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November 23rd, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Catholic Church denying communion to politicians who support abortion?

Should the Catholic Church deny communion to public figures, like Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who support abortion?
Should the Catholic Church deny communion to public figures, like Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who support abortion?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Catholic Church wants Democratic Congressman Patrick Kennedy to stop taking communion - due to his support of abortion rights.

The bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, says he told Kennedy in February 2007 that it would be "inappropriate" to keep receiving the Catholic sacrament.

That request is suddenly in the spotlight as the Church gets more involved in the health care debate, particularly regarding the issue of abortion. Kennedy - the nephew of this nation's only Catholic president, John F. Kennedy - revealed the bishop's request to a newspaper over the weekend.

Just last month - Kennedy had criticized the bishops for threatening to oppose the overall health care bill if it didn't include abortion restrictions. The Church called Kennedy's position "unacceptable" and "scandalous."

Rep. Kennedy is not the first Catholic politician to want it both ways. In 1984, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro came under attack from the church for not backing its position on abortion.

Kennedy's father - the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy - along with former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo - both Catholics - were also forced to defend their support of abortion rights.

At 30 percent, Catholics are the largest single religious group in Congress. Look for the Church to keep up the lobbying pressure on these lawmakers. When it comes to the health care bill - that could include not only abortion, but issues like immigrant rights and stem cell research.

Here’s my question to you: Should the Catholic Church deny communion to public figures who support abortion?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ron says:
Hi Jack, The Catholic Church attempts to assert too much influence in politics. It is not the place of the Catholic Church to judge any man for his or her political position on issues. Only God can do that. I wonder, how many of those Catholic priests were denied sacrament after they were accused of molesting altar boys. The abortion policy aside, the Catholic Church needs to clean the skeletons out of its own closet before they start judging others.

Scott from New York says:
Of course the Church should be able to deny them communion. Politicians like Kennedy and Pelosi are more than happy to tout their Catholicism when it suits them, but membership in the Church brings responsibilities as well as benefits, and the Church has made its position on the responsibilities with regard to abortion of politicians who call themselves Catholic quite clear. If they choose to ignore the membership rules, then why should they get the benefits of membership?

Tyler says:
When a church or any tax exempt entity gets involved in influencing a political debate or policy, they are no longer acting as a church but as a political lobby. That should be grounds to cancel their tax exempt status. The precedent was set 30 years ago when the Sierra Club lost its tax exempt status for lobbying for better protection of this nation’s natural resources.

Keith from Ft. Irwin, California says:
Why not? This isn't the church influencing public policy, but the church influencing its members. These lawmakers are free to leave the church any time they want, and I'm a little stumped as to why they would wish to be members of an organization whose core values they don't share anyway! I'm not Catholic and never have been, but I fully support the church’s right to teach and practice what they believe.

John from Canada says:
Mr. Cafferty, My otherwise very devout Irish Roman Catholic grandmother used to say that bishops were the work of the Devil. Lately I have begun to think she had a point!


Filed under: Abortion • Religion
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Russ in PA

    How funny, I love it. Oh, and why isn't the Church denying communion to those politicians that support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Or are those "just" wars?

    November 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  2. Mary the Cradle Catholic

    So does the church want to lose another 50% of its membership?

    November 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  3. Albert K., from Los Angeles

    No Jack, what ever happen to old time religion when pursuation was achieved by example and never by force? This is a free country and Bishop Tobin should be investigated for attempting to influence an elected official. Freedom of religion would not be a defense for bribery by offers of cash and it should not be a defense for offers or denials of salvation, or as Bishop Tobin said, "spiritual well-being."

    November 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  4. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    Sure they should, that's their right. Abortion goes against everything the Catholic church stands for. The bible is going to be rewritten to accomodate what some deem acceptable.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  5. pat

    no .I am catholic and I don't approve of abotion however I believe in the seperation of church and state. that is why we are in a religious war in the middleeast .
    Furthermore where do these priests get off denying communion to politicians when pedofile priests are allowed to hand out communion on a daily basis.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  6. cagedspirit

    Absolutely not. Would Jesus have said, "This is my body, eat of it... unless you support abortion."? He did not teach his disciples to discriminate.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  7. Bill Davis

    So what? The Catholic Church is just a big cult anyway. The Kennedy family has suffered far worse than the Catholic Church can dish out.

    Bill D
    Champaign, IL

    November 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  8. Jimmy from Houston, TX

    Why would anyone pro abortion even claim to be Catholic? Religion is not something you cherry pick what you want to follow and what you don't. If you are pro abortion, you are NOT catholic, period.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  9. Albert K., from Los Angeles

    No Jack, what ever happen to old time religion when pursuation was achieved by example and never by force? This is a free country and Bishop Tobin should be investigated for attempting to influence an official in the duty of representating his constitutients. Freedom of religion would not be a defense for bribery by offers of cash and it should not be a defense for offers or denials of salvation. Consider there are six catholics on the nine menber Supreme Court - scary!

    November 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  10. Heather

    Churches have tax exempt status which obliges them to not participate in politics. They are self governing and can deny any of their members communion or other rites and services in accordance with their rules and customs. However, their non-involvement in politics demands that they maintain a certain level of privacy, that they do not use denying someone communion because of their support for a legal, medical procedure like abortion, as a platform for making a political statement. Fairness demands that they treat everyone who objects to abortion the same. In this case, I would expect the Catholic Church to ban everyone who supports abortion from taking communion. Who told the media that Mr. Kennedy was denied the rite of communion?

    November 23, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  11. diridi

    when church and state are different...why this nonsense....in governmental affairs....is it lobbying?????

    November 23, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  12. Burt, Sun Lakes, Az

    What ever happened to the separation of church and state in the constitution. This is a clear cut case of trying to influence an elected offical. Time to take away their tax exempt status. I bet that would change their tune.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  13. Tom in Atlanta

    The Catholic church should totally be able to decide what it does or does not do with regard to its members.

    Just like we as a society should be able to decide which religions are trying to interfere with the state. Let them pay TAXES and then they can influence politics all they want.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  14. Charles, Lansing, MI

    It is none of my business what the catholic church does with its members. By the same token it is none of the catholic church's business what a woman does with her body. When faith intereferes with freedom you end up with the same problems that exist in the middle east and what existed in the Holy Roman Empire. The countries of Europe learned from that period in history. It is unfortunate no one here ever learns from history.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  15. Gail, Plano,Texas

    I wonder, Jack if the Catholic church denied those priests who were molesting boys communion! What hypocrisy! In that institution, being able to think and have opinions, to use your intelligence, is a sin. Catholism has become a joke!

    November 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  16. Jennifer

    If they want to get involve in politics, they should give up their tax exempt status. The US has a serious budget deficit, and we are fighting a religious was in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, we cannot provide health care for our poorest citizens.

    The Catholic Church needs to spend more time focusing on resolving their own internal problems.
    1. For years, priests who have been child molesters have not only taken communion but have given communion to church members, and they were protected by the church.
    2. In South America, the Church takes money from and protect drug dealers–hand them over to US authorities
    3. The poverty in Catholic South America is so great that its citizens flee illegally to the US, while the church takes donation/ contributions (money) from these people–money they can hardly afford
    4. When these illegals arrive in the US, again, the Church gets politically vocal in their favor–encouraging them to become and remain breakers of US laws.

    My question to the church. How do they plan to resolve the four issues outlined above. We cannot invoke God's name when it suits us and then forget him when he should be in the middle of resolving issues.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  17. george charles paree

    Communion is for all people who have thought about God and there relation to him asked his forgiveness Peter had people die at his shadow not because he comdemed them because they six without remorse The telling you you cant have communion means nothing and to use his power to stop another humanbeing form communion is such a sin

    November 23, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  18. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Hmmm, what was that I heard about seperating church and state? What's next? seperating pedofile clergy from the church too?

    November 23, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  19. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    I am Catholic and consider myself a 'moral' individual, and believe abortion is an unnecessary tragedy, (with few exceptions.) My kids were raised to share that belief. But, I also support the 'political' right of every other American to reach his or her own conclusion. Politicians who support these rights are simply doing their jobs. They shouldn't face sanctions for separating 'moral' and 'political' choice, which after all, is what the First Amendment was designed to do.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    November 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  20. Bert

    The catholic church shoudn't be denying anyone communion.
    They hide there pedophile priests and pay off the victims.Who do they think they are?
    I'am a catholic and these priests and bishops are a disgrace.They have gotten involved in politics and they should stay out of it.
    They are as corrupt as our govt is!

    November 23, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  21. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Absolutely not, especially because one's opinion on Roe v. Wade has nothing to do with its legality or its constitutionality. State abortion laws (in most cases) were found unconstitutional – and with good reason – so there was no law legalizing abortion. Until someone proposes one, there is no reason to deny Communion to any Catholic politician over this issue (except the Bishop's ego).

    November 23, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  22. southerncousin

    Only the liberals would worry about this. Why is no one paying heed to the tenets of Islam. Kill and destroy all non-belivers, violent religion, etc. That is okay for the politcally correct libs, but let the Roman Cathollic church, discipline a member and the libs, particularly one of the Kennedy's and the libs are all bent out of shape. I am sure that one of arrogan bright members of the dope smokers party of choice will soon sponsor legislation to put the Roman Catholic church in America under government control or at the very least bring an anti-trust investigation. It is the liberal way.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  23. Allen L Wenger

    I don't think it is appropriate for the church to deny communion to public officials who don't agree with the church's position on abortion. There are about 50% of Catholics that don't agree with the church's position, but they receive communion. This is an attempt by the church to turn the U.S. into a Theocracy. The U.S. was founded by people who did not want the church, any church, setting government policy.

    Mountain Home ID

    November 23, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  24. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    This decision by an organized religion signals all that is wrong with ideological based organizations, including political parties.

    These organizations build the walls of contempt and the absolute. They say if you don't think like us, if you don't act like us, we'll kick you out.

    The irony is, the walls can never come down and these organizations will remain morally weak if we don't learn that it is our differences that make us stronger. And it is our coming together to share our pain, our suffering, our frailties, that will knock down these walls and create a city of the human where all have freedom.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  25. Joan B

    That's the Catholic's Church's business. Every adult and child at the age of 16 should have to watch a sonogram abortion of a 8, 10, 12 WEEK OLD baby and that will help them understand "life". to have to say "we are FOR LIFE" is so sad.
    We have become a sick society – and to try and set ourselves up as better than other Countries because of "humane" issues is embarrasing.
    Joan B
    Mn

    November 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  26. Independent Joe

    Jack,

    Why not!

    Independent Joe (Mn)

    November 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  27. Der Q.......... From Germany

    THE Catholic Church denying Communion To Anyone.... " REALLY "
    For Any Reason......... Is a Very Confusing and Sad Thing for Me to Hear........ Getting Anyone To come to Church....... After All that has Happened in and Around The Catholic Church in the Recent Years.... and in Todays Times..... is Nothing Short of A Wonder!!!!!!!!!! So For the Church to Deny, Refuse, or Even Suggest that for whatever
    Reason....They will Not give Communtion To Anyone..... is like I said Confusing and Sad!!!!!!!!!!!!! Them I Recommend The Church Close there Doors.......... What does the Book say...... He without Sin!!!!!!!!!!!

    Der Q
    From Germany

    November 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  28. dick from indiana

    Yes this is a good first step. Then they should all wear a scarlet "A" on their chest and be burned at the stake if they are witches. We should have a "abortion supporter" list like our "sex-offender" list. PA's (pro abortion) should not be allowed within 1000 feet of schools or hospitals or any place where there are children or pregnant women or women who might become pregnant or have been pregnant or anyone whose mother was once pregnant.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  29. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    This is a prime example of why our Founding Fathers rightly insisted on the separation of Church and State. If the Congress member had buckled to pressure from the Catholic bishops then he would not have been doing the job that ALL his constituants deserve. Any attempt to legislate morals especially when it intersects with health care is something we should be careful of. The beauty of our system is found in the diversity of opinions within it. I applaud the moral courage it took to stand up for that diversity.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  30. Eric R

    No, that is between the person and God. I was under the impression that God loved everyone despite certain view points.

