Did These Catholic Bishops Just Take a Swipe at Tim Kaine?

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (photo credit: US Department of Education via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has really been struggling lately when it comes to Catholics. It all started with the emails released by WikiLeaks that showed a number of Clinton staffers mocking Catholics and revealing their plans to undermine Catholic teaching. That may have been at least in part responsible for a poll out this week showing Clinton down 13 points to Donald Trump among Catholic voters.

Now, as Election Day nears, a number of Catholic bishops appear to be taking implicit — if not overt — swipes at Clinton’s running mate, Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.).

Just take, for example, a recent statement to Virginia Catholics from two of the state’s bishops, Paul Loverde and Francis DiLorenzo. Loverde and DiLorenzo mince no words when it comes to addressing two erroneous positions which have been advanced by Kaine during the campaign: the idea that one can be personally opposed to abortion while still supporting its legality and the idea that the Church can change its teaching on marriage. The bishops forcefully reject both these “areas of confusion,” and it is difficult not to read in this a rebuke of Kaine also:

The first area of confusion is that one can be “personally” opposed to abortion, yet continue to publicly support laws which allow it. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of both natural law and Church teaching. The common good and Christian charity compel us to work toward overturning – not supporting or acquiescing to – all unjust laws.

Continue Reading

WATCH: The Three Best Moments from Trump’s EWTN Interview

Last night, EWTN aired an extended interview with Donald Trump, his first with the Catholic television network. Trump and host Raymond Arroyo covered a number of important topics, including life, religious liberty, Obamacare, and the importance of the 2016 election.

You can watch the full interview below:

Here were Trump’s top three moments from the interview:

1.) “The person who was pro-choice is now pro-life…and that had a big effect on me.”

Trump discussed his change in view on the pro-life question, describing an event with a couple close to him, including the baby they eventually had, and the effect that experience had on him:

ARROYO: You’re very concerned about the late-term abortions. What was the moment that changed your thinking, your heart, on this?

TRUMP: Well, there are a number of moments, but one was a couple that I know very, very well — and you had a strong pro-life [person] and you had a strong pro-choice [person], and they argued over [the pregnancy]. … The mother was pregnant. They argued over the child. One, I won’t get into specifics.

But one wanted to abort. And the other said, “We can’t do that. We’re not going to do that.” Anyway, they had the baby. It was a long time ago. And the baby is such a magnificent person, who I know, a magnificent person. And the person that was actually pro-choice is now pro-life because of it, and it had a big effect on me. But I’ve seen other examples similar to that; but I’ve seen other examples, so …

ARROYO: So, it was a personal change for you?

Continue Reading

Tim Kaine: These Are the Kind of Catholics Hillary Clinton Likes

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (photo credit: iprimages via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Grilled by Chuck Todd about John Podesta’s anti-Catholic slurs, Tim Kaine naturally refused to respond directly but instead had a message: Judge Hillary Clinton by the company she keeps.

“Hillary Clinton’s feeling about faith and about Catholicism in particular is most demonstrated by the fact that she asked me to be a running mate,” Kaine said. “That is the most direct evidence about what Hillary thinks about Catholics.”

Well, all right then. In order to be chosen as Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine had to flip on his opposition to late-term abortion and begin to support forcing every American taxpayer to fund abortions.

True, he tried to square the circle by hinting he was still privately and personally opposed to repealing the Hyde Amendment, but he was going to publicly support Hillary’s radical new abortion extremism, much to the delight of NARAL, which applauded Kaine’s flip-flop vigorously.

On gay marriage, Kaine not only supports civil marriage, but following in Hillary’s footsteps he lectures his own Church about how they need to change their theological views on the sacrament of marriage:

“I think it’s going to change,” Kaine said to cheers. “Because my church also teaches me about a creator who, in the first chapter of Genesis, surveyed the entire world, including mankind, and said, ‘It is very good.'”

He might perhaps want to read a little more Genesis before making such a pronouncement. It lead his own bishop to rebuke him — not for his support of civil gay marriage but for presuming to tell Catholics they must change their views to be acceptable to the Democratic Party at prayer. Continue Reading

Chaput: To Contribute to American Life, Catholics Must First Step Back from Its Culture

Photo via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Al Smith Dinner usually specializes in self-deprecating humor by the candidates, but while some of that was on display last night, both Hillary and Trump used the occasion also to try to land a few body blows.

