Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quoteworthy - Bishop Tobin

Senator Patrick Kennedy (my comments bracketed in red):

"I can’t understand for the life of me how the Catholic Church could be against the biggest social justice issue of our time, where the very dignity of the human person  is being respected by the fact that we’re caring and giving health care to the human person--that right now we have 50 million people who are uninsured,” Kennedy told Catholic News Service [probably not CNS, but] in an article posted Thursday.
"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?” Kennedy added. “If the church is pro-life, then they ought to be for health care reform because it’s going to provide health care that are going to keep people alive  So this is an absolute red herring and I don’t think that it does anything but to fan the flames of dissent and discordand I don’t think it’s productive at all."
It's clear that Senator Kennedy does not consider the unborn to be persons.  The murder of innocents is actually the social justice issue of our time.  Murder of those ensouled by God at the moment of conception trumps that of someone who is sick and in need of health care funds.  Reform is needed, but it must be aligned with the dignity of all persons - born and unborn. The Catholic Church is objecting to funds going directly, or indirectly, towards the killing of these individuals, in most cases, because they are mere inconveniences. The Church will not engage in consequentialism, whereby she allows evil for the sake of good.  She is also trying to protect workers from being forced into engaging in something which they view as morally wrong. 

The senator's quote did not escape the attention of  his bishop - Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island - who didn't mince any words in his prompt  rebuke:

“Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s statement about the Catholic Church’s position on health care reform is irresponsible and ignorant of the facts. 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,” Tobin added.
Source: Providence bishop slams Rep. Kennedy (

As an aside, I think that the interview was done by CNSNews (Cybercase News Service) which is not the same as Catholic News Service - the reporting arm of the USCCB.   Both have the initials CNS and I think the article erred.  Here is video from CNSNews:

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!