    Eric R.
    Towson, MD

    November 23, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  31. CurtJ

    Separation of Church and State. If the church starts interfering with our government, their tax exempt status must be revoked. I'm sickened by the way our politicians suck up to the so called christians who are themselves bigotted, and hypocritical, who use religion of no, don't do that, or you'll be forever damned. All the while, they're pedophiles and or closet gays, damning everyone else for doing the same ethically and legally corrupt things they and their politicians preach against, but are doing it behind locked doors.
    Keep their religion out of Congress and the White House and in the churches where it belongs. Do it one better and start enforcing the laws against the rampant Collusion and Conflict of Interest by our politicians and officials in the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of our government. That will cut down on the sweetheart deals, no bid contracts and the selling out of Americas financial and military security. It's as clear as Black and White! Start prosecuting or maybe it's time for another revolution to rid ourselves of the corrupt Parasites!

    November 23, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  32. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    This is a moral issue between the Church and it's parisioners, not a political issue. No doubt there will be much liberal whining about separation of church and state. Kennedy can vote however his conscience allows. However the Church is in it's rights to withhold communinion to someone enabling abortion, which is murder in the Church's eyes. Far too many so called Catholic politicaians vote in favor of abortion then act like good Catholics in the pews on Sunday. Time to pay the piper.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  33. Brad

    Didn't John F. Kennedy already address this issue? I think he said something to the effect that while he lived his personal life as a Catholic, he couldn't impose Catholic doctrine on the entire diverse population that didn't necessarily share his religious beliefs.

    Because the country is full of different religions, you need to govern in a secular way. That's the basis of, and the reason for, separation of church and state.

    Brad in Reno

    November 23, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  34. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    No. Priests can't deny Communion to anyone, & that's that. Wanting everyone to be able to have any legal medical procedure isn't wrong; it isn't a mortal, (breaking one of the 10 Commandments), , or even a venial sin. A person who has committed a mortal sin may still receive Communion, & no priest can deny them the Sacrament. It's betwen the sinner, & his/her conscience. Divorce IS a mortal sin, yet how many divorced Catholics go on to receive the sacrament of Matrimony again? People who fight for our rights, & health shouldn't be scorned, they should be commended for taking such an admirable stand.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  35. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Politicians are supposed to represent all of their constituants, and therefore take public positions that may differ somewhat from their personal beliefs. The church should not dish out punishment for situations like that........they should trust that a person's religious belief is in line with the church if they continue to worship there. This smacks of the church getting too involved in politics.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  36. Melissa

    Should they? No. Can they? Yes. Its part of their religion (because they like to ignore the parts that disagree with this stance). Its just one more sign that Christianity has outlived its usefulness.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  37. Marry

    Ah – religion! With Catholics or any other – it is all about controlling the people (esp. woman). Since they do not support family planning (in any sensible way) they are just as guilty of the despair that goes with abortion as they are for many deathly diseases (aids, etc.). So, think for yourselves! You might come up with more responsible and humane solutions.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  38. Scott - San Diego, CA

    Yes – Abortion goes against the religious beliefs of Catholics. How can these politicians even claim to be Catholic, when they want the bible rewritten to suit their views? Sorry, but you don't get to pick and choose which sections of the bible you want to follow.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  39. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    Ultimately, it is up to the church to determine their role in politics. Ideally, they should avoid politics altogether. However, if they are prepared to have their tax-exempt status revoked, then they are free to be as political as they like.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  40. jeff in hawaii

    Jack,

    No. If this bunch of law evading pedophiles wants to deny communion to politicians who disagree with their views, or use their influence to sway political debate, they can start by giving up their tax exempt status.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  41. Conor in Chicago

    If they do they should lose their tax exempt status immediately as that is a political stunt, a political calculation, and a political message it is sending from the pulpit.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  42. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Let the bishop, the Pope or a Cardinal make any threats they wish against Kennedy. The church is loosing members because they do not know how to relate to Catholics of the 21st century. Only a small percentage of Catholics are as strict as the Pope and his mighty band of church hierarchy demands them to be.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  43. Linda - Muncie, IN

    The Catholic Church respects human life from conception to the grave. In order to remain in full communion with the Church, each Catholic must live according to the 'rules' . It dosn't matter if you are a public figure or a nobody. If you support abortion, your parish priest may deny you communion. If you don't like that, maybe you should find another church.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  44. Lou from North Carolina

    I am Catholic and I am a female. When I heard that the bishop told him that he could not take communion and support abortion, I decided that I would not take communion because I support abortion nor will I go to confession. Anyone asks......I have a reason. I am their organist. Maybe they will throw me out and I will have my Saturday nights and Sundays free. Jack, you say he is a "public figure" and that should mean something different. You should be able to be a public figure (a Congressman) and vote your beliefs without the church having anything to say about it.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  45. Bob Louisville

    If the Catholic Church denied communion to every Catholic who in fact approves of abortion in some circumstances, the Catholic churches would be closing down at a faster rate than they are presently closing.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  46. Ro from Ohio

    The Catholic Church is definately interferring with public policy, when it tries to promote it's desires, by inflicting a "Penance" on a public and governing politition in the Bishop's district. Bishop Tobin's punishment of Patrick Kennedy is both irrational and illegal behavior. He is inserting himself into our governmental decisions by publicly denying Kennedy Holy Communion and hoping that this denial will make Kennedy do as the Bishop wants ! I think perhaps it's time to rethink the church's exemption of paying any and all taxes.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  47. Richard Sternagel

    The Catholic Church seems to have forgotten some of Christ teachings:"Judge Not Lest You Be Judged."

    November 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  48. Al - Syracuse, NY

    The Catholic Church also officially opposes condoms, the death penalty and wars. Yes, even Iraq and Afghanistan. So they must be denying communion to public figures who support those things as well, right? How about public figures who've admitted to adultery? Nope, it's just abortion.

    It's called being a cafeteria Catholic, Jack. You choose what you like and leave out what you don't like. This situation makes it clear that even bishops can be of the cafeteria sort.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  49. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,the church's stand on abortion has never been a secret,the church should deny communion to everyone who supports abortion,not just public figures.I guess these people could become athiest but it's rough, not having any holidays!

    November 23, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  50. Bill in Michigan

    This whole issue epitomizes the need to enforce the separation of Church and State. The Catholic Church is clearly overstepping its bounds by attempting to use the Holy Sacrament as an extortion device to influence political policy and decision making. Their actions seem positively Medieval.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  51. Tom in Tx.

    The only thing the Catholic church should do is to get denied tax exempt status for jumping into politics -but that won't happen.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  52. A. Smith, Oregon

    Jack, this is a glaring example of why the Catholic Churches with their millions of tax free acres of property, should have their tax exemption status removed.

    Direct politicization is a direct violation of the Catholic Churches tax exemption status and the US Supreme Court should seriously review the tax-exemption status on all religious institutions which have clearly crossed the line into using direct politicization to influence America's political outcomes.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  53. Ron

    OK ! I am a Catholic and this is obviously a choice that the Church should make. However, I wonder if they are willing to apply the same standards to all the Catholic Priests caught up in all those Child Sex Abuse Cases. As a Catholic , although I do not personally believe in Abortion ; I believe that a woman should be making the choice along with her Doctor. Let God judge her when the time comes ! The Church does not always seem to be evenhanded in these matters.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  54. Peg from NY

    Nope! They do ALOT of things they should not do. That is why there are so many Non Practicing Catholics. Hypocricy is The Catholic Religion's motto. A non practicing Catholic and proud to be that way.

    Peg from New York

    November 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  55. Melissa M

    Like most religions, Catholicism is not a pick-and-choose religion. You either believe in the teachings or you don't. If you don't believe in its teachings, and you build a career teaching people that they have a right to ignore one of the fundamental teachings of that church (thou shalt not kill), then being denied communion is the price you pay. Catholics are not allowed to take communion until they confess their sins and repent. Those are the rules.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  56. James Lenon - Chuckey TN

    The churches can deny sacraments to any member they choose. However, I am not a member and I vehemently object to any church meddling in government.

    If the Roman Catholic church or any other denomination, is lobbying Congress, taking out media ads to influence political decisions, or recruiting its membership to become involved in lobbying Congress; then it is time to tax those churches for the political entities that they have become.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  57. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    I'm sorry, but a church that continually condones priest atrocities on young boys by the very fact that they don't excommunicate them, has no right to deny anybody anything. But then, I always knew that the Catholic Church was not a religion, but a dictatorship.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  58. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    Absolutely. The teachings of the church are very clear and unambiguous. If someone does not agree with church dogma they are free to leave. There is a plethora of Protestant churches that will accept wayward Catholics with open arms.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  59. Thomas in Tx.

    The one thing that should happen is for the Catholic church to be denied tax exempt status for its lobbying-but that won't take place.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  60. David in San Diego

    Let's stick rigorously to the idea that any religion is free to allow/deny/require church-related practices by its members as it sees fit. No one but a Catholic should offer advice or make demands about this topic, and only within proper channels. Of course, the flip side of that is that religions and their representatives should STAY THE HELL (no pun intended) OUT OF PUBLIC POLICY.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  61. Tony

    The Catholic Church is ridiculous!! This doesn't surprise me. They lost all credibility with me after all those child molestations they systematically tried to hide!!

    November 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  62. Allen from Illinois

    .We are NOT A Catholic nation. They have NO right to impose their particular view of faith on me, my family, or my government. Time to start charging the Church TAXES! If they wish to start paying taxes, then maybe they can have a say. In the meantime, the government should cut off all money to the Catholic Church and charities. If the government can’t keep health insurance payments separate from polices that cover abortions, then the government obviously cannot keep payments to church charities separate from the church itself. We are supposed to have separation of church and state, interference by any religion is intolerable. PERIOD.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  63. Chuck Jupiter, Fl.

    Jack: This is the reason the Catholic Church is in decline. The Cathlic Church could not clean up their sex problems so now it's time to get into politics. They should stick to saving souls and stay out of politics because they are doing a bad job at both

    November 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  64. Shane in Boston

    I don't see why its an issue...they, like all groups, have a set of beliefs and values that all members should adhere to. Really though, I don't see what the big deal is. It's not like he got excommunicated...

    November 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  65. Fred R Deleon

    Patrick Kennedy should know better and stop making funn out the Catholic Religion. If he is for abortion right there is showing he is not Catholic. He should go for some other religion that is for abortion. Otherwise he will be a hypocrite. If Patrick Kennedy is dishonest with his religion, will be dishonest as Representative in the House.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  66. Ron, in Ohio

    I believe that if a person calls themselves a Catholic, then they should accept the rules of the church. If you can not agree, in this case, about abortion, they maybe it is time to find a new religion. As you said Jack, you can't have it both ways.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  67. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack, I think this is a very dangerous thing that we are seeing happening in Congress. When you have different religious groups as the Catholics, and the religious right in the republican party trying to influence their votes scares me. Some of these religious faiths have even influenced local school boards and had famous books banned. This is something our forefathers worried about and tried to prevent by separating church and state. I think they have a right to speak out but not to punish their members because of how they voted. God does not want us to be robots and do as we are told, but to do something because we feel it is the right thing to do. Making people feel unwanted in church and banning them from participating in their service is something I feel god wouldn't agree with.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  68. Maria

    Hi Jack,

    The Catholic Church, IMHO, has always done whatever they wanted. But to target politicians is outraegous. Given the number of private Catholics who use some form of birth control, maybe the Church should back off this one.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    November 23, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  69. Brad in Memphis, TN

    The Catholics would have a firmer leg to stand on if they'd had a spine and handled the molestation issues as the crimes they were. Do they still allow the priests involved to take communion? Moral relativists don't have any place discriminating against those who find the church's conflicting moral messages unworthy to follow.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  70. Rory Murray

    Jack,
    No. The Catholic Church's blind and archaic views on birth control are one of the leading causes of poverty, overpopulation and disease throughout the world. A great wall protects the immense treasures inside Vatican City and yet the Pope claims that the United States cannot protect it's own borders... What a hypocrite! Let's tax the Catholic Church now! Sell their assets to offset the damage that illegal immigrants and pedophile priests have done to this country and the world.
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA

    November 23, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  71. george

    Makes you wonder who is the one here who really needs redeemsion. No man has the right to deny another the right to make things right with himself, and his GOD. Who is the sinner here? For those of us who believe that GOD who has the ultimate judgement of any person, might just frown on the prejudgement of another man. If my memory serves me well, there is a passage from the BIble, that tells us that "judge thee not, lest ye be judged'

    November 23, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  72. Ed from California

    As a recovering Catholic, for them to deny anything is appalling. Their doctrine is so out of touch with modern day belief's and practices,it's surprising their still in 'business'. The church won't admit to it's own problems, pedophile priests, gay priests, and the fact they don't like women. It makes no sense that they won't allow priests to marry is beyond comprehension. Maybe, the church will change some day with progressive priests or, the church runs out of money.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  73. Jackie in Dallas

    This is the worst sort of social/political blackmail...unfortunately, not unusual. I personally don't like abortion, but I support a woman's right to make her own decision. I'm not in charge of forcing others to follow my personal religious philosophy. Any church that forces their beliefs down throats of people who don't believe their way is doing a disservice to their own faith. Faith is about making making personal decisions and being responsible for those decisions, not about legislating morality. Just a new way to have their own 21st century Inquisition!

