In a powerful statement Sunday, the Catholic Bishop of Rockville Center blasted the hypocrisy of Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine, for his supposed personal opposition to abortion while publicly supporting it.
Without mentioning Kaine by name, Bishop William Murphy alluded to him directly in his statement, saying that a candidate’s public support for abortion disqualifies him as a candidate for office.
“Support of abortion by a candidate for public office, some of whom are Catholics, even if they use the fallacious and deeply offensive ‘personally opposed but . . .’ line, is reason sufficient unto itself to disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote,” he said.
Bishop Murphy, who is also Chair of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued his statement in the form of a letter that was read from the pulpit of every parish in his diocese on Sunday.
In case anyone missed the point, Murphy continued:
“Let me repeat that: Support of abortion by a candidate for public office, some of whom are Catholics, even if they use the fallacious and deeply offensive ‘personally opposed but . . .’ line, is reason sufficient unto itself to disqualify any and every such candidate from receiving our vote.”
The Bishop laid out Church teaching on the centrality of human life in Catholic morality, noting that no other issue bears the weight that abortion carries.
“Many issues are very important in our society today. But none of them can eclipse the centrality of human life, especially innocent human life in the womb or at the end of life,” he said. “Above all and over all, the number one issue more fundamental and crucial than any other is abortion – that is the direct taking of innocent life.”
Tim Kaine has regularly paraded his Catholic credentials when stumping before groups, calling himself a devout Catholic who benefited from a Jesuit education and spent time working as a missionary in Honduras.
Meanwhile, a number of important U.S. Catholic prelates have sharply criticized Kaine, accusing him of “inventing the content of his faith” and pushing positions “contrary to well-established Catholic teachings.”
One senior Archbishop urged voters to “be wary” of Kaine, calling him a “cafeteria Catholic” who picks and chooses from Church teaching according to its political expediency. Kaine, the Archbishop said, uses “contorted reasoning” to go on supporting abortion while pretending to be against it.
Kaine himself understands well the importance of Catholic voters come election day.
“The Catholic vote is going to be absolutely critical to our success,” Kaine said recently, encouraging volunteers to rally their fellow Catholics around the Clinton campaign.
Though hardly a monolithic voting bloc, Catholics account for more than 50 million potential American voters, and the “Catholic vote” is crucial for anyone wishing to set up shop in the White House.
The next president along with his or her administration will have a sizable impact on the future of abortion in the U.S. through his or her nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court and a number of other policies.
For a number of Catholic bishops, the issue seems important enough to issue a wake-up call to their flocks.
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