Full article with video found here: Bishop confirms banning Kennedy from receiving Communion | NECN
Patrick Kennedy, the Kennedy family member who has taken over his late father’s senate seat, has found himself in dangerous ground in his stance in the Church. The Rhode Island Bishop has asked Kennedy to stop taking holy communion due to his support and assistance in getting the current versions of health care reform pushed through. Actually this thing between Bishop Tobin and Kennedy has been going on since Kennedy and his family used their fame and standing to get the Church to annul his 12 year marriage. It seems its better late then never.
I am not going to get into the usual angles on this, they are obvious and well covered elsewhere. What I am going to talk about is the Church, its stance, and its abilities and obligations to its congregation. Many are stating the Church is out of bounds here, I do not take that view. I am not a stout Catholic, not even an Easter/Christmas Catholic, just christened and started out in the Catholic Church. However I am siding with the Church and wish they would go one step further for one simple reason.
The Catholic Church is a private spiritual organization. As such they have entry rules and teachings that must be learned and adhered to in order to remain a member. Communion is only taken after you have either been confirmed after passing catechism or the Church has been satisfied in your knowledge and acceptance of Catholicism teachings. Communion is holy to the Church, its leaders, and its members. For one high profile member to get a ‘pass’ by betraying one of the fundamental teachings of the Church is hypocritical and close to blasphemy. Religion should be the rock religious people build their lives upon. If the Church waffles or shifts the line on something then the congregation and their faith will be lost.
The Church needs to stop trying to gain new members by selling out on some of their teachings or stances. If you believe abortion is acceptable then you should be excommunicated from the Church, no matter who your family is or what your influence is. The Church has the ability to maintain its credibility through enforcing its rules on its members as it sees fit. For too long the Church has wandered from its core beliefs to satisfy the shifting cultural tides of the decade. Just because teen pregnancy and divorce are accepted and seen as normal in our society does not mean the Church should take a same stance and relax its stance on pre-marital sex and commitments made to the Lord in joining with another human being in life and eternity. The Church needs to stay consistent, why? God has not signaled he has changed his mind since the age of prophets has ended. His word is spiritual law for which we all know the penalty for disobeying. There are no appeals, leniency based on the age and times in which we live. Either we follow his path or we don’t, its pretty black and white. The Church needs to take the same stance and remind us all of this so we can make the decisions needed to life in our modern world the best we can.
The Catholic Church is a long time liberal leaning organization. Their liberal views do stop at the point where they cross the line with Church doctrine. Catholics are consistent on this issue. Abortion to them is wrong, the death penalty to them is wrong, the policies of greed and pitfalls of economic success are wrong to them. The Catholic Church was the only faction of the Democratic Party who stood in opposition to bringing the KKK into a full fledged part of the DNC, in the 1900’s! The Church does need to be allowed to enact its rights to preserve its teachings, philosophies, and rules as it sees fit, remember the people who feel the church is no longer for them are free to find any number of more liberal Protestant religions. You can’t have it both ways, the way Patrick Kennedy is wanting. You can’t have your pro abortion views for your political career and your religious support for your spiritual career coexist when they are at odds with each other. If Catholics are such an important part of your voting block and a big part of your life then you must live up to the principles or deal with the consequences. If Women’s Rights supporters and lobbyists are such an important part of your voting block and your spiritual beliefs are backseat to your religious convictions then its time to quite the Church as God is now second to man in your mind and views. The Kennedys have long gotten away with too much from the Church and this has been an example of favoritism in the flock for a long time and it needs to stop now. If the member is not willing to abide by the teachings kick them out. Sure, you will lose some members but the respect, belief, and integrity of the Church will be strengthened and shown as an example for all to follow. Our society changes all the time, our religion is not supposed to, unless God makes it known He has changed his mind, last I checked that hasn’t happened since Jesus Christ walked the Earth. The Church needs to prune these ‘convenient Catholics’ and put its support behind those who and the things that uphold its teachings. Integrity shines through, as does complacency.