    Too bad that the Church isn't just as concerned about pedophiles. How about refusing communion and forbidding priests from performing their mummeries for those who not only commit a sin but break a law? Nope, they just sweep that under the rug...

    November 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  74. Harrison - Mobile, Alabama

    No, they shouldn't, but Separation of Church and State is dead in this country. The only time it applies to anything anymore is depriving children of Christmas and/or giving Atheists a platform to demand that the word "God" be stripped out of anything and everything.

    I personally would love nothing more than for the Church to get the back of the bus and stop trying to strong arm it's way into politics. I'd also love to have $13 trillion to throw away but that's not going to happen either.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  75. Rosa Lake City. SC

    The Catholic church condones child abuses, they have no credibility to pass judgement. I bet Kennedy would protect children.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  76. Al, Lawrence KS

    This is quite insane isn't it? I have never heard of a Republican member of Congress being denied communion. Senator Vitter comes to mind, but I guess that "adultry" commandment isn't as important. "Bearing false witness" has been broken a few too many times and I'm sure that "coveting thy neighbor's wife" no longer applies. If the Bishop wants to get serious about punishing sin, most Catholics would have to forgo the whole wafer thing, including the Bishop.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  77. Mr. D

    Separation of church and state! Sounds good to me. The Catholics should stay out of it. If they are harping on what they think is a moral issue, let them clean up their own house before they withhold communion from their members.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  78. fred hughes

    I don't care if the Catholic Church does not want to offer communion to members that don't follow church policy. But, I do resent the Church interfering in government business. I don't want their beliefs forced upon me. If the church does not want Ceasar in their business then they need to stay out of Ceasar's business.

    Fred
    Livingston, AL

    November 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  79. JENNA

    Should the Catholic Church deny communion to public figures who support abortion?

    NO. It's non of their business. We are all created with Free Will by our creator so it doesn't matter.

    BTW: Doesn't that violate their TAX FREE status?

    I say take that away and watch tax dollars roll in!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    November 23, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  80. RichP

    Churches need to stay out of politics. However usually a big enough donation restores your standing, last I checked an annulment out of Boston was $12,000.00

    November 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  81. Alice NEWYORK

    A catholic i am ashamed of the USCB! They don.t exactly live in a glass house. Is this where aree church funds are going? They should rally health reform. They should remember when woman were dying from BASEMENT ABORTIONIST! I have ceased supporting a church that has that kind of mentality !

    November 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  82. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, yes. Patrick Kennedy and others with similar views that go against Church teaching have to face the consequences. They cannot be followers of Christ if they are for abortion. Their Christian values have to be a part of their political values otherwise they are just pandering to be popular among the masses without regard to their own moral integrity. It's no wonder that many politicians both in the U.S. and in Canada are held in such low esteem.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  83. Karen - Missouri

    Should mortal man pass judgment on another when only God can do that??? Church and politics should remain separate. I would say, the Catholic Church is a wee bit hypocritical...so they support war and killings in that arena????

    November 23, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  84. john

    What has happend to the USA constitution of a separation between church and state.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  85. Joe in MO

    The Catholic Church can do anything it wants. It denies priesthood to women and married priests (unless it can steal them from the Anglicans). It makes rules for couples and women about when they can have sex and how they and their doctors should make health care decisions.

    Should the Catholic Church deny communion? Why not? Within its own institution, it is a law unto itself. Let Patrick Kennedy become and Anglican.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  86. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Sure, if it wants to end up like the Republican Party in a race to oblivion.

    Otherwise it might take a leaf from Jesus' book and be welcoming and supportive to tax collectors, gentiles, harlots, centurions, lepers, the thief on the cross, and you and me.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  87. Marc in Toronto

    Another example Jack of why the least religious people in the world living in Denmark are the happiest people. They don't allow religion to cross with politics, a lesson we can all learn from.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  88. Dan from Alliance, OH

    The reason for seperation of church and state. It is my opinion if churches with to be political voices then they should be taxed.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  89. Sarah in Texas

    Politicizing faith is disgusting. Period. It doesn't matter if you are an Islamic terrorist, a Catholic Bishop, or a Cult leader.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  90. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack
    As a lapsed Catholic i can assure you that whenever and wherever the progress of humankind is at stake you can count on the Catholic Church being there, standing boldly athwart the tide of History and yelling "STOP" in a loud and largely irrelevant voice. This is one of those times.
    Pablo
    Arlington, Texas

    November 23, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  91. Dave , Munhall , Pa.

    If the catholic church wants to Blackmail legislators into voting the church's beliefs then it is time for the catholic church and all other religions to finally start paying their fair share of TAXES. Church's are multi-million dollar corporations that are ONLY interested in money. Look at just how much land they own , not to mention their "OTHER investments . Just try not to donate to one of the church's building fund or some other scheme they come up with. They put your name up on the bulletin to show how much money you donated and try and shame you into giving more than you can afford. I say we tax the church everytime they have a mass or say a prayer and we tax 80% of the collection plate to start!!!! What they are trying to do is criminal , if I did somthing similar I would be jailed. I wonder if those priests who molested the children in their care are denied communion or is that accepted church doctrine.....??????????

    November 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  92. John from Alabama

    Jack: A public figure should not be denied communion for supporting abortion. A catholic doctor who performs abortions should be denied communion in the catholic church. Support is one thing and the deed is the actual act of sin.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  93. Jayne

    I don't know. Should parishioners who are outraged by pedophilia stop throwing cash in the collection plate? It all evens out.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  94. keith in ky

    Makes sense to me, catholic church dosen't believe in killing babies, whats so hard to understand about their position. If Mr.Kennedy is to dense to understand that, then he shouldn't be in congress. Oh I forgot he's a liberial, he wants it both ways- – – – never mind!!!!

    November 23, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  95. steve

    If they want, absolutely. And they can pay a couple of decades of back taxes for their political activism as wee,

    November 23, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  96. Greg in Cabot, AR

    I think it is "inappropriate" for the Catholic Church to take a pro-active stance on any pending legislation.

    If the Catholic Church wants to lobby lawmakers, they need to give up their tax exempt status, form a political action committee, file the proper government reports and provide the public transparency on financial matters just like all the rest of the lobbyists.

    The Church seems to believe that the constitutional separation of church and state means that religion should be protected from political influence but free to practice political pressure from behind the pulpit.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  97. Bill Missett

    Do you think the Church suspends communion for the thousands of pedophile priests it protected for decades, or just politicians who vote their conscience? This is overt interference by the Church in the affairs of state. Whatever happened to the separation of Church and State?

    November 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  98. Rian McMurtry

    Sure. Then they can lose their tax exemptions and the priest-penitent privilege in court. Should reduce the deficit and shorten criminal trials.

    Oh–and lose congregants. I hear the Anglicans and the Orthodox don't like Catholic poaching of their constituents, and would be happy for some payback.

    Davis, CA.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  99. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    The separation of Church and State does not exists as it should. It's not a wonder that many fled Europe to escape the long arm of the church. No the church should not deny anyone of receving their salvation but that's the way it is so more and more people are leaving the church.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  100. MARK PRIBBLE Anna Illinois

    HELL NO. The church should not deny communion to anyone, sound like a dictatorship to me,it's my way or the highway. Far as i no, God does not act that way, ever herd of free will. They should be ashamed.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  101. Paul P

    Why the special distinction for politicans? Seems like selective morality to me. This hard line exclusionary approach will only accelerate their dwindling attendance. In my opinion, if the church wants a spot in forming public policy, they can start paying their admission price like everyone else. Taxes.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  102. J W

    I think a church group has every right to declare a political position....as long as THEY PAY THEIR TAXES. The Catholic Church wants to impose its wishes on all of us whether Catholic or not, so I propose it pay income taxes beginning retroactively to the first time it ever attempted to impose political will on the nation. This goes for any and every other mouthy self-righteous organization that can't seem to stick to its knitting.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  103. Darin

    Like the Catholic church has anything to say about ethics considering their record of sexual abuse to altar boys. What a slap in the face. The Catholic church is a hypocrite!

    November 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  104. bluegrass

    the church is full of hyporicsy. the church new priest were raping women and children and the priest were not punished. now they want to forbid kennedy from having communion because of his stance on abortion.
    the church has one set of rules for its priests and another for members of the church.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  105. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    No!

    November 23, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  106. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    This is exactly the reason we have and need to continue to have separation of Church and State. I applaud those lawmakers who stood up for ALL their constituants instead of simply that percentage of them who want to legislate morality for the rest of us. If the Catholic bishops really want to reduce abortions they would support low-cost pregnancy prevention measures, not just telling people to abstain from sex. If someone doesn't like abortion they have the choice to not get one - this doesn't give them the right to decide for the rest of us.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  107. Bev -an American in Canada

    Never understood the power catholic church members gave to their priests and bishops. These guys forget they have to stand in line at the pearly gates like the rest of of us. They are just a bunch of guys wearing robes and pretend they are God. True clergy support and guide not play judge and jury. Dethrone these idiots.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  108. Laura from MN

    Yes. I believe that if you follow a certain faith you believe it with your whole heart and soul and you will follow their beliefs. The Catholic church teaches life begins at conception.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  109. SandH - Pekin, Il.

    No, it would only happen once and I would find a different place to worship. They have too much power over their worshipers. When Kerry and Gore were running for President they were telling people not to vote for them, and look what we got as a president for eight years. If the catholic Church is going to do that, then don't let them be tax exempt. If they aren't going to Minister to all, then pay up.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  110. Gordo, NJ

    Thanks to the separation of Church and State, the Bishop can exclude anyone he wants. However, the Pope's recent invitation to Anglicans to join the Catholic Church may provide a solution for Kennedy. If married Anglican priests can now become Catholic and stay married, why can't pro-choice Anglicans become Catholics and stay pro-choice? Kennedy could then become an Anglican Catholic. I just can't believe we are seriously discussing this sort of medievalist nonsense in the 21st Century.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  111. Jane (Minnesota)

    If the Catholic church doesn't, then the IRS should look into revocation of its tax exempt status. Where's the separation of church and state? Religion and politics need to be separate or it will give Congress one more reason not to work for the people who vote for them!

