Archbishop Naumann Addresses Senator Kaine’s Anti-Catholic Rhetoric

“It is Painful to Listen to Senator Kaine”

by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, The Leaven:

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann

Though he has local roots in the Kansas City area, I have never met vice presidential candidate, Senator Tim Kaine. From those who do know him, I understand that he is a very affable and likable person.

In the Oct. 4 vice presidential debate, Senator Kaine acknowledged he was blessed with great Irish Catholic parents and grew up in a wonderful faith-filled family. He also mentioned proudly that he is a graduate of Rockhurst High School, crediting the Jesuits with instilling within him a desire for public service and a commitment to advocate for the poor. I wish that was the end of the story.

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. 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. 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.

The founders of our nation actually dealt with this issue 240 years ago in the Declaration of Independence, in which they articulate certain self-evident and inalienable rights that government does not bestow but has a responsibility to protect. Our founders actually believed that the right to life is given to us by our Creator, not by the Supreme Court.

Of course, religion will speak about fundamental human rights issues. However, to 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? 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.

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. Is the senator unaware that abortion stopped the beating hearts of 60 million American children aborted legally since 1973?

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? This is where the reproductive choice euphemism breaks apart. Does anyone really have the choice to end another human being’s life? Our choices end where another individual’s more fundamental rights begin.

As far as Senator Kaine’s fear that if abortion is made illegal, our prisons will be teeming with post-abortive women, we actually have decades of legal history in our own country when this was certainly not the case.

Before the late 1960s when abortion was illegal in every state, except for the life-of-the-mother cases, it is difficult to find a single instance of a woman imprisoned for abortion. The laws were enforced against the abortionists. Our own legal experience shows clearly that it is possible to develop public policies aimed at protecting children, not punishing women.

Actually, I wish Senator Kaine would take the time to talk with some of the post–abortive women that are assisted by Project Rachel and other post-abortion ministries helping women and men find healing, hope and mercy after an abortion. Our current permissive abortion policies, placing the entire burden of responsibility for the abortion decision upon the mother, results in millions of women experiencing an inner imprisonment where the bars keeping them from freedom and happiness are the guilt and unresolved grief that inevitably ensues from abortion.

It is interesting that Senator Kaine expressed his personal anguish when as governor he enforced capital punishment sentences. He gave the impression that he attempted unsuccessfully to convince Virginians to abolish the death penalty. Yet, with regard to legalized abortion, 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. Instead, he appears eager to champion not only maintaining the status quo, but actually expanding abortion rights.

It is ironic that Senator Kaine expressed such profound concern about imposing his religious beliefs on others, while supporting efforts: 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.

This presidential election presents all Americans with a difficult choice. Both major political parties have nominated very flawed candidates. In making your decision as a voter, I encourage you to think not only of the candidate, but who they will appoint to key Cabinet and other powerful government positions if he or she becomes president. We are choosing not just a president, but an entire administration.

Finally, be wary of candidates who assume to take upon themselves the role of defining what Catholics believe or should believe. 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.

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2 comments to Archbishop Naumann Addresses Senator Kaine’s Anti-Catholic Rhetoric

  • Di

    Let GOD arise,
    Let His enemies be scattered;
    Let all who hate Him flee before His Holy Face.
    ~Psalm 67
    ¡Viva Cristo † Rey! ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!
    Si vis pacem, para bellum!

    I have to disagree with one thing the good Archbishop said that is incorrect. “It is interesting that Senator Kaine expressed his personal anguish when as governor he enforced capital punishment sentences” This is taken from the “Seamless Garment” by Cardinal Bernadin (evil man)
    This is congruent with the Holy Bible and Church Teaching:
    God’s ways are above our ways, and His thoughts are above our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). His Word is very clear on this matter: We should put vile criminals to death. Let’s examine what the Bible says about the death penalty (capital punishment):
    First, God instituted the death penalty(Adam and Eve) after being disobedient and we all have a death sentence given to us by God it’s called… DEATH. Consider how God put most of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah to death with fire and brimstone. God killed almost everyone in a massive flood during Noah’s day.
    In the New Testament, God killed: Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11) Ananias need not have sold the land nor given the whole price to the common fund; he sinned by lying about the price and pretending to hand over all he had received. 3. Tempted: i.e., successfully; why did you yield to temptation? Cf. v.4. The Holy Spirit is clearly spoken of as a divine Person, guiding and protecting the Church; cf. 11, 12; 13, 2; 16, 6 f. 11. God’s purpose in punishing this sin so directly is partly revealed; fear served to preserve discipline and respect for the authority of the Apostles. Acts 5
    Genesis 9:5-6 And surely your blood, the blood of your lives, will I require; At the hand of every beast will I require it. And at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: For in the image of God made he man.
    *We learn here that there is sanctity to spilled blood. Why? Two reasons:
    1) Life is precious, and the life is in the blood. When blood is shed, something precious is lost. You might not think blood is precious. We tend to consider blood to be just a “bodily fluid”. It is, however, precious to God.
    2) An attack on man is an attack on the image of God. At a trivial level, you’re messing with sculptures in God’s art studio. In God’s view of bloodshed, it is not merely a physiological event, but it is an assault on the divine image. Why is murder punishable by death? It says, “For in the image of God made He man.”
    The secular power can without mortal sin carry out a sentence of death, provided it proceeds in imposing the penalty not from hatred but with judgment, not carelessly, but with due solicitude. (Pope Innocent III, DS 795/425)
    Even in the case of the death penalty the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. Rather public authority limits itself to depriving the offender of the good of life in expiation for his guilt, after he, through his crime, deprived himself of his own right to life. (Pope Pius XII, Address given September 14, 1952) The power of life and death is permitted to certain civil magistrates because theirs is the responsibility under law to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thou shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives.
    (Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, 1566, Part III, 5, n. 4)
    The Secret to Defeating the devil
    “… the genius of satan is to deceive the human mind in order to seduce the human will. Memorize that logic. satan knows that all the evil in the world begins with ERROR. Let me repeat. satan knows that all the evil in world begins with error. In other words, all sin in the human heart begins as untruth in the human mind.”
    ~Servant of God Fr. John Hardon

  • Maria Aznar

    You meant Senator Kaine, didn’t you? Governor Pence is the most Pro-Life politician I know, God bless him! +

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