Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 30, 2009 / 12 Kislev 5770

Abortion not a gray area for Catholic pols

By Kathryn Lopez




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Patrick Kennedy has a remarkable opportunity. The Democrat, a congressman from Rhode Island and the son of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, is currently embroiled in a scandal of his own making. I'd be delighted to be able to write a profile on his "courage" as it plays out.


First of all, contrary to the game of telephone sometimes referred to as journalism, Patrick Kennedy's bishop did not seek to publicly reprimand Kennedy for his vociferous opinions on the Church, abortion and health care. Bishop Tobin of Providence was summoned by Kennedy's public scandal. Tobin has long sought to address, privately, the scandal that is Kennedy's support for legal abortion.


But in the wake of his father's passing, in the heat of the health-care debate in Washington (considered by many an exercise in tribute to Ted Kennedy), Patrick Kennedy decided to take the opportunity to lecture the Catholic Church about morality, public policy and the killing of the unborn.


As the U.S. House of Representatives readied health-care legislation that, unless amended, would involve federal funding for abortion, Kennedy complained about the Catholic bishops' no-holds-barred opposition to such a measure. Against the largest health-care provider in the United States, a Church whose name he uses to bolster his, Kennedy railed: "You mean to tell me the Catholic Church is going to be denying those people lifesaving health care? I thought they were pro-life?" "If the church is pro-life, then they ought to be for health-care reform," he insisted, going on to accuse the Church of fanning "the flames of dissent and discord."


The problem, of course, is that various iterations of the health-care legislation would allow the denial of some of the most innocent life. And Bishop Tobin, in his role as leader and spiritual father, was compelled to remind Kennedy of that fact.


And so Tobin called Kennedy's statement "irresponsible and ignorant of the facts." He explained the Church's position and he called for reparations: "I believe the Congressman owes us an apology for his irresponsible comments. It is my fervent hope and prayer that he will find a way to provide more effective and morally responsible leadership for our state."


After canceling a meeting with Tobin, Kennedy hastened to polish up his spiritual bona fides. "The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic," he asserted.



Kennedy would continue the public discussion as the health-care debate began in the Senate, announcing to a local paper that Tobin had instructed priests not to give him Holy Communion. In response, Tobin released the contents of a letter that he had sent Kennedy in 2007, asking him not to receive the sacred rite. The letter read: "I am writing to you personally and confidentially as a pastor addressing a member of his flock... At the present time I have no need or intention to make this a public issue." Kennedy wrote back: "I understand your pastoral advice was confidential in nature and given with the best intentions for my personal spiritual welfare."


Well, so much for that.


But Kennedy's obstinacy — born, most likely, out of deep confusion about what it means to be Catholic — offers the Catholic Church a much-needed opportunity. In the days after Kennedy made his inaccurate announcement about what exactly his bishop had said to him, Pennsylvania Democrat Rep. Patrick Murphy - -another Catholic abortion-rights supporter - -received a JFK Foundation award from Patrick Kennedy's cousin, Caroline. Murphy, who voiced support for Kennedy, told the newspaper that he agrees with the Church on "99 percent of the issues."


That may be a convenient answer for a politician who wants to be known as a Catholic. But as Tobin put it in a public letter to Kennedy after his "any less of a Catholic" declaration this fall: "When someone rejects the teachings of the Church, especially on a grave matter, a life-and-death issue like abortion, it certainly does diminish their ecclesial communion, their unity with the Church."


It's hard not to think of the late Pennsylvania governor Robert Casey, another Catholic Democrat. In a speech at the University of Notre Dame in 1995, he said: "Human life cannot be measured. It is the measure itself. The value of everything else is weighed against it. The abortion debate is not about how we shall live, but who shall live. And more than that, it's about who we are."


At his funeral, Ted Kennedy was hailed as a "beacon of social justice." If the lion of the Senate's son heeded the guidance of his bishop and the words of the late governor, and became a brave pro-life Democratic leader, the Kennedy name could rightfully be just that.

Comment by clicking here.

Archives

© 2009, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles