Much has been made about Sen. Tim Kaine, who is the Democratic nominee for vice-president, and his abortion views and record. Kaine was once considered a pro-life Democrat, who while running for governor in 2005 ran on “good faith” efforts to reduce abortions.
Now, as a senator, he fully advocates for abortion, as evidenced by his 100 percent pro-abortion voting record and his bill sponsorship.
Kaine still claims to be personally against abortion, which has drawn concern from pro-abortion groups. He also needed to clarify his stance on repealing the Hyde Amendment, which he is personally in favor of, but still advocates repealing, because his party says so, despite the discontent of many within it.
Kaine’s personal opposition is because of his Catholic faith. As a professed Catholic, Kaine belongs to a religion which is abundantly clear on its pro-life position. In the Catholic faith, every abortion is considered “morally evil,” not just the ones that those who consider themselves personally pro-life are affected by. Kaine is not permitted to advocate for abortion according to the teaching of the Catholic faith.
And yet Kaine still references his Catholic faith, including his Jesuit education. During his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, he mentioned Rockhurst High School, an all boys Jesuit high school in Kansas City.
Kaine had mentioned the school’s motto during his speech, being “men for others.” He said “it was there that my faith became something vital. My north star for orienting my life. And when I left high school, I knew that I wanted to battle for social justice.”
Being part of “men for others” and advocating for social justice need not only focus on being pro-life, though what better way to be for someone else than to be for the most vulnerable, defenseless and innocent among us?
We’re very proud of alumnus @timkaine of the Great Class of 1976! A true believer in service and a “man for others”! More to come soon. AMDG
— Rockhurst HS (@RockhurstHS) July 23, 2016
— Rockhurst HS (@RockhurstHS) July 24, 2016
A news article from the school’s website includes a statement from Rev. Terrence A. Baum, SJ, the president of Rockhurst High School. “Senator Kaine has devoted himself to service during his entire career,” he said. “We salute his achievements and know he will continue to do his best as a ‘man for others.'”
As Adam Cassandra for The Cardinal Newman Society warns however:
More broadly, Kaine betrays his service “for others” as a Catholic by purposefully causing scandal with his public statements and political positions against Church teaching that could confuse both Catholics and others about the importance of defending innocent life.
As a public figure and a Catholic in political life, Kaine has used his influence to oppose the Church. He has publicly separated himself from fundamental Church teachings, giving the impression to the public that one can be a faithful Catholic and hold the positions which he does.
Not everyone reacted positively to Kaine being Catholic and pro-abortion. As CatholicVote put it “Hillary picks pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ for VP.” Notice the quotes around Catholic. Their Facebook posts also call out Kaine.
And, even if Rev. Baum won’t call out Kaine, other Catholic leaders will. This includes Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, who said “apparently, and unfortunately, his faith isn’t central to his public, political life” about Kaine.
Fr. Thomas Petri, OP tweeted directly at Kaine regarding his abortion stance, including in this instance where he asked him not to take Communion from him for such a stance.
Senator @timkaine: Do us both a favor. Don’t show up in my communion line. I take Canon 915 seriously. It’d be embarrassing for you & for me
— Fr. Thomas Petri, OP (@petriop) July 24, 2016
Reagan Barklage, the Midwest Regional Coordinator for Students for Life of America also worried about the example Rockhurst would set for its students, with original emphasis:
I am deeply disappointed in Rockhurst High School for their support of Sen. Tim Kaine. “Regardless of his alumni status, Sen. Kaine is a proud supporter of abortion, throughout the entire pregnancy. What kind of example is this setting for students? A Catholic high school should be promoting the beliefs and values of the Catholic Church.
“Supporting a pro-abortion candidate goes against the basic principles of the Catholic faith. I hope that through this election and beyond, Rockhurst students are encouraged to stand firm in their pro-life beliefs by supporting mothers facing an unplanned pregnancy and the preborn.