Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence, R.I., has called one of his flock “irresponsible and ignorant” — and not just any member: U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy, son of the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy (see EWTN).
Bishop Tobin’s comments were in response to the congressman’s allegations that the U.S. Catholic Bishops were fanning “the flames of dissent and discord” because of their principled opposition to the proposed “health care reform” legislation, which will allow the public funding of abortion and strip away conscience protections for medical professionals.
Bishop Tobin issued a statement on the Diocese’s Web site, which read, in part:
Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s statement about the Catholic Church’s position on health care reform is irresponsible and ignorant of the facts. But the Congressman is correct in stating that “he can’t understand.” He got that part right.
As I wrote to Congressman Kennedy and other members of the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation recently, the Bishops of the United States are indeed in favor of comprehensive health care reform and have been for many years. But we are adamantly opposed to health care legislation that threatens the life of unborn children, requires taxpayers to pay for abortion, rations health care, or compromises the conscience of individuals.
While I admire the U.S. bishops for their adamant stand against the monstrosity of a government run and dictated health care system — and Bishop Tobin’s courageous stand against a powerful member of Congress — I have always wondered what, when they advocate for “comprehensive coverage” did they expect, especially from this reckless and leftist crew now running the show in Washington?
I pray this is a wake up call to the bishops. They must now realize that their panacea for each and every social justice cure — exclusive government intervention — only leads to bigger and more grave consequences for society. Unfortunately, the increase in poverty despite the Great Society and its legacy programs, has not opened their eyes. Now, however, maybe they see.