Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Kennedy son 'denied communion' in US abortion row

The late Senator Edward Kennedy's son, Patrick
The late Senator Edward Kennedy's son, Patrick, criticised bishops

The late Edward Kennedy's son, Patrick, has been asked not to receive Holy Communion in a row with a Catholic bishop over his stance on abortion.

The US Congressman revealed the move in a newspaper interview.

Bishop Thomas Tobin said there was no formal ban - although he asked him in 2007 not to receive communion.

The row comes after Congressman Kennedy criticised the church for threatening to oppose health care reform unless it included tighter abortion restrictions.

Mr Kennedy says his dispute with the church does not make him any less of a Catholic.

But Bishop Tobin said: "He attacked the church... on health care, on abortion, on funding. And that required that I respond."

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