    November 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  112. Nina

    Interesting how Catholic priests can judge, yet they have a priest who took a vow of abstenance and then had child while he ordained and then denied it an oh wait the catholic church covered it up. And let s not forget catholic priests having sex with boys. Have they been denied communion, i am thinking not. Priest and the Catholic church over time have been guilty of dishonorable things. Give me a break they are not holier than though.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  113. texasgomer

    While living in their spectacular palaces in Rome wearing their blindfolds may enable the bishops to ignore the squalor, overpopulation and unwanted children of the world, the rest of us are gradually beginning to realize the Catholic Church is just a perpetuation of the monarchies and noble classes of centuries ago. This kind of thing is a big part of the reason I stopped being a believer.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    November 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  114. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Yes! But they should also deny communion to Priest who are child molesters; that had sex with married women; that gamble; that participate in pornography; that financed slavery and prostitution; that embezzled; that covered up child molestations by priest and then reassigned them to places where they could repeat the offense.
    They should also include those abortions that they paid for for Priest and abortions administered to fellow Catholics across the world which numbers in the thousands.
    Steve

    November 23, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  115. Gregory Miami Beach, FL

    If the catholic church cannot offer an humane alterative solution to the thousands of unwanted children that we already have in this country, why then can't they understand that it is they who are trying to have it both ways by criticising one solution while not offering another.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  116. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    No. The Catholic church should not use the denial of this holy sacrament as a punishment for those people who disagree with the church. I'm sure that if they looked hard enough they could find some reason why anybody ,even their own priests,should not be allowed to receive communion. The final evaluation of all of us and our deeds will come on our own Judgement day.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  117. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    You mean to tell me a Bishop who belongs to a Church had actively hid Pedifile Priests from the Authorities and then said that "Only God can judge the actions of Man" NOW say its okay to deny Mr Kennedy communion for a sin that HE DID NOT COMMIT. Mr Kennedy is being denied Communion because he votes and supports activities and legislation that the people who put him in office want him to support.

    If Mr Kennedy did NOT commit the Sin, than this Bishop is only grandstanding.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  118. Rick

    Is the catholic church going to deny communion to politicians who support the death penalty. As I recall they oppose the death penalty. Death is Death no matter how you try to dress it up. It's amazing to me how people who are so against abbortion can clearly be for the death penatly. There is no way anyone can be sure that everyone in this country that has been put to death was guilty of the crime. It's no doubt most were but what about that 1, 2, or 3 that didn't do it.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  119. dave

    Doesn't Priests and Ministers suppose to help people to get into heaven and not judge them for their sin but pray that God will come into their hearts and change them? That's what I thought so when did the Priest get to become God.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  120. Katiec Pekin, IL

    The Catholic church, just like the republicans have gone to extremism. We, the people, will not allow those whose beliefs
    do not support the majority, demand what we do not want and
    try to obstruct and control measures that benefit ALL the people.
    These religious organizations that get involved in politics should
    have the tax exemption taken from them.
    There must always be a division of church and state.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  121. Ron Temecula

    Hi Jack:

    The catholic church attemps to assert too much influence in politics. It is not the place of the catholic church to judge any man for his or her political position on issues. Only God can do that. I wonder, how many of those catholic preists were denied sacrament after they were accused of molesting alter boys???

    The abortion policy aside. The catholic church needs to clean the skeletons out of it's own closet before they start judging others. Those living in glass houses should not throw stones!!!

    Ron Temecula, Ca

    November 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  122. Jennifer in Vegas

    Only if they are also willing to lose their tax exempt status. Period. I've had it with religious organizations lobbying politicians to further their religious agendas. What happened to that little thing known as the 1st amendment?? There right wing religious zealots are so quick to scream about "getting back to the fundamental principles of America.." How about we start with the good ol' Constitution??

    November 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  123. Tyler

    When a church or any tax exempt entity gets involved in influencing a political debate or policy they are no longer acting as a church but as a political lobby. That should be grounds to cancel their tax exempt status. The precedent was set 30 years ago when the Sierra Club lost its tax exempt status for lobbying for better protection of this nations natural resources. The concept of the separation of church and state works both ways. If they want to be a church they should not get involved in political action. If they want to act like a political organization they need to be reclassified as one and not as a church.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  124. Danny

    If a priest that has had sexual relations with children can give communion I do not understand why a politician can not receive communion!

    November 23, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  125. Jonathan

    what ever happened to separation of church and state?

    November 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  126. MAC

    Catholics believe that Christ left us with 7 Sacraments to aid us in life until we are reconciled in heaven. One of these is the Eucharist, which we believe is Christ Himself that nourishes us at every Mass. So while abortion is against Catholic doctrine, so is cheating on your spouse, divorce, child abuse and so on. Do the Bishops start denying communiion to those sinners next? It seems a very unchristianlike way of making their point.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  127. William Joseph Miller, Los Angeles

    I'm wondering what the Catholic Church will do to promote health care reform? The Catholic Church is supposed to be Christian. So, what did Jesus do?

    According to all 4 Gospels, Jesus spent most of his time healing the sick. He never asked about health insurance. He had absolutely no respect for wealth. He told the rich man to "sell all you have and give to the poor." How might these examples influece the current debate on health care. Actually if we were truly a Christian country, we'd provde universal health care for everyone, and pay for it with higher taxes on the rich. That's what is done in most Euoprean countries. Europeans have better health care (Check the WHO survey of 2005, We rank 37th, France ranks 1st), but they also do it at a cheaper price, since ours is the most expesnsive health care system in the world. I might also add that most Europeans rarely, if ever, set foot in a Catholic Church.

    So I am waiting. I dare the the Catholic church go to Congress and publicly excommunicate every Catholic Representative and Senator who votes against health care reform. But I know this "ain't gonna happen." even though right now many deseprate women resort to abortion because they cannot afford the medical bills associated with a pregnancy, and even though our rate of infant mortality is twice as high as the infant mortality rate of France, known for its anti-clerical tendencies. The current posturing of the Catholic church simply convinces me that the who organization is nothing but a God fraud.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  128. Irv Lilley Ephrata, Pa.

    Jack, That is a matter between Kennedy and the church. The media
    coverage only demonstrates the mixing of politics and religion.
    We had more than enough of that under Bush.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  129. Rob of Brooklyn

    Separation of Church and State. We need to start and have the RC Church pay their fair share of taxes. You'll see how fast they shut up.
    The Pope isn't a ruler of the USA . And if he was he has bad policies. This is 1950. Time to wake up to the real World. And the RC Church keeps getting smaller

    November 23, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  130. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    The Holy Catholic Church can do whatever it pleases. The more it tries to force its members to live in strict adherence to papal decrees, the less likely those members will go to church. Most Catholics I know attend services out of tradition, not belief. No wonder more and more people say they believe in God, but not the Church. I am a Baha'i and we have no churches to attend.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  131. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    They need to take a look at all of the priest who molest little boys, to me that is a damn sight more important then worrying about some teenage girl who comes up pregnant with no way to take care of a baby, has to drop out of school, no father for the baby and no future in sight.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  132. Bill from South Jersey

    Well, theology is theology, after all, and a bishop's gotta do what he's gotta do.

    On the other hand, even a theologian and bishop must recognize that everything has a price.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  133. Esther Massillon Ohio

    Since the Catholic Church has a 501C3 status which means they pay no taxes on the money which comes into their churchs I believe this is a case for the teaching of silence is golden. They and all Churchs which have the 501C3 tax exemption should shut up or cough it up in taxes. They want representation they need to pay the piper. What is going on with religon which feels the need to pray for our Presidents Death or that a congressman who represents the people in his district be given a tongue lashing by the church, Kennedy is prepresenting the people not the church. The church has turned on the people who are holding on to the guns and their faith and abusing them left and right. What ever happened to separation of Church and State?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  134. Chad from Los Angeles

    With the greater society rebuking organized religion more and more, I am surprised they are refusing anyone.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  135. Ben Ramos

    What the Catholic Church wants is for these politicians to choose a side:
    If you support abortion then don't say you are Catholic. If you say that you are Catholic then you better be ready to defend the foundation of your faith: love God and love your neighbor. Never trust a person that has an identity crisis Jack: one who does one thing with the right hand while doing the opposite with the left.

    Like my dad always said: Your friends are the one's who have the decency to stab you in the chest. At least you see them coming.

    Ben. Chandler, AZ

    November 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  136. sharon

    No, they should not. The church should keep itself OUT of politics. Have they heard of separation of church and state?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  137. Andrea from Houston, TX

    So...they don't want Pat Kennedy to have communion over his abortion stance, but they let all those priests that rape those little boys have communion? Hmmm....interesting.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  138. obrien

    I was through with the church long ago, when my parents were excommunicated for divorcing. I asked if they married each other again, could they come back, and I was told they couldn't. So, if the catholic church wants to exclude people, so be it.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  139. Ken in NC

    I am not Catholic but if Communion is the taking of the blood of Jesus, my thoughts are should it be the decision of the Bishop to deny it to another Catholic?

    In the end I would say that is an issue best left to the member and his church

    November 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  140. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    The amount of hypocrisy coming from the catholic church is unbelievable.
    Here's a group of people who hid pedophiles from public scrutiny for years and now they take this stand.
    No one should be denied the sacraments because of a politcal stand.
    Look what the catholic church is planing to do in D.C. if gay marraige is apporved. They need to look at themselves and their sinning.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  141. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    I have no problem with that Jack, as long as they don't mind my asking for their excommunication for shielding their pedophile brethren.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  142. Ron in New York

    Sure. The Church of Rome can do anything they want – 500-lb. gorilla and all that. But if the politicians – especially the Kennedy family – would withhold their financial contributions to the church, maybe the bishops would keep their mouths shut. Money talks.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  143. John

    this is against what the Bible says. It says let every man examine himself, and let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. It is up to the individual to decide if he is worthy of communion.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  144. Scott

    I have one thing to say: "Separation of Church and State", The Church (any Church) should stay clear of politics and the government should stop letting the Church be involved.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  145. Pete - Augusta Ga

    The church can do whatever they please (separation of church & state). I would have a bigger problem if the government or special interest groups pressured Catholics into supporting points of view contrary to their core beliefs – now that would be dangerous.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  146. Larry Buffington

    Jack,

    I say if the Bishop doesn't believe in abortion, he shouldn't have one. And mind his own business concerning other people. Isn't minding your own business one of the 10 commandments?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  147. Allyson

    No way! Whatever happened to a separation of Church & State?? Anyway, taking away the right to partake in Holy Communion is judgmental. I don't believe Jesus would deny Mr. Kennedy of Communion.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  148. MagPad

    Any church expressing political opinions should have to pay taxes. Period. Their religion does NOT belong in my government!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  149. Doug, Poynette, WI

    There is supposed to be separation of church and state in this country. Religions that want to press their issues politically should lose their tax exempt status.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  150. Mark

    Should the church deny communion to politicians (or anyone else) because they support abortion? Hell no! Do they deny communion to pedophilia priests and bishops? No, they hide them by sending them to other areas to continue their abuse.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  151. Leslie

    I do not think that if a person that goes to a church that doesn't recognize abortion and they do, that person is in the wrong church. A politician should not misrepresent their beliefs to the people by going to a Catholic church on Sunday and then say that they believe that a woman has the right to choose on Monday. That would be like asking a politician to tell the truth all the time not just when it's convenient for a few votes.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  152. Mambisa

    Bishop Tobin is the head of a Catholic diocese espousing Catholic principles. He is right to articulate the Church's position regarding Communion and abortion. It is Mr. Kennedy that really needs an examination of conscience before taking the real Body and Blood of Christ at Mass if he is going to cut his religious conscience to fit this year's political fashions. Either you are Catholic or you are not.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  153. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack, as a lapsed 'dogan', the denial of communion would be a small issue indeed !! If they even excommunicated moi, I would take it as a badge of honour !! The Catholic church, as with almost all religions, is a money grabbing, tainted [and sexually twisted !!] organization that should be ignored!! Their denial of any role of substance for females speaks out clearly indeed !!!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  154. Ian in Appleton, WI

    I stand with most of the other viewers comments about the separation of church and state. This discussion reminds me of Islamic Sharia Law. In this case the Catholic church is trying to dictate what the laws should and should not be. I am not a Catholic so why the hell should I adhere to any laws that they are lobbying for? People wonder why so many followers are leaving the church.....This is a damn good reason!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  155. anthony...nj

