This election season, the word “Catholic” has been unscrupulously appended to people and issues in an attempt to lend credibility where no Catholic credibility exists. A case in point is Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, who calls himself Catholic while publicly and vehemently opposing nonnegotiable Catholic teachings, namely on human Life. Catholic Church teaching on abortion is consistent and unflinching – in fact, official Catholic doctrine on the Fifth Commandment (“You shall not kill”) is wholly predicated on the dignity of Human Life.
The pertinent section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, an official summary of nonnegotiable Catholic teaching, reads [emphasis added]:
Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.72 […] Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.
But Tim Kaine, unfortunately, is not the only moral relativist masquerading as a faithful Catholic this election season. A wildly out-of-step voter guide audaciously boasting Pope Francis’ name has been heavily circulated, the voting guidelines of which stand in stark contrast to Catholic voting priorities. The guide was published by a group called “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good” which is funded by staunch abortion zealot George Soros.
To glean an idea of how off-base this voter guide is, consider that only a fleeting mention of abortion is given lumped with other social ills such as “environmental damage” and “poverty.” Adding insult to injury, the voter guide dedicates multiple sections to “violence’ that actually isn’t — even identifying “mass incarceration” and “inaction in the face of failing schools” as “violence,” without so much as a mention of the violence inflicted daily on 3,000 preborn children of disproportionately poor and minority backgrounds in abortion.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, in his weekly column for Catholic Philly, addressed the abhorrent trend of Christians to misprioritize the abortion issue during this election season. The Archbishop quoted a quintessential and authoritative letter by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which states:
Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ — the living house of God — then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation. These directly and immediately violate the human person’s most fundamental right — the right to life. Neglect of these issues is the equivalent of building our house on sand. Such attacks cannot help but lull the social conscience in ways ultimately destructive of other human rights” (22).
In other words, we cannot hope to address racial inequality, income inequality, gun violence, failing public schools, or a host of other social ills if we do not first – and with united resolve – address the blood of the innocents being spilled across the United States in abortion mills every single day.