Kansas City, Kan., Oct 19, 2016 / 04:54 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine’s stand in favor of legal abortion shuns consistency in reason and faith and ignores the pain abortion causes, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas has said.
“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,” the archbishop said, reflecting on Kaine's abortion comments in the Oct. 4 vice presidential debate. He characterized the senator’s remarks as “the usual made-for-modern-media sound bites.”
Writing in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas' newspaper The Leaven Oct. 14, Archbishop Naumann critiqued the senator's “sound bite” comment that “it is not proper to impose his religious beliefs upon all Americans.” "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."
In the Oct. 4 debate, Kaine professed support for Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court decision that mandated legal abortion nationwide. He said he supported “the constitutional right of American women to consult their own conscience, their own supportive partner, their own minister, but then make their own decision about pregnancy.”
The archbishop commented, “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?” Archbishop Naumann asked, “Does anyone really have the choice to end another human being’s life? Our choices end where another individual’s more fundamental rights begin.”
The archbishop also questioned Kaine’s stand on conscience, given his support for forcing taxpayers to fund abortion and his support for rules that would coerce the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide abortifacients, contraceptives, and sterilizations in their health plans.
Kaine said it was not the role of a public servant who is a religious believer to mandate “the commands of your faith.” Archbishop Naumann countered that although religion speaks about fundamental human rights, the right to life is not based in religion. “As the Founders stated, these are self-evident truths. They are accessible to everyone through the use of reason. They do not require faith,” the archbishop said, adding that the American Founding Fathers “actually believed that the right to life is given to us by our Creator, not by the Supreme Court.”
In the debate, Kaine countered Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s early comments, later retracted, that women should be punished for having an abortion. “Before Roe v. Wade, states could pass criminal laws… to punish women if they made the choice to terminate a pregnancy,” Kaine said.
According to Archbishop Naumann, decades of legal history show that this was “certainly not the case.” “The laws were enforced against the abortionists,” he said. “Our own legal experience shows clearly that it is possible to develop public policies aimed at protecting children, not punishing women.”
The archbishop invited Kaine to speak with women who have had abortions and have sought the assistance of Project Rachel and other post-abortion ministries that help women and men find “healing, hope and mercy after an abortion.” He blamed permissive abortion policy for placing the entire burden of an abortion decision upon the woman.
Archbishop Naumann noted Kaine’s expression of anguish when he enforced death sentences as governor and the impression that Kaine attempted to convince Virginians to abolish the death penalty. But he said Kaine seems not to have made a similar effort to convince Virginians “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,” the archbishop charged.
Archbishop Naumann also acknowledged the tensions of the 2016 election year. “This presidential election presents all Americans with a difficult choice. Both major political parties have nominated very flawed candidates,” he said. He encouraged voters to think not only of the presidential candidate, but who they will appoint to “key Cabinet and other powerful government positions … We are choosing not just a president, but an entire administration,” he said.
The archbishop concluded by advising voters to “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, fully embracing his party’s platform, but a cafeteria Catholic, picking and choosing the teachings of the Catholic Church that are politically convenient.”