.- Joining the response to U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedyâs charge that the Catholic bishops are spreading discord on health care reform, Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan has said the congressmanâs remarks were âsad, uncalled-for, and inaccurateâ and has asked for an apology.
In an interview with CNSNews.com, Rep. Kennedy (D-RI), son of the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, had accused the Catholic Church of fanning âthe flames of dissent and discordâ because Catholic bishops declared that they will oppose the proposed health care reform unless it explicitly prohibits funding of abortion.
Archbishop Dolan commented on Rep. Kennedyâs remarks in an Oct. 26 blog post on the Archdiocese of New Yorkâs website.
âThe Catholic community in the United States hardly needs to be lectured to about just healthcare. Weâve been energetically into it for centuries. And we bishops have been advocating for universal healthcare for a long, long time.
âAll we ask is that it be just that -- universal -- meaning that it includes the helpless baby in the womb, the immigrant, and grandma in a hospice, and that it protects a healthcare providerâs right to follow his/her own conscience.
âThis is what the President says he wants; this is what we bishops say we want,â he continued.
The archbishop said that Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin, Rep. Kennedyâs bishop, had a âgood pointâ in saying that the Congressman owes an apology to the Catholic Church.
Bishop Tobin also called Kennedy a âdisappointment to the Catholic Churchâ and criticized his remarks as âirresponsible.â