U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, who identifies as Catholic, weighed in this week on Holy Communion for pro-abortion politicians, asserting that requiring Catholic legislators to oppose abortion is like imposing sharia law on the nation.
In an essay for the far-left National Catholic Reporter, Kaine suggested abortion is not a matter of the life and death of an unborn child, but merely of norms governing human sexuality.
For bishops to demand “Catholics in public life not only live according to church doctrine but additionally shape the law, even to include the threat of criminal prosecution and punishment, to enshrine church doctrine on sexuality as mandatory for all Americans is contrary to our basic liberty,” he declared.
“Why would government require that Catholic sexuality doctrine, or Sharia law, or Orthodox Jewish rules about Sabbath observance, be followed by all?” he asked.
Following on the same assumption — that abortion has nothing to do with defending human life — Kaine went on to declare that “a decision by U.S. bishops to elevate issues of human sexuality, however important, above all others seems contrary to the Gospel.”
“No reading of the life of Jesus would suggest these issues as his primary, or even secondary, concern,” he states. “His towering message is about love of neighbor as oneself with a special focus on the poor, sick, hungry, marginalized.”
By contrast, a number of U.S. bishops have recently pointed out that Catholic opposition to abortion is important precisely because it seeks to defend the poorest and most marginalized members of society: the unborn.
“Abortion is the axe laid to the roots of the tree of human rights: when our culture encourages the violation of life at its youngest and most vulnerable condition, other ethical norms cannot stand for long,” San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone wrote in a recent pastoral letter.
Abortion “is not a ‘Christian’ or ‘Catholic’ issue,” the archbishop noted, because “the dignity of the human person is a value that is, or should be, affirmed by us all.”
“We are all called to oppose abortion because we acknowledge the human being’s right to life, the unique human identity of each living, developing embryo from the moment of conception, and the horrendous violence of the procedure itself,” he added.
“To my fellow Catholics who openly advocate for the legitimacy of abortion, I beg you to heed the perennial call to conversion God Himself addresses to His people down through the ages,” Cordileone stated.
“Your Catholic ideals inspire you in your work to help those who experience discrimination, violence, and injustice, and you deserve the gratitude of your fellow Catholics and our nation for this service,” he said. “But we cannot empower the weak by crushing the weakest!”
As a Catholic who supports legal abortion, Tim Kaine found himself in a similar situation in 2016 — when running for vice president — to that of Joe Biden today.
At that time, the chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Center, slammed Kaine’s hypocrisy for his supposed personal opposition to abortion while publicly supporting it.
“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 said.
“Many issues are very important in our society today,” he continued. “But none of them can eclipse the centrality of human life, especially innocent human life in the womb or at the end of life.”
“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,” he stated.