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RICHMOND (ChurchMilitant.com) - A group of Catholics protested Hillary Clinton's self-styled "Catholic" running mate after Sunday Mass at his home parish on August 28.
Senator Tim Kaine was the focus of the protest at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church in the diocese of Richmond, Virginia, where Kaine has been a parishioner for about 30 years.
Jacqueline Hawkins, who participated in the protest, spoke with ChurchMilitant.com about the event.
I was there to protest Tim Kaine's pro-death stance on important issues including the life, marriage and sex/bathroom issues. As a pro-life missionary I drew attention to the preborn issue with a picture of abortion. The signs also worked to inform his fellow parishioners about the issues and Kaine's stance.
According to Hawkins, Kaine was not at Mass this Sunday when the protest took place, although he is known to attend Mass there regularly. The pastor, Fr. Jim Arsenault, said Mass the day of the protest but declined to comment afterward.
Senator Kaine's bishop, Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond, hasn't corrected Kaine publicly but did release a statement which read,
The Catholic Church makes its position very clear as it pertains to the protection of human life, social justice initiatives, and the importance of family life. ... Catholic teaching informs us that every human life is sacred from conception until natural death. The right to life is a fundamental human right for the unborn and any law denying the unborn the right to life is unequivocally unjust.
Bishop DiLorenzo maintained, "It is the duty of all Catholics, no matter their profession, to decide through an upright and informed conscience as to their worthiness to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist."
Another organizer of the protest, Frances Bouton, holds that Kaine is a "Catholic in name only." She believes his positions advocating abortion and same-sex "marriage" clearly bars him from receiving Holy Communion. Bouton commented to reporters, "Tim Kaine, quit lying that you are not pro-abortion, because you are pro-abortion."
Kaine first held office on the Richmond City Council and later became mayor of the city. He served as Virginia's governor from 2006–10. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2013. Early in his career, Kaine supported some restrictions on abortion and claimed to be personally opposed to it. But this year he has a 100 percent voting record on Planned Parenthood's 2016 congressional scorecard. Kaine has also publicly admitted to being a "strong supporter of Roe v. Wade."
Hawkins told ChurchMilitant.com that reaction to the protest by parishioners was nil. "The parishioners' reaction ranged from feigned oblivion — talking and laughing with their friends outside the church as if we weren't there, to curiosity — stopping to read the signs and even take pictures with their phones. Almost no one spoke to us."
One of the signs at the protest read, "Canon 915 says No Holy Communion for Tim Kaine." Cardinal Raymond Burke, former head of Church's highest court, has repeatedly stated that Canon 915 of the Catholic Code of Canon law forbids reception of Holy Communion by any politicians who advocate abortion.