Catholics protest at Tim Kaine’s parish: If priest won’t ‘instruct parishioners’ on Church teaching, we will
RICHMOND, Virginia, August 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Roughly a dozen pro-life activists protested Sunday outside of pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine’s Catholic parish.
“Sen. Kaine has failed in his duty as a Catholic public servant to defend the preborn and Fr. Arsenault has failed in his duty as pastor to admonish Sen. Kaine and to instruct the rest of his congregation on the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the sanctity of human life,” Virginia pro-life activist Maggie Egger told LifeSiteNews in an email.
“I, along with a group of Catholics from various parishes around the Diocese of Richmond, went to St. Elizabeth’s yesterday to do what Sen. Kaine and Fr. Arsenault will not: defend our preborn brethren by exposing abortion as the decapitation and dismemberment of tiny human beings, instruct the parishioners of St. Elizabeth’s on the teachings of the Church, and inform them that Sen. Kaine publicly supports the decapitation and dismemberment of tiny human beings under the guise of being ‘personally pro-life,’” Egger said.
Kaine’s parish, St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, gave him a standing ovation at Mass after he became Hillary Clinton’s running mate. His pastor, Father Jim Arsenault, praised Kaine in an NPR interview.
“I know that he's definitely against capital punishment and works to help defend those who are on death row,” Arsenault said. “The church has a teaching with regard to we're pro-life, and we believe in that seamless garment of life. We respect sometimes lawmakers make difficult decisions.” Arsenault was commenting on how as governor of Virginia, Kaine oversaw several executions. The priest told NPR that he thought the issues most important to Kaine were women’s pay and “social justice issues.”
Frances Bouton, one of the event’s organizers, told LifeSiteNews that the protest didn’t disrupt Mass and the pro-life activists felt St. Elizabeth’s was an appropriate venue to protest given it was where Kaine was praised so heavily after becoming the Democratic vice presidential candidate. She said the protestors waited until the 9 a.m. Mass had begun and latecomers had arrived before setting up outside the church.
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Most of the people at the Mass saw the anti-Kaine signs outside St. Elizabeth’s when Mass was over, Bouton said, but none of them spoke to the protestors.
“We understand that the priest had told his parishioners … not to talk to the media. We don’t know whether that also included … us,” she said.
“There were some people who stood at the top of the stairs and spent time reading our signs” after Mass, Bouton said. “Some of them took a long time to read the signs.”
The protestors’ message to St. Elizabeth’s was “by honoring Tim Kaine you are supporting all that he supports,” Bouton said.
Kaine touts his Catholic faith and Jesuit education but supports abortion and same-sex “marriage.” As governor of Virginia, Kaine opposed partial-birth abortion and authorized the state’s “Choose Life” license plate option. Nevertheless, “I don't think ultimately we ought to be criminalizing abortion,” he said at the time, and maintained his support for abortion as governor.
But once he became a U.S. Senator, the role of Kaine’s “personally pro-life” views in his politics became nonexistent.
Planned Parenthood gives him a 100 percent rating for his time in the Senate, when he has supported the abortion giant. NARAL Pro-Choice America also gives him a 100 percent for his time in the Senate. Kaine co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill to undermine pro-life laws across the country.
Upon announcing Kaine as Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential candidate, the Clinton campaign immediately said Kaine had decided to support taxpayer-funded abortion in order to assume that role. Several days later, Kaine denied doing so.
Kaine said he has become “comfortable with the notion that I can have my personal views but I'm going to support the president of the United States — and I will."
“In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Catholics and people of good will are called to perform acts of mercy,” the protestors said in a press release. “In the Catholic Church, we are given specific corporal and spiritual works of mercy — seven of each. The corporal works include feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and burying the dead. But it is two spiritual works of mercy [that] we hope to perform in front of St. Elizabeth’s Church — admonishing the sinner and instructing the ignorant.”
There are a lot of “low-information Catholics” who “just haven’t been [properly] catechized,” Bouton said, and when “they don’t see bishops” calling out pro-abortion politicians, they are led to believe one can separate faith and public actions as a politician. “In this particular circumstance,” it’s a scandal that Kaine’s priest is praising him, Bouton said, and this can lead to further confusion.
Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has said Catholics have a duty to determine their worthiness to receive Holy Communion “through an upright and informed conscience.” He has not ordered priests in his diocese to stop admitting Kaine to Holy Communion.
Canon 915 of the Catholic Church’s Code of Canon Law instructs that those “persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
“No parishioners talked to us … a few took pictures,” Egger said. “And when Fr. Arsenault was asked a question on his way past us to the rectory, he wouldn’t even look up at us.”