Catholic Politicians: Allegiance to Church or State?

This business between Patrick Kennedy and Bishop Tobin over abortion and the health care bill is becoming a real tempest in a teapot, exacerbated by the fact that Bishop Tobin is no wallflower and has no qualms about arguing in public, which he does rather well. Of course, based on the public record, it appears that it was Kennedy himself who took a private matter public in the first place, something I am sure he wishes he hadn't done. Now we have this bizarre crossover of the issue into Kennedy's mental state and fitness, despite the Bishop's assurances that he means no such thing.

There is one critical aspect of this controversy that I don't understand here (disclosure: I am not a Catholic)- Are American politicians supposed to obey the Church first and foremost on a particular issue and not their own consciences or the prevailing view of their constituents? If that is the case, aren't we back at the charge that presidential candidate John Kennedy had to challenge: that as a Roman Catholic he would be doing the bidding of the Pope?

The Church's position seems to be: obey us or leave the Church. If a Catholic politician has to obey his Church, isn't that a case of church interference into affairs of state? Is it right for the Catholic Church, or any church or religion here in America, to demand that allegiance of an elected official?


  1. It's about time the Catholic church confronted Catholic politicians. Congressman Kennedy is dishonest with himself and to the voters of Rhode Island. His supporters are only Catholic in name only(CINO) and don't go to church any way. Kennedy is an hypocrite and arrogant because he is a Kennedy. When are the people wise up and vote him out

  2. I thought this issue was dead and buried back in 1960 when Patrick Kennedy's uncle JFK said he would not follow the pope's orders if he were elected president. In recent years, the evangoterrorists (and I include Tobin in this category) have exerted undue influence on American politics. An elected politician serves ALL of the people, not just those subscribing to a certain belief, whether it be anti-abortion or anti-gay. Tobin has every right to speak out under the First Amendment, but ordering a Catholic politician to put his Church first is just wrong. And, the policy is enforced discriminately. Why isn't the Church criticizing Joe Biden and telling him not to receive Communion?

  3. The Catholic Church (heck, all religious institutions) have no business telling politicians how to vote. Period. Elected politicians are behold to their constituents, not to their churches.

  4. If thats the case we should not listen or have them telling our politicians what to vote on.The UNIONs(all of them) , NOW, homosexual organizations. anti religious group, left wing progrssive organizations like thoes supported by Sores.

  5. You people are SO ignorant, probably democrats! God ALWAYS comes first in all things.You can't be a
    christian of ANY denomonation and not know this. And
    therfore you KNOW that their is only ONE way to live your life. Not one way in church and another in the
    This IS still a Christian nation in spite of the many
    Godless people out in the world and in many cases
    writing laws and "leading" us.
    So all of you frauds"you know who I'm talking about"
    keep up your pose for all the "people" around you and
    just remember-Our time here on earth is but a second
    in time Our"Father in Heaven" will judge you , not your


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