‘Deeply flawed’: Catholics react to Harris VP nomination

CNA Staff, Aug 12, 2020 / 03:30 pm (CNA).- Catholics and pro-life organizations offered a range of reactions to the selection of Sen. Kamala Harris as former vice president Joe Biden’s running mate for the 2020 election.

Biden announced his selection on Aug. 11, triggering a wave of reactions among political and Catholic commentators

Fordham University professor Charles Camosy, who left the Democratic Party earlier this year over the party’s stance on abortion, called Harris a “deeply flawed” choice for VP.

“It is very good that a Black woman has been nominated for VP. And I can understand a desire to choose the lesser of two evils,” said Camosy on Twitter Wednesday.

“But for Catholics in favor of prenatal justice, and of government defending these children from terrible violence, we must say that Harris is a deeply flawed candidate. Unreserved praise of her VP candidacy is, in effect, yet another example of erasure of the prenatal child,” Camosy said.

Democrats for Life of America also criticized Harris’s selection, saying in a statement that she “does not provide pro-life Democrats with any assurances and will, in fact, further alienate 21 million Democratic voters who have been left out of the party for quite some time.”

Harris’ position on abortion, said Democrats for Life of America, is “far out of line with the majority of Democrats and Americans on this sensitive issue,” and encouraged Biden and Harris to reach out to pro-life Democrats and adjust the party’s platform stances on abortion.

Michael Sean Winters, a writer for the National Catholic Reporter and the author of “Left At the Altar: How Democrats Lost The Catholics And How Catholics Can Save The Democrats,” also expressed his reservations about Harris.

“[Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth] Warren was the person I wanted Biden to choose,” said Winters on Wednesday.

“After the racial tensions the nation experienced this summer, putting a Black woman on the ticket is to be commended,” Winters said, but called the selection of Harris a “setback for progressives.”

Winters was also critical of Harris’ 2018 questioning of a judicial nominee over his membership of the Knights of Columbus, calling her treatment of Brian C. Buescher “embarrassing in both its ignorance and its bigotry.”

At the time CNA broke the story, America Magazine published and editorial saying Harris’s questions to the prospective judge had shown “a surprising ignorance of the Knights’ many religious, charitable and civic activities beyond their direct political advocacy, not to mention a complete disregard for their history in opposing virulent anti-Catholicism in the nation’s past.”

“Whatever difficulties I have with the leadership at the K of C, they do not excuse her dismissiveness towards a religion held by millions of fellow citizens, including her new running mate,” said Winters Wednesday, following the announcement of Harris joining the ticket.

National Review writer Alexandra DeSanctis made a similar observation, saying Harris’s time on the Senate judiciary committee had shown “reprehensible anti-Catholic bigotry, and there’s no reason to believe her views have changed.”

Several commentators from across the political divide also noted Harris’s noted support for unlimited access to abortion.

Brian Burch, the president of CatholicVote, described Harris as “staunchly pro-abortion and anti-religious liberty,” and said that she “favors radical abortion policies including late-term abortion paid for by taxpayers, as well as forcing Catholic religious orders like the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide abortion drugs in their healthcare plans.”

On Twitter, CatholicVote called Harris a “devout anti-Catholic.”

Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Diocese of Providence said on Twitter that, in effect, Biden’s selection of Harris pointed to an absence of Catholic values by the Democratic candidate.

“Biden-Harris. First time in awhile [sic] that the Democratic ticket hasn’t had a Catholic on it. Sad.” tweeted Tobin on Tuesday. Biden, a Catholic who was on the Democratic ticket in 2008 and 2012, has come under sustained criticism from many Catholic leaders for his increasing support for abortion and for his having officiated at a same-sex wedding.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


  1. 21st-century Progressivism regresses into the 19th-century Know-Nothings.
    The bumper sticker for Bidden-Harris: “B[iden-harri]S”.

  2. It seems odd that Kamala Harris is referred to over and over again as a Black woman and not an Asian woman. It’s erasing her mother.

  3. Setting aside her extreme pro-abortion views, it can be easily argued that the primary reason for the choice of Sen. Harris as Biden’s running mate is that she is (although she certainly doesn’t look like it) African-American.

    Isn’t that a bit racist?

    And long ago Biden made it clear that his V.P. running mate would be a woman, so it can be equally easily argued that the primary reason for choosing her is her gender.

    Isn’t that a bit sexist?



  4. “Deeply flawed” (but still deserving of your vote) may be a reasonable description of Donald Trump. What the Democrats have to offer is simply beyond the pale. They combine the politics of Stalin with unprecedented moral debauchery and perversity. No Catholic or sane person has any excuse for not doing everything legally possible to prevent them from winning elections. That would rule out voting for the “Solidarity Party” candidates who have no chance of and do not merit victory. Why does Dr. Camosy think that nominating a Black woman as opposed to a white (do I get points for having my capitalization right?) man necessarily a good thing? He also implies that Biden-Harris is the lesser of two evils. Exactly what is the basis for that statement? Of course, it is the usual Seamless Garment baloney. There is nothing quite like the responsible and respectable Catholic commentators with their measured and nuanced remarks. These fools should not be looked to for any guidance.

  5. Since his views were thought worthy of mention in this article, it should be noted that Michael Sean Winters has expressed publicly his eager anticipation of the day when Catholic conservatives are brought to the guillotine. Not to worry, MSW, Kamala will do as much Lizzy would to hasten the moment if she is given the opportunity.

  6. Being a belated RINO I must plead innocent to the depth of immorality in the Democrat Party that the many naysayers here have trashed Harris with. What little I know about Biden and Harris may be summed up in a few sentences of contrast…

    Harris’ lack of Catholic dogma could be one of two things… If confronted with the fact that she might have aborted one of her two wonderful children for convenience or would she protect them in the womb? After all “black lives matter”. Or, she could be “ignorant” of Roe or the Hyde Amendment. Given her brilliance, I am inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt.

    Her amazing family history and her vast experience in the law and national legislation places both she and Biden in a unique position to govern at this dark moment in our nation’s need.

    We have been Republicans all our lives. After the magnanimous failures of the Trump tenure in broad daylight, we are at sea in rough waters. Immorality, deception, attacks on individuals and treason are most disturbing. Add to that the mind boggling silence and complicity of the congress is not only ear piercing it is ear shattering. Notice I use the word treason. The definition: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years”. Trump since his meeting with Putin in Helsinki where he favored our mortal enemy, and who wages a ciberwar today against us, while trashing the warning of his intelligence experts places Trump a criminal traitor. He continues ’til this day to favor Putin with his adamant obsession that Russia “did not invade out 2016 elections” when the facts are abundantly in broad daylight.

    God save the union

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.