Bishop urged Kennedy to stop receiving Communion

The Roman Catholic bishop of Rhode Island says he asked Rep. Patrick Kennedy to stop receiving Holy Communion in 2007 because of the lawmaker’s support for abortion rights.

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Roman Catholic bishop of Rhode Island says he asked Rep. Patrick Kennedy to stop receiving Holy Communion in 2007 because of the lawmaker’s support for abortion rights.

That revelation Sunday proved an ugly climax to a simmering feud between Kennedy and his staunch critic, Bishop Thomas Tobin.

Kennedy told The Providence Journal in a story published Sunday that Tobin “instructed” him not to receive Communion because of his abortion rights stance. Kennedy said Tobin told diocesan priests not to give him Communion.

Tobin says he asked Kennedy to stop receiving communion but he never instructed his priests not to give the sacrament to Kennedy.

The two men have clashed over abortion restrictions in a proposed overhaul of the nation’s health care system.

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