    Imagine the hypocrisy of a religion that condemns abortion and yet won't condone medical breakthroughs which can prevent it. Birth control pills, morning after pills, and even prophylactics, which have been proven to prevent the spread of HIV, are taboo according to the infallible Pope. And now, the Catholic religion, which sees more pews empty every Sunday, wants to punish lawmakers who don't fall in line. After years of pushing pedophilia under the rug, this smug
    clergy now wants to gauge your piety and refuse you the sacraments. Like the Taliban, they want push their beliefs on America and undermine our political system by using Congressman Kennedy as an example.
    This country gave shelter to many religions persecuted in their own homeland but not for the purpose of turning the US into a theocracy. Please leave your religion at home and be glad you're still free.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  156. David-Massachusetts

    Jack I thought America was a Prostestant Nation.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  157. Mark Baltin

    I wish that some of our politicians would grow a pair and look into their tax-exempt status. The way they got a de facto vote on the House health care bill and could say whether the stand on abortion funding was "acceptable" to them made me wonder whether we were living in Iran, where the mullahs rule.
    Mark
    South Orange, New Jersey

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  158. Valley Joe

    Thats for the God to decide not the Church or its officials. As a Progressive Catholic, I believe that people have the freedom of choice. But to judge someone by their politics destroys beliefs and their faith.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  159. Richard Fairview, Texas

    Jack many organizations, lobbyists, voters and individual firms try and influence politicians. The Catholic church is no different. Some do it with money, some do it with the media. In this particular case Mr. Kennedy got the media involved on his behalf. I doubt it will help his standing in congress or in the after life.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  160. Nicole Poore

    Repeat after me: Separation of Church and State! I think many people in this country have forgotten that the freedom to practice your religion doesn't mean you can force your religious beliefs on others, even if you technically belong to the same religion.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  161. Michael Fannon

    The church has the right to tell Rep. Kennedy not to receive communion because of his support for abortion. The Bishop is doing this so that society and Rep. Kennedy himself will realize that murdering children is a sin and then he can repent and return to receiving communion. To let him get communion would be seen as telling him that support the murder of children in abortion is okay and that is against the law of mankind and God regardless of what religion one is. The church has been criticized for not speaking up, maybe for good reason, during the Holocaust and yet now they are being criticized for speaking up again the mass murder of babies.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  162. David Calef - Spofford NH

    If my church denied communition to me for my sworn public duties as a legislator, I would find another church very quickly, and very publically. A sworn officials duty is to the public, not another institution.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  163. Mark, loganville Ga.

    Should the church deny communion to politicians (or anyone else) because they support abortion? Heck no! Do they deny communion to pedophilia priests and bishops? No, they hide them by sending them to other areas to continue their abuse.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  164. Sam

    Separation of Church and State... Apparently to Catholics that literally means state and not federal government.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  165. Joe

    Definitely not. The church should be providing guidance to those that look for it, not forcing its views upon its patrons. As a Catholic myself, I'm dumbfounded any time a situation like this occurs; I have no idea where they think they have a right to deny public services to the people who want it.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  166. Beverley Justice

    Kennedy needs to make up his mind if he is Catholic, and a true follower of that faith or a politician and faithless. One's religion should be part of their definition, not a matter of convenience

    November 23, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  167. ;ohn

    So called religions should damn well start paying taxes. The Catholic church is not the only religion to but into politics- so either but out pr pay taxes. Sell the vatican, tax religions feed the world and save the economy

    November 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  168. Woody F. Blytheville AR

    First of course the Church as the right to ask its parishioners to adher to Catholic doctrine and withhold communion, which is a sacrament. Will someone please show me where in the Constitution does it say seperation of church and state. It doesn't exist, the only thing the constition says about religion is that the government shall not infringe on the free excercise therof. Nothing else.. And just as "preachers" can spew their venom, so can the Bishops, why the double standard?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  169. Jim

    Maybe if the catholic church spent controlling all the pedifiilers that exist among its ranks, it would not waste time on this clearly poltical act. No wonder the Catholic church is losing people by the millions

    November 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  170. "Nona Dog" ( Diana )

    Outrageous! This is the same group that forces underage girls impregnated by their fathers to bear and raise their babies. Objecting relatives are excommunicated. Jesus wept, and so do I.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  171. Cory Mosser

    I believe that public figures, especially those that represent Americans in government, should be allowed to set religious convictions aside. Although the Catholic Church is widely represented in the United States Congress, it is not the religion of all citizens. Kudos to Congressman Kennedy for being an individual that wants to maintain his faith matched with public freedoms.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  172. Ted

    What happened to "separation of church and state?" No freaking way! Catholics and Protestants and Muslims should get the heck out of our politics.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  173. Steven Cravis

    What would Jesus recommend? To deny anyone communion? I don't think so.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  174. Jeremy K.

    I thought the Catholic priests who fooled around with children should have been executed. As to your question, I suggest the Catholic Church read the Constitution, shut up, and stop throwing stones at those who have their own beliefs.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  175. Frank B.

    The Catholic Church survives on blind submission from members and power to control its believers. Jack, the answer is NO! Personally, I have excommunicated myself from this 'boy's club'. This whole question reasserts the necessity of separation of church and state.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  176. Zenon Szachowicz

    Yes. You can not have your cake and eat it. For too long Kennedy's and Kerry"s have it both ways. I say that the Bishop is right.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  177. Toni from OK

    No, Churches should not get involved in politics.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  178. R. Terrence Losh

    Hell yes!

    The bishop warned Kennedy in a private, pastoral, letter; Kenedy chose to reveal it to gain publicity.
    Abortion is a central tenet of our faith. No Catholic can remain in communion with "The Mystical Body" if they publicly differ with church teachings; That makes them "Protestants"!

    A bishops pastoral communications are just that; It has nothing to do with politics.

    You should know better..

    November 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  179. Gail

    Have you taken a look at the Supreme Court lately, Jack? Catholics have grown more and more powerful in this country, way beyond any other religion or – God forbid- agnostics or atheists. The Rhode Island bishop's attack on Kennedy smacks of the Middle Ages and later Inquisition.

    People should remember the wise words of Mario Cuomo: separation of church and state is why Catholics are no longer discriminated against in this country. Now THEY want to do the discriminating.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  180. jack mcclung

    Separation of Church and State has always been our American way of life. This looks like an intervention from our Grand Old Party. Maybe a last ditch stand.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  181. Kyle Brennan

    I can't believe this isn't being covered more by reporters than it is. This is issue is more important than most people think. In this case the Catholic priests are trying to use strong arm politics to enforce their beliefs on the entire country. Add onto that the fact that these Catholics and other religious officials don't have to file lobbying disclosers when they go to Washington to lobby our politicians!?

    Listen I have no problem with people who are religious expressing their views. But when you are actively lobbying our senators to fulfill your personal agenda then you deserve to lose some of your liberties for doing so. Get rid of their tax exempt status if they want to take such an active stand in politics. Otherwise stick to the spiritual like religion was intended to do in the first place.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  182. Andy Droppleman

    It amazes me how you and many Americans have decided to throw Christ out the window. He is our savior and should affect every decision we make. With out God we are nothing and will not have a Nation.The Ten commandments are not the Ten requests. Read and follow them and we will have a Great Nation.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  183. Charlie CT

    Didn't Luther have a similar problem? Look what happened to him. The next thing you know, Rome will be demanding to pay taxes so they can lobby Congress.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  184. Amy Kohl

    This is the main reason why I stopped fully participating in the Catholic Church. Jesus preached constantly about helping the poor. There is no mention of Jesus preaching about abortion in the Bible. Yet the Catholic Church has warped his teachings once again into providing more support for the viability of fetuses than it does for the poor.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  185. Melissa V-winnipeg

    What happened to separating church and state? Patrick Kennedy isn't the only one who supports abortion rights, he's just one of the few that is open about it. Pro life people need to get their head out of the sand and realize that bad things happen to good people. Whether you become pregnant by choice or by rape a woman should still have control over her own body and her own choices. This isn't the barbaric age. Patrick is entitled to his own beliefs, and to exclude him from a religious events over something so controversial and changing everyday is ridiculous.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  186. Ed

    Tha catolic church all to often has become part of the problem and not the solution. The church prefers to aid the unborn instead of the living. Unfortunately in a representative democracy he/she can vote as they so please or however they are influenced, disregarding the wishes of they constituency.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  187. Lawrence San Antonio, Texas

    What could be more pro-life than a health care bill that covers most Americans? Their interference brings up the question where were they when the pedophiles were running rampant in the church? Where were they when the U.S. invaded the sovereign country of Iraq on false premises? No wonder the Catholic clergy doesn't want women in their ranks–then they couldn't control women's bodies. Is there a difference between a Bishop and an Iman? I think maybe only the beard!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  188. Mike Monahan

    Jack, access to Holy Communion is a theological issue, not a political one. It doesn't matter what the public thinks. The public does not get to vote on who the Pope [or, by extension, his representatives] is. Also tax exempt entities, like 501c3's, do not thereby become First Ammendment free. They remain free to express their opinions on political issues. That is not meddling; that is democracy.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  189. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    No. The Catholic church should only be there to advise. The final Judgement will come from the man.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  190. Tanya Vece - Las Vegas

    Everyone on this blog should directly contact this bishop and tell him he needs to start paying back taxes since he feels he can play politician. Perhaps this bishop thinks his job is to play God, not serve him.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  191. Keith

    Why not? This isn't the church influencing public policy, but the church influencing its members. These lawmakers are free to leave the church any time they want, and I'm a little stumped as to why they would wish to be members of an organization whose core values they don't share anyway! I'm not Catholic and never have been, but I fully support the churches right to teach and practice what they believe.

    Keith
    Ft Irwin, CA

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  192. Dodge

    Yes, deny them Communion; then, deny me and deny themselves.
    Before receiving Communion, Catholics say together, "We are not worthy to receive you (Christ). Say but the word, and we shall be healed". If we start making classifications as to who is more unworthy, and refuse our brethren to reinforce the word of Christ in their lives through Communication, then we're all lost.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  193. Jan from Texas

    No. I also believe the Catholic Church should not deny communion to anyone who has had a tubal ligation, vasectomy, or takes birth control pills. If the Catholic Church want to be a political machine, their tax-exempt status needs to be reconsidered!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  194. Nancy

    They are tax free so maybe they should lose that status considering their involvement in government affairs. Any church that becomes politically involved should lose their tax free status. Red, Yellow , Black or White they are equal in his site.
    Considering all the guilty findings against priest for sexual misconduct I do not think the Catholic Church has much to stand on when it comes to abortion issues. They need to learn to control their priest before they start giving politicians advise about sexual issues.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  195. Bob Pagano

    I am sick of the Catholic Church sticking its nose into political affairs. Whether it's abortion issues or gay rights. Denying a sacrament to individuals because they don't agree with you? Is this the Dark Ages?The church has become the exact opposite of what it should be. They are not a governing body and should not be able to make or influence the decisions of this nation. If this continues, they need to start paying taxes like everyone else who has a voice in government. What has happened to the separation of church and state? Is this a democracy or a theocracy?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  196. Richard

    If the Catholic Church were to lose its tax exempt status because of the hundreds of times it has acted as a political lobby instead of a religious organization, the billions of dollars of revenue would pay for boosting the economy, reforming health care, fixing the endless mess in Afghanistan and Iraq, bringing up our nation's sagging educational standards, and maybe even a mission to Mars thrown in just for fun. We have a huge untapped resource here, if only our legislators had the courage and integrity to stand up to the Catholic political machine. But they don't. They've been trained from childhood to obey people who wear medieval clothes and teach medieval ideas.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  197. August Izumi

    I am not a member of the Catholic church, but the question should be "Should Catholics deny ANY member of the church communion based on their position on abortion?". It shouldn't matter what their profession is. Then, at that point, you'd have to ask yourself whether or not YOU should be meddling in THEIR church policies and practices.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  198. Joshua in Texas

    The church has every right to deny communion to those who commit a sin against God and His church. It sends a message that the church is suppose to assist in the salvation of soles. People are stupid if they think that the church is just going to sit back and do nothing. Should the church get involve in these debates? Yes. Anyone who believes that the church is getting too involved is ignoring how involved the government is with church affairs. Politicians are always going to our churches and asking for catholic support, yet when the church excises it freedom of speech everyone gets all riled up. In the end, the media, as usual, is blowing things out of proportion and the American people are buying into it!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  199. Raf

    I believe your characterization that the Catholic Church should not stand up when its "brand" is being diluted is wrong. The Church isn't telling Kennedy (or any other politician) how to vote. It is, correctly, pointing out that their vote contradicts Church teaching about the sanctity of life from conception to natural death...and as such they should abstain from the sacrament. No meddling, not telling them what to do...just making sure that people aren't confused about what the Catholic Church believes and teaches. If you belong to a country club...and they require shirts with collars...and you don't feel like wearing one...then you really can't enjoy all of the benefits of membership.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  200. rob - california

    jack
    This is the problem that i a have had with my religion since i was young.i think the church should mind it's own bees wax and stick to religion as well as stay out of all politics or i say we take away there exemptions and they can run for office.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  201. Sal - Vero Beach, FL

    I disagree with the Catholic Church and the RI Bishop it their decision to deprive Rep. Kennedy the sacrement of communion.
    Kennedy is only doing his job as a representative of the people and what he believes in their best interest.
    The Catholic Church has no business asserting its pressure in politics nor threaten an individual who serves the public.
    The church should concentrate on cleaning up its house and punishing those within its house who have violated many, many children over the years.
    Leave politics and government to the politicians and the people and church rule to the clergy and its congregation.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  202. Peter Sims

    Catholics are also a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.

