Hillary Clinton’s selection of Sen. Tim Kaine as her vice presidential running mate resurfaces the old question about a Catholic politician’s stance on the beginning of life.
Tim Kaine’s resume as a Catholic sounds pretty good. Jesuit education. Missionary service. Sunday Mass. Member of the choir. Opposed to the death penalty. But then there’s that thorny issue of abortion.
Apparently, you cannot be a pro-life Democrat and move up through the party’s ranks. The Dems are solidly in favor abortion and see it as a woman’s “right.” The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is the taking of a life in its earliest stages and therefore morally wrong.
Ever since the late New York Gov. Mario Cuomo’s stance that he was personally opposed but supported keeping it legal, Catholic pols have used the same sorry excuse to justify their stances. Seems to me that if you’re personally opposed to killing a child in the womb, there’s no way you can be at peace with it as the law of the land.
No Catholic politician can pass off being for abortion as a viable Catholic position.
Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond, Va., Kaine’s home diocese, issued a July 22 statement as well “regarding Catholics in public office” that reiterated the Church’s pro-life stance though it did not mention Kaine by name.
“We always pray for our Catholic leaders that they make the right choice, act in the best judgment and in good conscience knowing the values and teachings of the Catholic Church,” the statement read.
One report described Kaine as a Pope Francis Catholic, although the current pope has time and again stated his opposition to abortion.
“I have a traditional Catholic personal position, but I am very strongly supportive that women should make these decisions and government shouldn’t intrude,” Kaine told CNN. “I’m a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions. In government, we have enough things to worry about. We don’t need to make people’s reproductive decisions for them.”
Kaine’s positions are already getting him in trouble with some Catholic bishops. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I., explains that while Kaine has been widely identified as a Roman Catholic, it is also reported that he publicly supports “freedom of choice” for abortion, same-sex marriage, gay adoptions and the ordination of women as priests.
“All of these positions are clearly contrary to well-established Catholic teachings; all of them have been opposed by Pope Francis as well,” said Bishop Tobin.
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, is highly critical of the Democratic Party’s platform position on abortion.
“The Democrats’ draft platform is telling loyal grassroots supporters that unless they favor totally unrestricted and taxpayer financed abortion on demand, they are no longer welcome in the party,” said Pavone. “Apparently, it’s not just the unborn whom Democratic Party leaders disrespect, but also rank and file pro-lifers and the handful of Democratic Members of Congress who vote pro-life.”
Ironically, Republican nominee Mike Pence, who describes himself as an “evangelical Catholic,” agrees with the Church teaching against abortion, although he no longer worships in a Catholic church.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could find a Catholic politician who would say that he or she agrees with Church teaching!