Kennedy says he's troubled by bishop's comments

AP News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2009 4:37 PM

U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy says recent comments by Rhode Island's Roman Catholic bishop questioning the congressman's faith because of his stance on abortion and health care reform were "very disconcerting."

Kennedy, a Catholic and congressman from Rhode Island, had planned to meet Thursday with Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin to discuss a simmering conflict between them. But the bishop's office announced that the meeting was postponed indefinitely.

Kennedy said Tuesday that the bishop had not kept an agreement not to debate the issue in public in terms of Kennedy's personal faith.

The bishop has questioned publicly whether Kennedy can call himself a Catholic, given that in the health care debate, the congressman initially voted against tighter restrictions on abortion.