The Kennedy Legacy


Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence has asked Senator Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) to discuss health care legislation and life issues with him. The invitation follows a heated exchange in which Kennedy said the Catholic bishops were acting "against the biggest social justice issue of our time" by opposing abortion-funding health care legislation. Kennedy accuses the Church of fanning "the flames of dissent and discord" by resisting the abortion-funding legislation, and called their position an "absolute red herring."

What Mr. Kennedy fails to realize is that the Catholic Church in the United States has been at the forefront of healthcare for centuries. Many of the hospitals and nursing programs today were started through the efforts of the Catholic Church and the desire to assist the ill and suffering. 

Many bishops have been advocating for universal healthcare. However, common sense would dictate that healthcare should aim to keep people alive and healthy. The murder of a healthy child under the label of "medical procedure" does not change the fundamental immoralality of the act and should not be supported financialy or otherwise by the American taxpayers.

Bishop Tobin in turn responded by calling Kennedy "a disappointment to the Church and to the citizens of Rhode Island."

Tobins' letter to Kennedy argues that "the Catholic Church has been clear and consistent in its support of comprehensive health care reform; support that continues to this day." He said Kennedy is "a disappointment to the Church and to the citizens of Rhode Island" and invited Kennedy to meet with him to discuss the Church's support of both "comprehensive health care legislation and measures that protect and defend life."

It's a shame this even needs to be explained to anyone who claims to be Catholic.