Two Virginia Bishops have issued a statement condemning Tuesday’s pro-infanticide vote by self-declared “Catholic” senator Tim Kaine.
“We are deeply dismayed and astounded that the U.S. Senate has failed to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” reads the joint statement by Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Richmond Bishop Barry C. Knestout.
Requiring health care practitioners to give the same degree of care to babies surviving abortions as they do to other newborns is a matter of “common sense” and “basic human decency,” the bishops said.
The bishops go on to say they are “dismayed and outraged” that Virginia’s two U.S. Senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, “voted against this critical lifesaving legislation.”
Mark Warner is a Presbyterian, so he is technically outside of the Catholic bishops’ fold, whereas Tim Kaine regularly flaunts his Catholic credentials.
All of the 44 senators who voted against the bill were Democrats and seven of them call themselves Catholics, namely: Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Kaine, vice-presidential running mate to Hillary Clinton, repeatedly spoke about his Jesuit high school education, his year as a missionary in Honduras, and his personal faith journey as a Catholic that led him to pursue a career in public service.
The U.S. Catholic bishops, who generally strive to stay away from criticizing politicians, especially in an election year, were unusually vocal in their criticism of Tim Kaine’s claims to being a faithful Catholic, citing his open dissent from essential moral teachings of the Church.
In a social media post titled “VP Pick, Tim Kaine, a Catholic?” Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence noted that 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.
“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.
Meanwhile, in a column in his diocesan newspaper, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput also took issue with Kaine for his open dissent from Catholic teaching, along with former Vice President, Joe Biden.
These two “prominent Catholics,” the archbishop said, “both seem to publicly ignore or invent the content of their Catholic faith as they go along.”
Although Tuesday’s statement by the two Virginia bishops expresses outrage at the immoral voting of Senator Kaine, they have not gone as far as other bishops who host pro-abortion Catholic politicians in their dioceses.
Last year, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield barred Senator Dick Durbin from receiving Holy Communion in his home diocese because of his overt support for abortion legislation.
Durbin’s record of political support for abortion constitutes “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,” the bishop said, quoting a stipulation in Canon Law for withholding Communion from a Catholic.
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