Patrick Kennedy Ignores Questions About Attacking Catholic Church on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Patrick Kennedy Ignores Questions About Attacking Catholic Church on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 1
, 2009

Providence, RI (LifeNews.com) — Patrick Kennedy, the pro-abortion Rhode Island congressman, ignored questions about his feud with the Catholic Church. Kennedy came under fire from his bishop for questioning the pro-life credentials of the church and disclosed a private letter he had received in 2007 urging him not to receive communion.

At a health care forum on Monday, his first public appearance since the scandal, Kennedy tackled questions about health care but avoided any on the incident.

Acknowledging the divide between himself and Bishop Thomas Tobin, Kennedy joked to reporters after the event, saying “I’m so glad that all of you are so interested in health care.”

In fact, the issue of abortion came up only once during the event — when pro-life advocate and perennial local government candidate Christopher Young accused Kennedy of supporting a health care bill that would fund abortions.

“You’re not Catholic if you force Catholics into funding abortion,” he said.

Young attempted to give Kennedy a pro-life DVD to watch, but was escorted from the event by police when he tried to do so.

Kennedy never responded to Young’s comments because a student grabbed the microphone to ask another health care question and the event continued on without incident.

Afterwards, Kennedy said he wasn’t threatened by Young and essentially called pro-life advocates extremists.

“I think that’s part of the whole process of politics these days,” Kennedy said, according to the Providence Journal. “I think at the end of the day, the American people are really exhausted by the debate by the extremes.”

Kennedy would also not talk about the differences between him and Bishop Tobin or his comments attacking the Church’s pro-life standing.

“These are personal issues of faith for me. I’m not going to indulge in this debate any more. It’s really, for me, about what my constituents are most interested in now, and that is getting a health-care bill passed that helps improve their lives," he said.

Kennedy had said last week that Tobin has asked him to stop receiving communion because of his pro-abortion views. However, Tobin says the demand was merely a voluntary request that was issued two years ago and meant to be private.

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