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Tuesday December 1, 2009

Police Arrest Town-Haller Demanding Rep. Kennedy Explain Abortion Support

By Peter J. Smith

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, December 1, 2009 ( – Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island Democrat, and son to the late “Lion of the Senate” Ted Kennedy, made clear to his constituents this past Monday that demanding how he could support anti-life measures in health-care reform and call himself a Catholic was a bridge too far to cross. In fact, one citizen who dared to as that question at a town hall event found himself dragged off by police, while Rep. Kennedy ignored all questions related to abortion or his faith.

CNN reports that Christopher Young, a candidate for mayor of Providence, was attending a public forum on health-care at Brown University on Monday. While there he rose to ask Kennedy how the politician could justify funding abortions with public money under health-care reform, when the Catholic faith teaches that abortion is a grave moral evil.

“Why would you mandate Catholics to support the funding of abortion when it goes against our religious beliefs? It forces Catholics to fund abortions or serve a five year prison sentence,” said Young. “You make it a felony. This is not a free country. You are forcing people to support a bill that goes against the religious beliefs of the people of this country.”

Young was referring to the provision in the House health-care plan (HR 3962) that makes the IRS the enforcer of the health-care plan. It would also make refusing to carry health-insurance or pay an increased tax of 2.5 percent tantamount to tax evasion, a felony offense. House Republicans pointed out that citizens could face a maximum $250,000 fine or a maximum five-year prison sentence for such violations.

But while Young was asking his question police officers – unhappy that moments before the mayoral candidate had tossed a DVD on Kennedy’s desk – dragged Young away from the podium. When Young resisted, Police officers proceeded to arrest him.

He was later charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

After the incident, Kennedy glibly remarked to reporters that he thought Young’s outburst is “part of the whole process of politics these days.”

CNN noted that throughout the forum, Kennedy not only refused to answer Young’s question, but any question related to abortion or his censure from Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin. Tobin had recently stated that Kennedy’s support for abortion was “scandalous” and called into question whether the Congressman could in good conscience call himself a Catholic.

During the public back and forth between the bishop and the politician that occurred after Kennedy questioned whether the U.S. bishops were truly “pro-life” because of their position on abortion-promoting health-care, Kennedy revealed that Tobin had privately directed the politician, who also supports homosexual “marriage,” that he was forbidden to receive Communion.

However, in the last couple weeks Kennedy has ceased engaging Bishop Tobin as part of what may be a strategy of lying low on abortion, especially in a state that boasts the highest concentration of Catholics in the United States.

Kennedy rebuffed reporters who wanted to know about the status of his fight with the Church over abortion.

“I’ve said what I can about that,” Kennedy demurred. “It’s not worth repeating. These are personal issues of faith to me. I’m not going to indulge in this debate anymore.”

See video of Christopher Young’s arrest.

See related coverage by

Bishop Tobin on O’Reilly: Catholic Politicians Must “Quit Your Job and Save Your Soul” Rather than Support Abortion

Bishop Tobin Asked Rep. Kennedy Not to Receive Communion

Catholic Bishop Publishes Extraordinary Letter Re: “Obstinate” Kennedy’s Abortion Support

Tobin says to Kennedy, “Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members”

Bishop Tobin asks Rep. Kennedy to Talk after Abortion/Healthcare Remarks