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Patrick Kennedy's Bishop Makes the Right Call

The Associated Press reports the following:

"A bitter dispute over abortion that prompted Rhode Island's Roman Catholic bishop to ask Rep. Patrick Kennedy not to receive Holy Communion has revealed the depth of the divide among Catholics over how politicians should reconcile their faith with their public duties.

Bishop Thomas Tobin on Sunday said he made the request because of the Democratic lawmaker's support for abortion rights. The news prompted debate among Catholics around the country and within the bishop's flock in the nation's most Catholic state about whether it was right for Tobin to publicly shame Kennedy for breaking with the church on what its leaders consider a paramount moral issue."

It's about time! Catholic politicians have been trying to have it both ways for years, some even obeying that church's teaching when it comes to capital punishment for convicted murderers but disobeying those teachings when it comes to "capital punishment" for the innocent unborn.

No one is forced to join the Catholic Church and no one is forbidden to leave it. But if a Catholic politician wants the benefits of  Roman Catholicism in his political life and the life to come, he should be expected to obey its most fundamental teachings.

Cal Thomas is America's most widely-syndicated newspaper columnist and a Fox News contributor.

Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribune.com.