PROVIDENCE -- In his first news conference since his war of words with the Catholic bishop of Rhode Island, US Representative Patrick J. Kennedy declined to address the controversy today at a health care forum.
|Kennedy at today's forum. (AP)|
Earlier this month, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin said he was disappointed that Kennedy had revealed to the Providence Journal that the congressman had been forbidden from receiving communion in Rhode Island because of Kennedy's support of abortion rights. The bishop also said Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. had prolonged their public feud.
The bishop told reporters he wrote to Kennedy on Feb. 21, 2007, but intended it to remain confidential because it "sought to provide solely for his spiritual well-being."
After today's forum, Kennedy stuck to the comments he made during the gathering, about the importance of expanding access to health care and reducing the costs of the system. Police removed one person from the audience after he heckled the congressman about his pro-choice position.
“Outside of the one outburst, everyone was most interested in the issues that affect everybody, and the issues that haven’t gotten near the kinds of coverage that this one issue has,” he said. “I think at the end of the day the American people are exhausted by the debate by the extremes. They want to know about what meets their needs and addresses their issues and concerns about quality and coverage, and that at the end of the day affects most people.”
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