me?

Yes.

My sincerest condolences.

8 posted on 11/10/2009 6:34:17 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow

How gracious of you.


9 posted on 11/10/2009 6:35:11 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham
Sorry.

I meant to say "Bravo Massachussets!!" for inflicting the Kennedys upon us.

My bad.

10 posted on 11/10/2009 6:41:23 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow

Thanks. I really appreciate that. Don’t bother to continue this “conversation”. I think I’ve heard enough.


11 posted on 11/10/2009 7:13:02 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham
Thanks. I really appreciate that. Don’t bother to continue this “conversation”. I think I’ve heard enough.

I'm baffled as to why you appear to be taking my comments about Massachusetts personally.

Does the widespread acclamation and adulation of the Kennedys in Massachusetts tell us nothing about that state? Does Teddy's uninterrupted tenure in the Senate in spite of numerous scandals and his unashamed support for abortion prohibit one from drawing conclusions about a state which supposedly has a significant "Catholic" population?

Do you think that the voting record of Massachusetts and Rhode Island with respect to the Kennedys is something of which those states should be proud?

The Kennedys are who they are but the real villains are the idiots who persistently vote for them and provide them with a national stage. They're in Washington only because your fellow New Englanders think they're doing a great job.

12 posted on 11/10/2009 8:10:00 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: trisham
I live in Massachusetts. Is there anything you’d like to say to me?

Did you ever vote for Kennedy? Any of them?

13 posted on 11/10/2009 8:13:26 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" - Job 13:15)
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To: Alex Murphy

No.


14 posted on 11/10/2009 8:15:45 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: marshmallow
Remember this?

Is there any intelligent life in the north east?

15 posted on 11/10/2009 8:17:19 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham
Remember this? Is there any intelligent life in the north east?

Yes.

Was that a little too much hyperbole early in the morning?

Hyperbole aside, it seems like a perfectly reasonable question of an area of the country which is a) heavily Catholic, at least nominally and b) so obstinate in its determination to allow the Kennedys to wreak havoc.

16 posted on 11/10/2009 8:22:08 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow

I have nothing further to say to you.


17 posted on 11/10/2009 8:24:25 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Alex Murphy
We can take a lesson from the early church. The emperor Valens ruled the eastern half of the Roman Empire in the AD 360s. He was a brutal man at a time of bitter political and religious turmoil, and he sought to destroy the rightful faith in Christ. Saint Basil the Great, then the bishop of Caesarea, confronted him face-to-face about his policies. ‘Never has anyone dared to speak to me with such freedom,’ Valens said. Basil replied, ‘Obviously you have never met a bishop before.’”

Keep in mind, one and all, that Bishop Thomas J. Tobin's great virtue is that he's really a Catholic bishop.

And Rep. Patrick Kennedy's glaring failing is that he's not Catholic enough.

18 posted on 11/10/2009 8:24:43 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("God bless the child who's got his own." Arthur Herzog Jr./Billie Holiday)
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To: trisham
I have nothing further to say to you.

Is it actually necessary for me to say that I do realize that not everyone in New England loves the Kennedys, in spite of their overwhelming support there?

Do I have to add a disclaimer so that north-eastern FReepers don't get mad at me?

19 posted on 11/10/2009 8:36:52 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
When one sees bishops like Tobin acting in such a manner it raises the obvious question; "where were O'Malley and Law when Teddy was running amok?"

It highlights the inaction of the more high profile prelates in that part of the world.

I doubt if Cardinal Sean is enjoying Tobin's assertiveness.

20 posted on 11/10/2009 8:43:00 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow

Do as you wish.


21 posted on 11/10/2009 8:53:52 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: marshmallow

You’re quite right about that.


22 posted on 11/10/2009 8:59:54 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops." St. John Chrysostom, Bishop)
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To: trisham
Wey-ell, hey-ell......ahh live in Gee-oh-jah!!

Ahh can't be knowin' what makes y'all mad up they-uh in Ninglind!!

Ah done told ya it weren't nuthin' p'snal! Ahh know y'all aint as smart as us folks down here in Dixie but that don't mean y'alls dumb o' nuthin'!!

23 posted on 11/10/2009 9:08:26 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
But your description of your relationship with the Church is now a matter of public record, and it needs to be challenged. I invite you, as your bishop and brother in Christ, to enter into a sincere process of discernment, conversion and repentance.

Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


24 posted on 11/10/2009 9:48:36 AM PST by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer
Wow. His Excellency is indeed a vertebrate bishop.

Too bad that his eloquence is wasted on Kennedy, who is stupid even for a notoriously dim-witted clan.

Hopefully it will impress local Catholics who might otherwise be fooled into thinking that you can act like Kennedy and still be Catholic . . . .

25 posted on 11/10/2009 11:45:13 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - (recess appointment))
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To: marshmallow

Now THAT is a Bishop!!!!


26 posted on 11/10/2009 12:19:42 PM PST by Juana la Loca
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To: AnAmericanMother
Too bad that his eloquence is wasted on Kennedy, who is stupid even for a notoriously dim-witted clan.

As you noted in your second comment, this is intended to impress local Catholics. It is also intended to set the bar higher for other bishops and, with a national audience, Catholics throughout the US.

27 posted on 11/10/2009 2:46:30 PM PST by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: wintertime

Here is an example of my response on the other thread. This is a bishop with spine.


28 posted on 11/10/2009 2:50:10 PM PST by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer
Yep, it's the necessary antidote to the scandal that these Catholics-in-name-only have been causing for years.

High time the bishops began to bish!

29 posted on 11/10/2009 5:03:21 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary - (recess appointment))
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To: marshmallow; trisham

...I live in Massachusetts. Is there anything you’d like to say to me?
Yes.
My sincerest condolences....

As one who lived for three years in Boston, LOL!!!


30 posted on 11/11/2009 5:17:29 AM PST by dangus (Nah, I'm not really Jim Thompson, but I play him on FR.)
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