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Kansas Bishop: Tim Kaine Is a 'Cafeteria Catholic,' Worshipping What Is 'Politically Convenient'

Michael W. Chapman
By Michael W. Chapman | October 18, 2016 | 2:04 PM EDT

Democratic vice presidential

candidate Tim Kaine. (AP) 

Democratic vice presidential candidate, Tim Kaine, who often notes how his Catholic faith shapes his worldview is, in practice, a "cafeteria Catholic" who picks and chooses the "teachings of the Catholic Church that are politically conveniennt," said Archbishop Joseph Naumann, the Catholic head of the archdiocese of Kansas City, in an Oct. 14 column in the diocesan newspaper, The Leaven. 

Archbishop Naumann particularly noted Tim Kaine's irrational view in opposition to capital punishment but in support of abortion, and his apparent misunderstanding of biological science, which shows that when a human egg is fertilized it becomes a distinct, new human life with its own DNA. Also, "it is difficult to imagine that Senator Kaine has not seen the ultrasound images of his children and grandchildren when they were in their mother’s womb," said the archbishop.

"If he knows these truths of biology, why would he believe that anyone has the right to authorize the killing of an unborn human being?" said Archbp. Naumann.  "This is where the reproductive choice euphemism breaks apart. Does anyone really have the choice to end another human being’s life?"

Concerning Kaine's claim that he personally opposes abortion but doesn't want to impose his religious beliefs on others, Archbishop Naumann explained the illogic of such a view.

"It was painful to listen to Senator Kaine repeat the same tired and contorted reasoning to profess his personal opposition to abortion while justifying his commitment to keep it legal," said the archbishop. "He said all the usual made-for-modern-media sound bites: It is not proper to impose his religious beliefs upon all Americans. He trusts women to make good reproductive choices. And when all else fails, there is always: Do we really want to criminalize and fill our jails with post-abortive women?"

"With regard to the imposition of religious beliefs, Senator Kaine appears to have no qualms with his public positions conforming with his religious beliefs with regard to such issues as the church’s opposition to racism or our preferential option for the poor," said the archbishop.  "He appears not to be conflicted with our public policies mirroring the Ten Commandments with regard to stealing, perjury, or forms of murder, other than abortion."

Further, America's founding fathers believed and stated that "the right to life is given to us by our Creator, not by the Supreme Court," said Archbishop Naumann. "[T]o understand that the government has a right to protect human life is not dependent on religious belief. As the founders’ stated, these are self-evident truths. They are accessible to everyone through the use of reason. They do not require faith."

"Why is Senator Kaine personally opposed to abortion, if he does not believe that it is the taking of an innocent human life?" said the archbishop. "I hope in his science classes at Rockhurst he learned that at the moment of fertilization a new human life has begun with his or her own distinct DNA — different from the genetic code of both the child’s mother and father."

"If he knows these truths of biology, why would he believe that anyone has the right to authorize the killing of an unborn human being?" said Archbishop Naumann.  "This is where the reproductive choice euphemism breaks apart. Does anyone really have the choice to end another human being’s life?"

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, head

of the Catholic Archdiocese of

Kansas City.  (Archdiocese of

Kansas City). 

The archbishop further noted that Kaine "expressed personal anguish" as the governor of Virginia when he had to enforce "capital punishment sentences," and that Kaine apparently tried to abolish the death penalty in Virginia. Yet when it came to abortion, said the archbishop, "I am not aware of Senator Kaine making a similar effort to convince his constituents to work for public policies that protect the lives of the unborn."

In fact, it seems clear that Kaine supports the expansion of abortion rights, said Archbishop Naumann. 

The Catholic leader also detailed Kaine's anti-Catholic actions in support of the following policies: "1) to coerce the Little Sisters of the Poor and other faith-based ministries to violate their conscience by including abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilizations in their employee health plans; 2) to put small business owners (e.g., florists, bakers, photographers, etc.) out of business with crippling fines if they decline to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies; and 3) to force every American taxpayer to help fund abortion."

"Both major political parties have nominated very flawed candidates," said Archbishop Naumann. But Catholics must "be wary of candidates who assume to take upon themselves the role of defining what Catholics believe or should believe," he said.

"Unfortunately, the vice-presidential debate revealed that the Catholic running for the second highest office in our land is an orthodox member of his party, fulling embracing his party’s platform, but a cafeteria Catholic, picking and choosing the teachings of the Catholic Church that are politically convenient," said the archbishop. 


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Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman