Senator Tim Kaine Responds to Archbishop Joseph Naumann’s Public Criticism, Endorses Separation Between Church and State

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chair-elect of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, criti­cized Senator Kaine’s “pro-choice rhetoric” in an interview with Catholic World Report in December 2017. The interview echoed Archbishop Naumann’s previous statement, delivered during the 2016 presidential election, in which he referred to Senator Kaine as an orthodox Democrat but a “cafeteria Catholic” for his support of legal abortion and other reproductive rights. Senator Kaine responded in the National Catholic Reporter this January, saying, “Enshrining Catholic teaching on contra­ception and abortion as law for all women, regardless of their faith or ethical back­ground, goes too far.” He emphasized the distinction between religious teachings and civil law and argued that members of the hierarchy should “not assume to them­selves the role of defining what the civil law should be for everyone.”

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