Trump’s efforts got widely reported because the audience booed. But Hillary basically accused Trump of treason: “Now, you notice there is no teleprompter tonight, which is probably smart, because maybe you saw Donald dismantle his prompter the other day,” she said. “And I get that. They’re hard to keep up with. And I’m sure it’s harder when you’re translating from the original Russian.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan next morning decided to focus on the positive, describing some “very touching moments” in private:

“Mr. Trump turned to Secretary Clinton and said, ‘You are one tough and talented woman. This has been a good experience, this whole campaign, as tough as it’s been.’”

Clinton then turned to her opponent and said, “‘Donald, whatever happens, we need to work together afterward,’” according to Cardinal Dolan.

But the most trenchant political observations on the relationship between Catholic culture and American culture came a few days before, when Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia addressed a Bishops Symposium at Notre Dame. The speech was published at Catholicphilly.com. Read the whole thing.


Read the full article at National Review.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

Wikileaks: Clinton Staffers Caught Mocking Catholics and Evangelicals

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

As is being widely reported today, WikiLeaks recently released a set of emails featuring bigoted, anti-Christian diatribes from three staffers and advisors to Hillary Clinton. The leaked emails also included a confession from John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, to commissioning an effort via the Center for American Progress to launch a “Catholic spring” to foment rebellion within the Church against thousands of years of Catholic doctrine.

This should come as no surprise, however. Hillary Clinton’s anti-religious freedom policies aim to segregate people of faith away from the public square. This is the implicit goal of progressive policies like President Obama’s HHS mandate and the so-called ‘Equality Act.’ Given these radical, anti-religious positions, it’s not a shock to find out that Clinton’s top staffers hold bigoted, anti-Christian views.

These nasty comments were not directed solely at Catholics, either. Clinton staffers openly mocked evangelical Christians as well. They were ecumenical equal opportunity offenders.

It is also concerning that John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, is attempting to divide the Catholic Church through a series of front groups, which aim to pit Catholic against Catholic by encouraging practicing Catholics to deny Catholic doctrine. This is despicable.

These emails reveal a bigoted, anti-Christian attitude held by those who will be managing the day-to-day activities of our country if Clinton is elected. Catholics and Evangelicals should keep this in mind as they head to the voting booth in November.

Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Report: Eight Reasons Why Catholic Schools Should Not Adopt Common Core

Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360 via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Pioneer Institute and American Principles Project teamed up today to release “After the Fall: Catholic Education Beyond the Common Core,” a white paper exploring how the Common Core standards have infiltrated Catholic schools across the country and why Catholic educators should reject them and opt instead for the sturdier foundation to be found in the rich Catholic educational tradition.

The paper’s authors, all of whom work in the area of Catholic education, specifically address the eight most common myths used to argue for the implementation of Common Core in Catholic schools and refute each of them one by one:

Myth #1: “[The Common Core standards] are high-quality standards that will keep test scores high and enable Catholic schools to compete with public schools.”

Reality: “Catholic schools have been outperforming public schools by double-digit margins for the last 20 years on federal National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading and math tests (often referred to as “the nation’s report card”). Catholic-school college preparation is outstanding, with over 99 percent of students graduating from high school and 84 percent going on to four-year colleges (almost double the public-school rate). Once they get to college, Catholic-school graduates are twice as likely as those from public schools to graduate from college within eight years of high-school graduation (62 percent vs. 31 percent). These statistics establish that in adopting the Common Core, Catholic schools were attempting to fix what was not broken.”

Myth #2: “Catholic schools need to adopt the Common Core standards because some states require Catholic-school students to take state tests aligned to them.”

Reality: “Roughly 90 percent of states either leave Catholic schools entirely alone on testing issues or only require them to take a nationally normed test (i.e., a test that ranks test-takers in comparison to each other) of their own choice. Continue Reading

Tim Kaine: Nuanced Politician, Bad Catholic

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) (photo credit: US Department of Education via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Last week, Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.) was announced as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s running mate for the White House. A bland but experienced politician who gave a fantastic debut speech in Florida, Kaine was picked at least in part because he can help Clinton win the battleground state of Virginia.

He was also picked for his liberal take on Catholicism — a religion with which he identifies, but regularly undermines and opposes by backing abortion and marriage’s redefinition.

It is abortion that has drawn perhaps the greatest attention during the run-up to Kaine’s acceptance of the VP slot.

