Hillary Clinton’s vice-presidential running mate Tim Kaine has described himself as a faithful Catholic, a position that Catholic bishops around the country are beginning to question publically.
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence offered a critique of Kaine over the weekend, wondering aloud how a self-proclaimed “Catholic” could give public support for anti-Catholic positions that attack the fabric of American society.
In a Facebook post he titled “VP Pick, Tim Kaine, a Catholic?” Tobin notes that Democratic VP choice Tim Kaine “has been widely identified as a Roman Catholic” while at the same time “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,” Tobin wrote, dashing the left’s spurious claim that Kaine is a “Pope Francis Catholic.”
“Senator Kaine has said, ‘My faith is central to everything I do.’ But apparently, and unfortunately, his faith isn’t central to his public, political life,” Bishop Tobin concluded.
Tobin isn’t alone is his criticism of the vice presidential nominee.
In a thinly veiled reference to the Senator, Kaine’s own Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia released a statement regarding Catholics in public office on July 22, in which he specifically reiterated Catholic teaching on the inherent evil of abortion.
“From the very beginning, Catholic teaching informs us that every human life is sacred from conception until natural death. The right to life is a fundamental, human right for the unborn and any law denying the unborn the right to life is unequivocally unjust,” he wrote.
Kaine has described himself as “a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Since joining the Senate in 2010, Kaine has maintained a perfect pro-abortion voting record, earning him a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Senator Kaine has “maintained a 100% pro-choice voting record in the U.S. Senate,” said NARAL president Ilyse Hogue in a statement. “He voted against dangerous abortion bans, he has fought against efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and he voted to strengthen clinic security by establishing a federal fund for it.”
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has said of Kaine that he is “not only a solid vote but really an ally.”
The U.S. Bishops have emphasized the centrality of the protection of innocent human life in their voter’s guide, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.”
In it, the bishops state that in Catholic teaching the “right to life” is paramount. The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life “is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed,” they state.
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