    One may be pleased that the church is a constant reminder of one extreme position on issues like abortion, a social anchor, as it were. But those of us who are not Catholic are entitled to live life pursuant to our own beliefs. Non-Catholics have no say as to the church's policy concerning communion, but if they assert that kind of clout on the political system, then being Catholic will affect the appeal, or lack thereof, of Catholic candidates.

    P. Sims
    New York City

    November 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  203. Alice :Merlone

    I am no longer a Catholic, but I recall my religious instruction, and in those days we were told we had a FREE WILL, and we were in charge of our salvatlion. It is outrageous that the Church, and other Christian churches are attempting to speak for all the people in this country. It is my understanding that Jews believe life begins at the first breath.

    The abortion laws spoke to a need in our society. That is based on our sociological mores. The public saw a need and responded. The church is out of control, and interfering with the laws of the land. The church has become a bully; for example when they took a position about our President speaking at Notre Dame.

    I am so concerned, so troubled by the power of religion in our country. It is destructive to the core of what makes us great. We have so many religions, and the Catholic Church does not respect out country"s values. Let them council their flock and leave lthe rest of us alone.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  204. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    I believe that abortion should be the choice of the woman and I believe that who receives Communion should be the choice of the Church. What part of Pro-choice don’t you understand?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  205. Haskell Peddicord, Columbus IN

    The simple answer, is yes, if the Bishop believes it is appropriate. As a Catholic, it is my understanding that Holy Communion should not be requested by, nor given to, a Catholic who is in a serious state of sin. The Church's decision in this regard is a matter of the practice of religion, protected by the Constitution. Other comments regarding the "separation of church and state" seem to suggest that people of faith, including church leaders, have no right of free speech and must practice their religion as others deem appropriate. Speaking out on abortion is issue advocacy which is clearly permitted, not candidate advocacy, which is clearly not permitted.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  206. path74

    Yes, The Catholic church is teaching its members the truths of the Church. If you claim to be a "devout"Catholic you need to Catholic 100%. This was a private matter between Kennedy and his bishop until Kennedy went public with it. If you do not believe in the truths of the Catholic church, do not profess to be "Catholic" . Life begins at conception. The majority of the populations does not believe in abortion. Catholics are getting tired of being discrimated against, and we do not want to pay for abortions or be forced to assist in medical procedures that we believe is killing an innocent human being.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  207. myles

    Yes, if you call yourself a Catholic you should know the right to chose is hypocrasy. It goes against everything in the Christian Faith, not to mention half you people claim to be Christians. If you want to say that communion is okay to people who support the termination of a concieved child, you are dead wrong. If a child is old enough to fornicate, she is old enough to be a mother. We need stiffer penalties for rape, not loose laws on sexual misconduct. This is an outrage.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  208. james in anaheim california

    The catholic church should keep its nose clean and stay out of the political debate on abortion. hasnt anyone who believes in catholicism know the meaning of seperation of church and state?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  209. samm

    My new mantra: freedom FROM religion. High time separation of Church and State was deligently enforced. Besides, it's not as if the Catholic Church has the moral high ground here. I have zero respect for people who shield pedophiles or who are pedophiles.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  210. Carl in San Diego

    It's there perogrative. It seems in recent years the church, not specifically the Catholic Church, have become more politically charged. The recent anti-gay marriage/gay rights lobbying movement, the far right, and the past administration seem to have given churches the power they are looking for to move this country toward a theocracy. It is time to remove the tax exempt status of the church. Imagine, if churches paid taxes, how much effect that would have on the deficit. They have become multi-billion dollar businesses who have had free reign for too long. I'm sure if the church lost it's tax-exempt status, all Congress would be excommunicated, which would be the churches perogrative too.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  211. B Kaston

    So now I have to research the religion of candidates and where their church stands on issues before I vote. This is bringing religion into government. Soon there will be bills promoting what “the church” wants. Isn’t that why we have separation of church and state?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  212. Sam S.

    It's so hypocritical for the Catholic church to give moral advice given the widespread problems of homosexuality and child abusing priests they ignored for so long. It seems they're more concerned about an individual's right to be judged by God rather than removing the rights of immoral priests to offer comunion.

    In other words, if you're living in a glass ouse, don't throw stones.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  213. Roy - Texas

    Of course the Catholic Church can deny the Sacrement of Holy Communion to anyone. But I don't believe that is a political statement. It is a religeous statement. Afterall, the US government cannot give out communion can it?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  214. Tom

    No. God created us with free will. Seems to me that allows each of us to make important decisions that relate to our personal relationship with God. Perhaps the bishops should consider this fundamental pronciple first. I abhor abortion...I abhor more anyone who believes they can interfere with my relationship with God...I expect more from the clergy.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  215. Joshua in Texas

    The church has every right to deny communion to those who commit a sin against God and His church. It sends a message that the church is suppose to assist in the salvation of souls. People are stupid if they think that the church is just going to sit back and do nothing. Should the church get involve in these debates? Yes. Anyone who believes that the church is getting too involved is ignoring how involved the government is with church affairs. Politicians are always going to our churches and asking for catholic support, yet when the church excises it freedom of speech everyone gets all riled up. In the end, the media, as usual, is blowing things out of proportion and the American people are buying into it!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  216. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    This decision by an organized religion signals all that is wrong with ideological based organizations, including political parties.

    These organizations build the walls of contempt and the absolute. They say if you don't think like us, if you don't act like us, we'll kick you out.

    The final irony is, these walls can never come down, and these organizations will remain morally weak if we don't learn that it is our differences that make us stronger. And isn't church, temple, mosque, about our coming together to share our pain, our suffering, our frailties, our weaknesses? Accepting and learning from our differences are what will knock down these walls and create a city of the human where all have freedom.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  217. cecilia

    My question to the Catholic Church is: Does Kennedy himself believe in abortion or is he separating Church and State and as a politician trying to legislate to give the right to choose to people who, according to their will, choose to kill a fetus. If he himself does not believe in abortion, then it may seem that he should be able to receive communion if his conscience is clear to do so. ) I am sure many people receive communion when their concience is not free but they believe it is.) This is a thorny issue because if women choose to kill, then this is between them and God in accordance with the will God has given them. Then on the other hand, is Kennedy aiding and abetting when he chooses to legislate to allow women/men the right to kill. What kind of a society are we if we kill the unborn? There is a law that says Thou shall not kill.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  218. Joleen

    Jack–I do not think that our Catholic Congressman should be denyed Communion in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church should keep it's nose out of the a politicians life. The Church receives government tax breaks, maybe that should be taken away. Does the government interfere with any Catholic beliefs? I'm Catholic! Furthermore, I believe it is a moral and individual issue and should not be discussed or solved by the government.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  219. Sode

    I guess if I did not get the communion bread from the so called Catholic Priests I would not be allowed into heaven. Would those Catholic Priests accused of molesting kids be given communion since this is required to go to heaven. How about those who are non Catholics? I thought that Jesus said that we should love our enemies. I guess Jesus was wrong.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  220. John Ca.

    The church and state should always stand alone but, they always open Congress with pray? I do not think when the church wrote the Bible they were yhinking to much about women rights. The church and states should not rule over free people man or women!

    John Ca.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  221. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    If supporting abortion is the only sin one can commit then I agree communion should be denied, but we know this isn't true. With that said everybody in the Catholic Church should be denied communion including the Bishop himself.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  222. Max

    The Catholic Church needs to just SHUT UP FOR ONCE. Your religious views on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion don't politically matter because guess what? America is NOT a theocracy. Get used to it.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  223. Madeline DeAntonio

    I am appalled that the Catholic Church is pressuring Representative Patrick Kennedy to vote according to Catholic doctrine on health care reform. Perhaps the Catholic Church needs to be educated on the American Constitution and the principle of the separation of church and state. Representive Kennedy needs to stick to his own beliefs and judgment and abide by the Constitution of the USA.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  224. William

    Those who see this as an issue of separation of church and state completely miss the point. The Catholic Church has no state power whatsoever over members of congress, so those members can vote any way they'd like on any issue, including abortion and the health care bill. However, bishops have the responsibility to teach and follow Catholic doctrine, which includes withholding communion from those who aren't worthy. This applies to private individuals equally as it applies to public figures, though private individuals are mostly guided by their own conscience whereas public figures' ideas are well known. Catholic members of congress can vote any way they'd like on any issue, but that may mean they lose the right to communion. They should have enough knowledge of their faith to realize this.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  225. Larry

    If every Catholic Priest commits self-immasculation because sombody said he thought it is a good idea, then any decission he makes for others makes good sense to him. These jerks have been shooting their shoes off for two thousand years. Practice makes perfect?!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  226. Pete

    What is odd is that the Catholic Church lobbies to stop laws from identifying and holding the most violent pedophiles accountable. Gee, I wonder why? Check out NY and other states where their elected power sources stop these laws to preserve Catholic votes.

    Yet victims of the most violent pedophiles have committed suicide, some institutionalized and others walking in society with permanent mental illness. Even more alarming is that children of violent sexual abuse have a life span of 20 years less than the rest of society.

    Guess abortions is a more important issue than child rape to them. Or is it? A Cardinal from Ireland made a statement to the media that abortion is far worse than child rape.

    Guess it's wrong when othersdo it, but never when they do.

