Pro-Abortion "Catholic" Politicians

What About a Little Old-Fashioned Excommunication?

Robert K. Dahl
Yet Another 'Catholic' Kennedy

(Posted 11/25/09 MSNBC’s “Hardball” used to be an occasionally amusing program whose front man, Chris Matthews, made a name for himself by poking fun at puffed-up politicians. But Matthews also likes to refer to himself as an enlightened “Catholic” (whatever!) when in fact it would be far more accurate to describe him as a rank Cafeteria Catholic.  The Second Vatican Council itself is far too traditional for guys like Matthews, who call themselves “Catholic” even though they’ve detached themselves from much of any obligation to follow Catholic teachings with which they happen to disagree.  Liberation, anyone?

Over the years Matthews’ shtick of not allowing a guest the basic courtesy of finishing a sentence has devolved into unfunny tirades and caustic sarcasm. Guests are bombarded with leading questions they never get a chance to fully answer while the tactics of a schoolyard bully ensure the host of Hardball always gets the last word. How MSNBC manages to sell advertising on programs hosted by such boors is anyone’s guess. 

I finally quit watching this Leftist egomaniac Matthews spew partisan positions so utterly antithetical to the Creed he’s always quick to claim as his own.  He might as well wear a sign: “I’m a Catholic! Don’t let my frequent departures from Church teaching fool you.”  

During a recent futile attempt to find something—anything—halfway informative to watch on TV, I accidently landed on one of Matthews’ Hardball harangues. Normally I’d just move on but my interest was piqued when I noticed his victim this time was the Most Reverend Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island (shepherd to over 620,000 Catholics). 

I stayed tuned to see what sort of abuse His Excellency would be forced to endure. I didn’t have to wait long. Matthews began browbeating the bishop for “interfering” with another "Catholic" windbag’s efforts to use tax dollars to subsidize the extermination of still more pre-born Americans. Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island had recently opened a can of worms by revealing that Bishop Tobin had privately admonished him two years ago to avoid taking Holy communion. Why?  Because young Patrick had already distinguished himself through a pro-abortion voting record.  He is, after all, a Kennedy!

In other words, the Bishop had been doing his job which was too much for young Mr. Kennedy who decided to make political hay out of the Bishop’s private communication, thinking nothing of dragging a Catholic shepherd into the pit where media snakes like Chris Matthews could have their way with him. 

A chip off the old block, the young Kennedy learned well from father Ted. He evidently wants to be his own bishop, picking and choosing which dogmas he'll follow. And he insists that he retains the right to call himself a Catholic and approach the communion rail at will—no matter how he votes or what public scandal he gives.

On the November 23rd broadcast of Hardball, Chris Matthews chastised not Kennedy, of course, but Bishop Tobin for intruding into the “sacred realm” of politics in “Ama-a-a-rica” where God and His ministers have no place. Repeatedly, he badgered the Bishop with that stale, old canard that pro-lifers want to jail every young woman who was ever browbeaten by a degenerate society into having an abortion. He seemed desperate to cajole the Bishop into calling for another Inquisition much like the fictitious one Chris knows all about from the movies.

Astounded by these insults, Bishop Tobin finally was able to remind Matthews that while he is not a legislator or a jailor he is a Successor of the Apostles and thus has a moral duty to privately admonish Patrick Kennedy and protect innocent life. With the few seconds he was allowed to actually speak, the Bishop also wondered aloud why Kennedy had gone public with a private exchange. Matthews ignored that, of course, and came back with a string of how-long-have-you-been-beating-your-wife questions.

This is all quite par for the course, alas. “Catholics” like Matthews and Kennedy challenging the authority of the bishops to say anything at all in the political arena is nothing new. And Bishop Tobin, not unlike other good bishops who have been hamstrung by political correctness and collegiality, appeared tragically tentative in his treatment of Patrick Kennedy and in his responses to Chris Matthews. But isn’t that how it’s been for far too long with our bishops when it comes to dealing with the “enlightened” Catholic politicians in America who have never (and will never) let God and his Church get in the way of their duty as “good Americans”?  After all, a young Senator John F. Kennedy launched himself all the way to the White House by vowing never to let the Pope tell him what to do. 

Hopefully, solid men like Bishop Tobin will not be discouraged but will also come to realize that the only way to deal with apostate Catholics is to expel them. In the case of the “Catholic” Kennedys, Pelosi, Biden, Matthews and so many others— excommunication would clarify the Church’s position, reduce the level of national scandal, and prevent further dalliances in apostasy on the part of other “Catholic” politicians who might be tempted to believe the Divine Will of the American People automatically trumps the Divine Will of Almighty God.