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This will come as jolt and help wake you up today....

My favorite sentence in this essay by Peter Roff on the FOXnews network, written obviously with great care for the well-being of the Catholic faith, is this one: "While not a Catholic, I understand the hierarchical nature of the [Catholic] church and the role that doctrine plays within it."

Yes, Mr. Roff, go on, we are all ears:

He writes:

Bishop Thomas Tobin’s request that U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), refrain from asking for Holy Communion seems, to me, to be an eminently reasonable one. While not a Catholic, I understand the hierarchical nature of the church and the role that doctrine plays within it.

To put it simply, and with the greatest of respect, the Catholic Church is not a place where “free-thinking” about doctrinal issues is encouraged. There is such thing as absolutely truth and not all things are relative or left to the discretion of the believer. As such it seems to me that Rep. Kennedy -- should he continue to choose to call himself a Catholic -- should show appropriate deference to church teachings, in this particular instance that life begins at conception and abortion, therefore, is a sin.

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By asking Kennedy to act of his own volition, rather than threaten to deny him the sacraments or ordering those subservient to him in the church to refuse to offer them, Bishop Tobin is encouraging the Congressman to consider his commitment to his faith -- something one should argue is the appropriate role for a member of the clergy. Instead, the issue is being spun as a case of a church trying to impose its will on freely elected politicians who represent a cross-section of the world’s religions, something prohibited by the U.S. Constitution, or so most people believe, pointing to Jefferson’s use of the phrase “wall of separation between Church and State” to underline the point.

With his great appreciation for the "nature" of our church maybe Roth might consider our RCIA program.

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