    Maybe the solution is to stop electing Catholic officials.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  227. Jaywant

    Supporting abortion or promoting it is consider a serious sin in the Catholic Chruch. Unless one goes to confession and resolves not to get into such activitives, one is not in a state of grace to receive \holy communion. I hope you know that Jack. The bishop is only doing his duty.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  228. John Hughes

    Seperation of church and state is the law! If the church wants to comment so be it, but medeling in state is unacceptable by them or Religious Cpongresssman who should be bared from congress!! Appling the religious view of abortion to federal funding should be stopped as it is going against the law or end round the law. Some one should take out an injunction against this!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  229. Dave

    The answer is simple. Of course the Catholic church can delve into the area of politics by denying communion to politicians who oppose the issues of the Church - they simply renounce their tax-exempt status as a church, or the IRS revokes their tax-exempt status and then Catholics can do anything they want. Simple!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  230. Billy

    When will the Catholic church start adapting to the present world? This is not the 16th century anymore. Religion needs to adapt to the growing technologies of the world. Younger generations such as my own are becoming less and less influenced through religion. Denying an individual his GOD GIVEN RIGHT to communion because of his belief is without doubt the wrong message to send to the people in which the Catholic church tries to recruit.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  231. Paul Bode

    Absolutely! The Church is responsible for staying true to truth, not relativism. The Church, around for thousands of years before the US, and which will be around after the US, has the power, the duty and the obligation to hold its members to its rules. If you chose to to not adhere to those rules then you by your actions have chosen to not be a part of the organization and have to no right to expect to participate in its most sacred rituals. Your presence is an affront to those who understand the wisdom of the actions of the Church. So only a self-centered, pompous, uncaring individual would expect to flaunt the rules and beliefs of the church and then expect to be accepted by it. Dan all those around me! I want Communion now! I'm a politician! Politics – [Poly – tics] – Many blood-sucking insects.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  232. Snerdley

    Of course, both public and private figures, because it is one of the basic tenants of faith to be Catholic. If these people want to deny the churches basic beliefs, then they should stop proclaiming they are of the church, they certainly aren't. Most mass murderers are less responsible for the number of deaths than these who vote to allow it.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  233. Phil, Georgia

    Who are they to deny communion. The Bible says that God will be the judge of who "over-all" does not do the right things. They are using their pulpit as a Bully to write laws of the land. Why would they kill health-care–an overall good bill, because of just some things they don't agree with. Sometimes you just have to accepth the over-all good of somethings.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  234. Carole Lowes-Kotiesen

    Jack
    Legislation is for all citizens not just the 30% Catholics. A former Catholic PM of Canada had it right on a similar issue. He said I have my own views, but I am PM of all Canadians. I recall when JFK ran for president that the attack dogs were so concerned that Kennedy would owe his allegience to he Church not the US Costitution. Funny how often the shoe changes feet. The church needs to butt out and worry about its own rather spotty past and let the Congres vote on behalf of the rights of all Americans.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  235. Peter Lepper

    Jack
    No problem if the church wants to enforce it's rules with their members.
    if they want to effect legislation this is a much different issue. when this happens they should lose their tax exempt status and pay taxes. This goes for ALL churches.

    enough of this interference fro the "religious" nation.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  236. Mac McGrue

    The Catholic Church has been interfering in Governments business for centuries. In the 16th Century the Pope had to approve the appointment of every head of state throughout Europe. Power to the Catholics.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  237. Loren, Chicago

    Under the First Amendment, the Catrholic Church has the right to determine what obligations entail particupating in communion in the church. Should it deny communion to politicians who support something at fundamental odds with a tenet of the church? Are you kidding? They should be excommunicated. You either accept the tenets of the church or you don't, and if you don't accept that tenet, then you don't commune with the church. Oh, wait, we're talking about politicians, hypocrisy comes natural to them, only an honest man wouldn't commune in that church.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  238. Jose, in California

    Yes, absolutely he should be denied communion. If he votes for abortion he should stop calling himself a catholic. The church in the same way should stop protecting pedophiles and any priest charges should be denied communion as well.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  239. Walter

    The question is not whether a politician supports abortion, but whether a politician supports government intervention in a woman's choice to have an abortion. One can oppose abortion, and also oppose government involvement in the decision to abort or to bear a child. The Catholic Church can justifiably tell its members that it is wrong to support abortion, but should not get involved in telling its members that they must support goverment intervention in the abortion decision. This is analogous to the parable -in which Jesus said (paraphrased) "render unto Ceasar [government] that which belongs to Ceasar [government], and render unto God that which belongs to God. The two – government and God – can and should be separate.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  240. Chad from Los Angeles

    Its tough to molest troubled children when they are being saved from a life of hardships through abortion.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  241. Chris Walker

    Since the Catholic Church has decided to become a political lobbying organization instead of a religious institution, they should lose their tax-exempt status. That'll buy a whole lot of health care reform!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  242. Tyler

    I thought we matured enough to know that all religions are nothing but myths and superstitions. Why should a company that pays no taxes, like a church, have an effect on the rights of women? The vatican hands out more bibles than condoms to stop the AIDS epidemic in Africa. The whole religion is nothing more than a primitive way of governing the people.If anything,Catholic churches should be aborted or charged for brainwashing.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  243. Lourdes (Phoenix AZ)

    You can't support killing humans in utero and go on business as usual, with your faith. Absolutely NOT!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  244. Gary Allmon

    Absolutely, yes. The church should excommunicate anyone they wish and lobby for any cause they wish. They should also lose their tax exempt status at all levels, federal, state, and local. They should also refuse to buy health insurance for their employees from any company that profits by providing coverage for any kind of abortion or profits from providing coverage for any type of birth control measure. Thats my view from Austin, Texas.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  245. Ken

    Jack,

    If the Catholic Church wants to deny communion to people who support things that the church doesn't support, so be it. But they should stop being hypocrites. They focus on abortion like it is the only dogma that people are not following. What about denying communion to people who don't give their fair share of money to charity or don't help others in need, or people who steal, who covet other peoples things, who hurt others to advance their own cause (like Republicans who are more worried about the companies that give them campaign money vs. the welfare of the common man). However, if they start denying communion to everyone that did not follow the catholic words, then the communion line would be very short, even some priests would even be denied.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  246. Henry A. Brown

    There are other churches that will let him do what he want –let him join one of them.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  247. David

    Teetering, geezerish bishops and cardinals, utterly out of touch with human reality, are some of the reasons I left the Catholic Church years ago. And just when I thought I might try a come back, the Pope lands in Africa and announces, "no condoms!" Now there's a holy man in touch with a continent's tsunami of suffering. NOT. All these hierarchicals care about is maintaining their power and financial might. I prefer the real compassion of Jesus. Whatever happened to Him?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  248. Michael from Florida

    Congressman Kennedy is a Catholic ? You could have fooled me. A real Catholic lives by his beliefs. I never heard anyone force him to stay in the Catholic Church. It seems Congressman Kenedy wants it both ways. He'll shout from the highest mountain that he's a Catholic when it's in his political intrest, (his district is predominantly Catholic) and will go to the church's seaking votes. But his liberal views are more important than his religious beliefs. Not only should he not receive communion he should voluntarily leave the Catholic Church

    November 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  249. ron, sun city center,FL

    Jack! If the catholic church has forgoten about the seperation of church and state, they should lose their tax exempt status. Ron, Sun city center, Fl

    November 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  250. Bill from pa

    When are people going to wake up to the gross hipocracy of this organization. It is because of they're opposition not so much to abortion, as to birth control which causes so many unplanned and unaffordable mouths to feed and drain rapidly declining resources in the world, particularly Latin American countries, and then whine for special tax treatment to keep on supporting their folly. TAX TIME!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  251. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    Yes, I think the Catholic church should deny any politician who's career deserves to be aborted, whether they are catholic or large dollar donors in the hopes of their own absolution.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  252. Buddy Toronto

    Where is the morality that the Catholic Church would deny health care ti millions of Americans by preventing the passage of a bill in order to deny the right of a women to a legal procedure? Is it a suprise that the same Church refuses to ordain women?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  253. ROD Chicago

    Hey, it is what it is. As a Catholic, I beleive this is the right thing to do. You cant have it both ways. Either You beleive in Catholic doctrine and practice it, or you dont. It sound like Kennedy doesnt.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  254. Justin - St. Paul, MN

    Yes, the Church can and should be able to deny someone the sacrament of Holy Communion. When you go up to receive Christ in Holy Communion you are saying that you believe what the Church teaches, aka you are in communion with the Church, these politicians are obviously not. For the normal person it is impossible to see whether they should be receiving Holy Communion, but politicians live very public lives and in fact many times proclaim that they are not in communion with the Church by supporting abortion, or other moral issues. When they do this they say they are not Catholic and shouldn’t want to receive Holy Communion in the first place, but if they do the Church should deny them Holy Communion because by letting them receive Holy Communion the Church is saying that what those politician are supporting is O.K. when in fact the Church is not O.K. with it.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  255. Sioux - AZ

    Jack – My answer is no, No, NO. If the church wants to use its influence to sway the politics that affect all us Americans than it needs to give up tax exempt status. God knows, our country can use the income!!!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  256. harold schwartz

    The church should stay out of politics. I have voted for catholics for other reasons since I am not catholic. But if that has to change then I will make the change. The church should lose their tax free status if they are going to be political. The catholic church should just shut up and take care of their pedophile priests instead of looking at what other people do.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  257. Montgomery Haze

    Dear Jack.
    its sad that the Church is so good at sanctioning others and has difficulty looking into their own front lawn, One will go to hell for abortion, but what about the years of sexual abuse of young Catholics over the years boys being sodomize and young girls becoming pregnant in the sisterhood all being hidden under the alter. The men responsible for these sins were being defended and in most cases were never banned from communion,

    November 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  258. Anthony Mignone

    We catholics strongly believe that abortion is murder and I for one praise the Bishop's guts for taking a stand. If Sen Kennedy comes into a Catholic Church and tries to receive Communion what message is the Bishop sending to all his flock? And yes Mr Cafferty he is supposed to do that!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  259. JohnG

    The Catholic Hierarchy seems to be bound and determined to write our laws. They already have a majority in the Supreme Court and may succeed unless concerned citizens do something to defend ourselves. The only thing that I can think of is to take away the generous tax exemptions that they enjoy.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  260. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    In the Bible it says that everyone should look into thier own heart to determeine if they are worthy of taking Communion, because only GOD, and each of us know our own sins. I did not see any where in my Bible that a church administrator had the right to deny anyone one communion, GOD will deal with those who no they are unworthy. The Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island is completely wrong and he knows it!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  261. john ..... marlton, nj

    Yes, the Church should deny communion..

    November 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  262. walt Utah

    Dear Jack,

    I just re-read the first Amendment regarding freedom of Speech and Religion.
    The way I understand this amendment to the Constitution guarantees that a representative of the Catholic Church, as any American, can say whatever they want.....case in point Reverend Jeremiah Wright. If the Catholic Church wants to restrict a Sacrament to a member, they can. The member if also free to criticize the church and leave it for another religion. In my 62 yrs as a member of the Catholic Church, they have never instructed me on how to vote on an issue or who to vote for or against. As Catholics, we do believe that abortion is the murder of the innocents.

    Walt
    Sandy, Ut

    November 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  263. lkr

    How come we were taught that people came from other lands to have better freedoms. One of those freedoms was the separation of church and state. The Catholic Church seems to be overstepping this idea. I don't vote for a politician because of their religion. Abortion is only one issue, and I look at a person's views on all subjects, regardless of their religious views. Go Sen. Kennedy, follow the dictates of your political views. Your father would be proud of you. And the Catholic Church, when you are perfect in every way, then you can complain, and your biggest problem, is getting your people back to the church.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  264. Marge, Merritt Island, FL

    The Catholic church, any church for that matter, is nothing if not full of hypocrisy. The mob has been receiving communion, baptisms, and burial with full honors since their inception. If the church can turn a blind eye to the Mafia when they've killed tens of thousands with their illegal activities in the drug, and prostitution trades, just to name a couple of their community organizations (wonder how many of their mistresses have had abortions?) I don't see why Catholic politicians can't too. There's not much difference between the two, both groups are parasites living off society, and what's good for the goose should be good for the gander. Question . If women aren't Catholic, or evangelical, but that's another question, do they have to do with their uterus what a bunch of men that don't have sex, unless it's with little boys, say they have to? Or can I follow my own God, or lack there of?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  265. John

    Ist Corinthians 11:28 says "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup" It is up to the individual to decide if he is worthy of communion..

    November 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  266. Pat - Overland Park KS

    What the Catholic church confusion is that Patrick Kennedy stands for the law that was set forth in Roe V Wade, a woman's constitutional right to choose. It does not mean he himself supports abortion.

    The Kansas bishop made the same mistake with Gov. Sebilius.
    I am Catholic and also oppose abortion as a birth control method. With all the ways to prevent a pregancy these days there should be no unwanted pregnancies at all. However, in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother I do support a woman's right to choose. I am not sure what I would do if I were raped and got pregnant. Women who keep their babies in this case are very brave, but when a woman becomes the victim of a crime I don't think anyone has the right to tell that woman what she should or should not do in that case. Incest and rape usually go together and as far as life of the mother, it is only in extreme cases that the baby would likely not survive anyway and it puts the life of the mother and baby in jeapordy. In cases of rape, incest or life of the mother it is between the woman, her doctor and her faith basis. In any case such as this it would be a difficult decision and the church should be a little bit more understanding.

