In the video below, Bishop Thomas Tobin speaks well enough for himself on the decision to advise Congressman Patrick Kennedy not to receive Holy Communion. My remarks are thus brief. I want only to call your attention to a powerful reminder given by Bishop Tobin. About mid way through the interview he states simply but clearly that if a person’s career, job or position conflicts with their faith they should leave that career, job or position. In a world that esteems such things above almost anything else, this is an earth-shaking summons: faith is more important than any worldly blessing. This insistence comports well with what Jesus says clearly in Scripture:
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. (Matt 6:24)
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matt 10:37-39)
Life in this world and faith are often in conflict and difficult choices are required of us. If Mr. Kennedy asserts (wrongly I think) that he cannot reconcile his faith in the matter of abortion to public policy, then he should choose his faith and leave the Congress. What is he first? A congressman or a Christian? It seems clear enough to me that he could remain a congressman if he simply refused to promote abortion rights and fund them. But since he (not the Church) says that as congressman he CANNOT vote pro-life, then Bishop Tobin, accepting the conflict that Kennedy insists he has, has invited him to choose.
Now the interview.