The name Kennedy is just about synonymous with American Catholicism, but (at least) one of the brood is publicly feuding with the church. Patrick Kennedy, son of Ted and U.S. representative of Rhode Island, has been forbidden by his bishop to take communion since 2007.

Kennedy says his pro-choice views prompted the ban. This is nothing new. The issue famously came up in the 2004 campaign when some conservative Catholics called for John Kerry, who was running at the time to be America’s second Catholic president, to be denied communion.

Hey, it’s their clubhouse and rules are rules — just as long as the church also denies communion to politicians who support the death penalty, cut poverty programs and covet their neighbors’ wives. — PZS

Boston Globe:

The war of words between the Catholic bishop of Rhode Island and US Representative Patrick J. Kennedy escalated yesterday when Bishop Thomas J. Tobin criticized him for disclosing a confidential request the prelate made in 2007 to stop receiving Holy Communion because of his stand on moral issues.

Tobin said he was disappointed the congressman had told a newspaper that he had been forbidden from receiving communion in Rhode Island because of Kennedy’s support of abortion rights. The bishop also accused the son of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy of prolonging their public feud.

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