Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.
Hillary Clinton may have made a fatal strategic miscalculation in naming pro-abortion U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate by sealing faithful, pro-life Catholics’ opposition to her ticket.
The Washington Post rushed to paint Kaine as a “Pope Francis Catholic,” suggesting that the Senator’s mastery of Spanish and pro-immigration stance somehow outweigh the fact that he supports legal abortion-on-demand, which Catholics understand to be the murder of an innocent human child.
In her bid to draw Catholics, Clinton crystallized her radical pro-abortion and pro-Planned Parenthood platform, confirming Catholics’ fears that their deepest-held moral beliefs would receive no hearing from the 2016 Democratic ticket.
Despite his lip service to being “personally opposed” to abortion, Kaine has faithfully toed the party line, consistently voting in favor of abortion rights on the Senate floor, a record that has won him a 100% approval rating from Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider. Kaine has declared himself to be a “strong supporter of Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that made abortion-on-demand the law of the land.
Planned Parenthood has blasted Pope Francis for his staunch pro-life message, accusing the Pope of hampering “women’s health” and taking “a back seat when it comes to reproductive health and women’s rights.”
Francis has indeed been a vocal opponent of the pro-abortion lobby, which he has compared to the Italian Mafia. He has also decried the lie “that supporting abortion somehow helps women,” calling it a “false compassion.”
In the course of his three-year pontificate, the Pope has driven home a pro-life message in address after address, calling abortion a “scourge” on society and insisting that “a just society recognizes the primacy of the right to life from conception to natural death.”
Building a common home for all men and women, Francis told the United Nations General Assembly last fall, means building on “the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life,” which includes “the unborn.”
This “respect for the sacredness of every human life,” of every man and every woman, means defending “those considered disposable,” the Pope said.
In a press conference in February, Pope Francis said that abortion is “a crime” and an “absolute evil” not just because of religious objections, but because it is “evil in and of itself.”
In political terms, abortion holds a special place for Catholics as “intrinsically evil,” with no wiggle room.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger—the future Pope Benedict XVI—stated in 2004 that a faithful Catholic could disagree with the Pope regarding the application of capital punishment, since it does not represent a moral absolute, but could not disagree on the question of abortion.
“There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty,” he said, whereas this is not true “with regard to abortion and euthanasia,” which are moral absolutes, Ratzinger said.
Just how a pro-abortion “Catholic” senator can somehow be mistaken for a “Pope Francis Catholic” is a mystery that has yet to be revealed.