    Remember these are men that don't know what they are talking about when it comes to a woman and her body. When and if any of these bishops including the pope can get pregnant then they can tell us women what to do with our bodies.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  267. michael, Montreal, Canada

    Jack, I believe most religions teach exclusion and hypocrisy in some form or other and the Catholic Church is no exception. The God I believe in teaches neither. He is a truly loving God. He has only message for us that is to show true love and compassion to all..a simple message to be sure, but a message that is very, very hard to fulfill one that takes our souls many ,many lifetimes to achieve and we don't need religion to guide us on this path. In fact the world would be a much more peaceful place if there were no organized religions to deal with. I believe that most of our wars and numerous insurrections throughout the ages can be traced back to some religious belief or conviction

    November 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  268. Amy

    Yes, The Catholic Church should deny communion to public figures who *publicly* support abortion AND *publicly* claim to be Catholic. I don't think it's a separation of Church and state issue because the Catholic Church should deny communion to anyone, not just politicians, who publicly support abortion, and in particular those who take actions which support abortion, such as paying for one person's abortion or providing funding to a clinic which provides many abortions. Although abortion is a political issue, it is certainly a Church issue.

    Several people here have posted that the Catholic Church should loose it's tax exemption for meddling in political affairs. But if this is true, then any Church Pastor who refuses to marry homosexuals is meddling in political affairs. And perhaps any Pastor who does marry homosexuals is meddling in political affairs. A Pastor refusing a blessing or a sacrament to one person who publicly speaks against that Church's values is not the same as a Church donating money to a political party.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  269. chaney, La.

    Church and State are supposed to be separate, and with good reason.......

    November 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  270. Tom from Jacksonville Florida

    If you don't like it change religion....
    Is that like changing a light bulb? ....if your born and baptized Catholic and recieved most of the sacraments (The mark of God), how can one change religion?
    And if it is that easy, maybe thats why there is so much difference between churches ...
    You just got to believe something and your god will back you up on your interpitation .
    If you look at the church as it is today ...it still wan'ts to keep its flock under thier control and in the Dark Ages.
    They don't believe in abortion because it puts lots of children in thier Catholic charities Orphanages so the Priest and Nuns can abuse them sexually and physically.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  271. MARY HELEN

    Since when is it ok that we as a country base our freedoms on what any kind of religious dogma states???
    Our country is going down the toilet.
    Truthfully, I am scared of our government/country and I may be moving out of it.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  272. - Teri

    This is why church and state should be separate.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  273. Paulette

    It's not about separation of Church and State! If you want to receive holy communion, then you should be practicing what the Catholic Church believes..thou shalt not kill comes to mind!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  274. Phyllis G Williams

    Should the Catholic Church deny communion to public figures who support abortion?

    Deuteronomy 30: 19 states above “Choice of Life or Death”
    Pro-Choice, the choice of death – leads to the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20: 14)
    Pro-Life, the choice of Life – leads to the Street of Gold (Rev. 21: 21)
    If you do not care about a person’s soul, you give them communion
    and let them go to destruction.
    If you love them you obey God, risk your own life and refuse them
    Communion (for known sins)

    November 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  275. Robert Thomson

    Sure and so why do we prevent Congress from writing a law that prohibits the Catholic Church from taking political actions for their religious purposes? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  276. Melanie

    Absolutely, catholic bishops should withhold communion from catholic politicians who publically support issues contrary to catholic teaching. The Church must stand up for its teachings...this is how they lead by example. If a politician opposes these teachings then they are catholic in name only and not really practicing and living out their faith.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  277. Amy Goldknopf

    Really, it is amazing how many non-
    Catholics don't hesitate to bash the Church any chance they get. This is a matter of faith and morals between a church and it's members.
    Stick to the subject at hand.....

    November 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  278. Madeline

    Congressman Patrick Kennedy needs to stick to his own beliefs and judgment and adhere to the USA Constituion rather than the doctrines of the Catholic Church in his position on legislative matters, including health reform and abortion. Remember, our Constituion requires the separation of church and state.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  279. Maria-Florida

    Why argue with the Catholic church or any religion, why not ask us women why we just don't have the doctor block our uterus so we can't get pregnant and then there will be no need for an abortion, there are modern procedures available, is not like we are still in the stone age. Why don't abortion clinics offer to women this birth control method, is it because they don't want to loose money from the procedures and from any complications that arise from the abortion? We can end up with a pelvic infection, a torn cervix or blood clots from an abortion. Are people obsessed with arguing the abortion argument, church argument to the point of ignoring modern procedures available?

    November 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  280. LaVerne

    Abortion is taking a human life. If you are oking this the church has every right to tell you you should not take communion as it is going against the teaching of the Bible. Jesus said very plainly what would happen to people who harmed little children.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  281. IrishCal - Northern California

    Hi Jack,

    This position – denying communion to a Catholic -is apalling.
    How dare they! (Remember that this pro-abortion?/no communion position is brought to you by the same Church that harbors and "rehabilitates" pedophile priests within the bosom of the Church, instead of turning them over to the courts.)

    I am a life-long Catholic, and once again cringe at the hypocricy of my Church.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  282. Big-K(DC)

    Jack, I just don't get it, since when do a person who gives you a small piece of waffer and a drop of wine makes them holier than thou, I don't think the manufacture of these items consider them selves GOD or maybe I am mistaken once the items are receive by the Priest they give him the Godly power to judge. This gets more pathetic each time the Catholic Bishops and or Priest try to explain their Godlyness.They just keep throwing bricks from inside a glass house.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  283. Lourdes

    Everyone is concerned with all else, except what is at stake here. The smallest, most defenseless of humans. Abortion kills. Reflect people, if your mother thought like these politians. You would not even be here.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  284. Maeneen

    Your earlier poster is wrong when she stated that supporting abortion is not a sin. It surely is.
    Why? because if you believe that life begins at conception, then ending that life deliberately is murder, and that, most assuredly is a sin.
    This is an issue between the elected official and his church, it is not a situation of the church is delving into ploitics. it is taking a stand against the intentional killing of an INNOCENT human life.
    A priest can refuse to give communion to someone who does notrepent their sin and enables others to commit that sin.
    If you are pro abortion, you cannot be a practicing catholic.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  285. Jaycie, Los Angeles

    The Catholic Church can make whatever rules they want for their voluntary members. However, they cannot impose THEIR rules on the rest of us who are not Catholics, and when they try to interfer in the political decisions in this country they should lose their tax excempt status.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  286. mel in NC.

    Yes, they should not allow communion to these people voting for abortion. The Church MUST have moral and biblical values.
    They don't change like the wind or the next media statement.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  287. RJ from Lake,MI

    Good, if you are going to talk the talk you have to walk the walk! Goes to show you that 99% of politicians are liars, thieves and crooks! Kennedy should no as well as any good Catholic that those things are not allowed and they should deny his communion!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  288. Branden - Chicago

    Yes, because it isn't a matter of church and state. It's a matter about Kennedy's Faith. Christian's are supposed to put God first above all else, THEN their family and jobs. Catholics believe life begins at conception, NOT when the court determines it to start. What grows that doesn't have life? An embryo starts growing at conception. So it IS murder and therefore a mortal sin. Catholics also believe that the bread and wine of communion actually becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ. And to take the body of Christ into a body with mortal sin on their heart is to defile the body of Christ. Haters out there need to realize it's not a question of what the individual wants, it's what God wants. God NEEDS to come first in our lives. There are going to be too many people thinking that most are going to heaven with false hopes. Eternity is too long to be wrong with this. I hope people realize this and make the right decisions. My prayers go out to all. God Bless and please take down your stubborn curtains to see the Truth!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  289. jeff

    Who cares what the church does?They're basing their religion and rules on a book of fables.If the bible was anything more that made up b.s. there would be room to worry about it!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  290. perry jones

    I don’t see the problem here this no different than any on the other organizations around the world and our nation if you want to play you must play by there rules . I personally do not like the church but they make the rules for all there members and the members understand the rules so it is up to them to comply to all the standards and rules of the organization . The members of congress as all members of our government and the members of the military all have sworn to up hold the standards of the constitution and defend it at all cost but so many of the politicians try to rewrite it so they can do what ever they feel is right this has been going on since they added the first new amendment to our construction, this may be right or it may be wrong but that is why all organizations have governing bodies of some kind or another
    Perry Jones
    Council Bluffs Ia

    November 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  291. Mark

    What ever happened to separation from Church and State? Can the Church legally refuse someone a sacrament based upon their political outlook? I very much doubt it as others have noted here, the Catholic faith allows you to take communion if you take an act of contrition, it doesn't say anything about you having to toe the line politically with a bunch of 18th century mindset Bishops.

    With all the problems facing the Catholic faith today; dwindling numbers, priests molesting kids, priests leaving the church to get married, its outdated simplistic dogma is proving that it is not ready for the 21st Century. By trying to conform with the new bible thumper crowd the Church is alienating its members and making it hard for free thinking people to be a part of it. All churches (and governments for that matter) should stay out of my bedroom and my personal decisions about things like abortion.

    I left the Church nearly thirty years ago when my local parish priest confessed he'd fallen in love with a woman and wanted to get married and they kicked him out. I've never looked back.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  292. Jill-IN

    Our founding fathers believed in separation of church and state. In the early days of our country, many people who came here sought relief from religious persecution – for belonging to the "wrong" religion. If the Catholic Church feels it should ex-communicate elected officials from communion, then why don't they go further, and get the names of all board members and Section 16 Officers of publicy held health insurance companies who write and administer group health insurance coverages (which pay for abortion). At least 30% of those officers are Catholic and hell, they are making high wages, outstanding bonuses, and lots of perks for it.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  293. philippe bizimana

    Yes, to receive holy communion is to receive Jesus himself, who is the Maker of life, and the Supporter of those who are powerless to defend for themselves, especially unborn. As catholics, we prevent ourselves to receive the holy communion if we have a grave sin.

    So, politicians who support abortion would not receive the Eucaristy.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  294. JORGE

    yes, Church has rights to deny sacrament, but I think churches are too involve in politic for a long time and It's time to eliminate their tax exceptions

    November 23, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  295. RJ from Lake,MI

    Jack and looking at this realistically without the abortions all these pro lifers would have to pay a lot more in taxes to support all un-aborted babies! Pro-lifers are two faced, on one hand they want to control other peoples private lives and say abortion is wrong and it should be illegal but then those same pro-lifers dont want to shell out more of their wealth to support their own ideals, they just expect people do as they say, sorry doesnt work that way!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  296. Cecilia from Hamden

    I would not care, if I were Kennedy. The Bishops can horde all the communion wafers all they want. They are the most un-Christian group.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  297. Boyd, Reedsburg, WI

    The Catholic Church's willingness to forfeit the lives of 45,000 Americans, who die each year for lack of health care, to get religious-based laws passed that will take us back into the dark ages of back alley abortions, shows exactly where their ambitions and priorities lie: political power through religion, and not people.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  298. Peter

    While the bishop is entitled to his orthodox views on church policy, Catholic laymen and women in politics should be exempt from adhering to church policy carte blanche. They represent a diverse heterogeneous electorate. Whatever happened to the request by the late Pope John Paul II that clergy are NOT to be involved in politics? Congressman Kennedy is only trying to represent ALL of his constituents. I doubt he, like most Catholic politicians in the U.S. would make speeches advocating abortion. Nevertheless, he, like politicians of any religion should allow women the right to choose, even if he is personally against abortion.
    Peter
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

    November 23, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  299. Judy Strandmark

    I don't think any church/religious group should try to insert themselves in the political decisions or decisionmakers in the country. But if they are so inclined, why have they not exacted similar penalties on all of the politicians who support the death penalty? Same basic issue, all life is sacred! I guess it's all politics, after all, not religious beliefs.

    November 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  300. Dixie

    First of all communion is not a catholic sacrament. Jesus Christ, himself, said "do this in remembrance of me," He meant it to cleanse us of our sins. How dare a priest, bishop, or anyother human think they have the right to keep anyone from receiving Christ's sacraments. I also believe the bible when it states. "remove the log from your eye and before you attempt to remove a splinter from anothers.

    November 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm |