Kennedy Will Meet With Bishop Tobin After Saying Catholic Church Not Pro-Life
by Steven Ertelt
November 2, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Congressman Patrick Kennedy says he will meet with his Catholic bishop after saying that the Catholic Church is not pro-life because it opposes the health care bills in Congress over their government funding of abortions. Kennedy said that in an interview last week and was quickly rebuked by Bishop Thomas Tobin.
Kennedy told CNS News in an interview that the Catholic Church is fanning the flames of dissent and discord by taking the position.
You mean to tell me the Catholic Church is going to be denying those people life saving health care? I thought they were pro-life? he said. "If the church is pro-life, then they ought to be for health care reform because its going to provide health care that are going to keep people alive."
Tobin called on Kennedy to issue an apology and said he is a "disappointment" because of his pro-abortion voting record.
Now, Kennedy has accepted an invitation from Tobin to discuss the issue of health care reform and abortion. An AP article indicates no date has been set for the meeting.
Kennedy told AP that he never meant to slight the Catholic Church and added that it has ever right to promote its pro-life teachings.
But, he said, the issue facing Congress is "access to health care and nothing else" — even though the bills in question would set up new programs by which abortions would be funded with government money.
He also told the Providence Journal newspaper that his disagreement with the hierarchy of the church on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.
Kennedy did not apologize in either interview but acknowledged that that the church has always stood for health-care reform.
Tobin spokesman Michael Guilfoyle said the bishop is looking forward to the meeting.
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