According to the Senator, “I have a traditional Catholic personal position, but I am very strongly supportive that women should make these decisions and government shouldn’t intrude.”

“I’m a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions,” Kaine continued in his CNN interview. “In government, we have enough things to worry about. We don’t need to make people’s reproductive decisions for them.”

But while Kaine has a 100 percent rating from NARAL and Planned Parenthood, liberals have long been suspicious of Kaine’s support for abortion. He has backed informed consent, parental notification, and a ban on partial-birth abortions. As governor, he allowed “Choose Life” license plates that sent some of the proceeds from the plates to pro-life crisis pregnancy centers.

But like his party, Kaine has gone to the left on abortion over time. Continue Reading

NY Times Columnist Wants Even Less “Catholic Guilt” Over Sex, Never Mind the Body Count

Pope Francis (photo credit: Agência Brasil via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0 BR)

My column this weekend at The Stream:

Pope Francis reminds us of the Joy of Love, and in the New York Times, journalist Timothy Egan rejoices because he thinks that means the crushing load of Catholic guilt has been lifted:

“I can’t tell you how many Catholics I know who are trying to work through the consequences of those sexual strictures. They wonder if there are still people doing time in purgatory because of the misdemeanor sins of masturbation or premarital sex. Life was all don’ts and dark thoughts.”

Now that that “medieval millstone” has been lifted, “The new teachings, from a self-professed less-judgmental church, go to the everyday lives of people who don’t believe that they should be constantly reminded of their inadequacies.”

Constantly. Reminded. Of inadequacies? What parish has Egan been attending, and can I go there?

I am only half-joking. I never know quite what to make of these kind of histrionics. Feeling good about ourselves has never been harder apparently than in the post-sexual revolutionary hedonistic utopia.


Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Need FADA

Photo credit: elPadawan via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In a letter addressed to Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, officials representing nine Catholic colleges — in addition to representatives from dozens of other schools and public policy organizations — joined the Cardinal Newman Society in a Family Research Council-led effort calling on legislators to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) in order to “prohibit federal government discrimination against those who continue to believe marriage is between one man and one woman.”

The letter stresses that the passage of FADA is very much needed to ensure that government does not discriminate against groups holding to the traditional view of marriage:

Charities, non-profits, and family owned businesses with religious beliefs or moral convictions about marriage should not be penalized by the federal government for their beliefs. FADA prevents the federal government from engaging in discrimination, whether in grants, contracts, licensing, accreditation or tax treatment against individuals and entities who continue to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and that sexual relations are reserved for such a marriage.

Cardinal Newman Society President Patrick Reilly commented: “The very survival of Catholic education and faithful nonprofits like The Cardinal Newman Society is threatened, unless Congress intervenes and ensures our full protection. Congress needs to stand by the First Amendment and defend America’s bedrock principle of freedom of religion.”

The signatories requested that congressional leaders schedule a vote on FADA “for early this year.” FADA was  introduced in the House by Rep. Continue Reading

Trump Spokeswoman Embroiled in Controversy Over Anti-Catholic Tweet

The president of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, issued a press release today, “Trump’s Spokeswoman Must Apologize.” At issue is a December 8, 2011, tweet by Katrina Pierson:

Donohue comments:

No one makes a comment like this without harboring an animus against Catholicism. It would be instructive to learn more about Pierson’s thoughts on the subject. Perhaps she can share them with us.

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

I agree and so do the countless Catholics who took to Facebook and Twitter over the past two days to decry Pierson’s presence in the Trump campaign and call for her removal. Donohue doesn’t go that far. He asks for “assurances from Donald Trump that he will not tolerate anti-Catholicism in his campaign.”

Knowing Bill Donohue as I do, I promise he will not leave this issue alone until Trump responds. If Trump ignores Donohue’s reasonable request, the charge of anti-Catholicism will only begin to look credible.

Katrina Pierson, who voted for Obama in 2008, became Trump’s spokeswoman last November. Her eventual disillusionment with Obama led Pierson to become active in the Texas Tea Party out of which she emerged as a leader. She supported Ted Cruz in his 2012 Senatorial campaign, but during a January 2015 meeting of Tea Party leaders with Ted Cruz in Myrtle Beach, she met Trump. Pierson found herself drawn away from Cruz towards Trump, as she has explained, because of his “non-traditional” campaign style. Continue Reading