Why Did Kennedy Want Communion Anyway? — The controversy involving Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Bishop Thomas Tobin who heads the diocese in which Kennedy lives raises the question as to why the Congressman would think the matter is important.
On Feb. 21, 2007, the Bishop told the Congressman he should not receive the sacrament of Holy Communion due to Kennedy’s political positions implicitly regarding abortion.
Kennedy revealed the action in an interview with The Providence Journal published Sunday describing it as a ban.
Bishop Tobin pointed out that it was a not a political but a pastoral action he took involving the Congressman and that he had not intended for it to be made public.
Catholic clergy generally don’t take much issue with politicians reluctant to pass laws turning women who have abortions into criminals. It’s when the politicians start trying to promote the act — calling it a “right”, funding it, distorting the motivations of opponents, giving abortionist privileges not available to real healers such as acting without parental consent or withholding parental notification — that the Church notes that a line has been crossed.
Kennedy has clearly crossed it as have many other politicians who call themselves Catholic and who seem offended at being forbidden the sacrament.
OTOH, if it’s hard for one to understand the teaching “Thou Shalt Not Kill” it’s probably impossible for one to understand transubstantiation.