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“With the House debate on health care at its hottest, the U.S. Catholic bishops issued a stunning ultimatum: Impose an absolute ban on tax funds for abortions, or we call for defeat of the Pelosi bill.

 “Message received. The Stupak Amendment, named for Bart Stupak of Michigan, was promptly passed, to the delight of pro-life Catholics and the astonished outrage of pro-abortion Democrats.

 “No member was more upset than Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, son of Edward Kennedy, who proceeded to bash the Church for imperiling the greatest advance for human rights in a generation.

“Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin responded, accusing Kennedy of an unprovoked attack and demanding an apology. Kennedy retorted that Tobin had told him not to receive communion at Mass and ordered his diocesan priests not to give him communion.

“False! The bishop fired back.”

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