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This Isn't the Bishop's First Public Lashing of an Elected Catholic

A new Politico piece recalls that Bishop Tobin's clash with Patrick Kennedy is not his first public lashing of a pol for his position on abortion. In 2007, he penned a piece in the diocesan newspaper Rhode Island Catholic taking on Rudy Giuliani and - in an aside - Senator Jack Reed:

"I have no idea why I received an invitation to Giuliani’s fundraiser. I don’t know the Mayor; I’ve never met him. I try to avoid partisan politics. Heck, I’m not even a Republican. But most of all, I would never support a candidate who supports legalized abortion.

"Rudy’s public proclamations on abortion are pathetic and confusing. Even worse, they’re hypocritical... Rudy’s defection from the Catholic Faith on this moral issue is not unique, of course. Catholic politicians of both parties, nationwide, have followed a similar path in abandoning the Faith for the sake of political expediency: Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Pat Leahy, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden come quickly to mind. And on a local level of course, Congressman Patrick Kennedy and Senator Jack Reed. How these intelligent men and women will someday stand before the judgment seat of God and explain why they legitimized the death of countless innocent children in the sin of abortion is beyond me. (“But God, really, I was personally opposed to it but just couldn’t do anything about it.”)"

This comes a couple of weeks after the Boston Globe ran a front-page story on the bishop's history of vocal involvement in politics. This is the kind of story the ProJo should have run long ago. In an age of instant, on-line updates, newspapers' best shot at survival - at least in paper form - is context and analysis.

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