Does Michael Sean Winters hate Patrick Kennedy? I’m serious.

If a friend of mine were running straight towards calamity I’d be inclined to yell out. Heck, even if an enemy of mine were dashing towards a ruinous end I’d be inclined to at least clear my throat or suggest they take a gander around.

No matter what, I certainly wouldn’t give press interviews about people’s right to run in any direction they choose.

But is liberal Catholic writer Michael Sean Winters’ hatred of all things Patrick Kennedy so raging and intense that he’s defending Congressman Patrick Kennedy’s right to run straight into danger?

That’s the big question that comes to my mind when reading Winters’ comments condemning Bishop Tobin’s private request of Kennedy not to receive Communion because of his public stance against life in the womb.

CBS reports:

Michael Sean Winters author of “Left At the Altar: How Democrats Lost The Catholics And How Catholics Can Save The Democrats” condemns Tobin’s punitive actions.

“It’s really bad theology,” said Winters. “You’re turning the altar rail into a battle field, a political battlefield no less, and it does a disservice to the Eucharist.”

Firstly, it is Kennedy who is making this a political battlefield. Bishop Tobin acted confidentially in a kind and loving way with Kennedy way back in 2007.

Kennedy, on the other hand, seems to believe that he can score some political points by casting himself as some kind of modern day Gallileo battling the Church but intent on only proving that he himself is the center of the universe.

Bishop Tobin’s actions are clearly meant as a way to ensure that other Catholics are not misguided into thinking that Kennedy’s behavior is condoned by the Church but also as a wake up call to a man who is putting his very soul in danger. I don’t suspect that Winters’ believes that reception of the Eucharist should have no requirements whatsoever so the only question that remains is whether Michael Sean Winters cares so little for the soul of Patrick Kennedy that he would condemn the bishop’s attempt to save him?

If one believes that supporting abortion is a sin, then one would also likely believe that supporting abortion (as Kennedy does) would put one’s soul in danger. While Winters clealy believes that Bishop Tobin’s reaction was harsh, does Winters believe that Bishop Tobin’s silence would be less so?