EWTN INTERVIEW with Mitt Romney

Here is a transcript of the interview ETWN’s Raymond Arroyo did with presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney.

Transcript of Selected Excerpts from Exclusive Mitt Romney Interview with Raymond Arroyo to air on The World Over Live on EWTN, Thursday, August 23rd 8PM Eastern

HHS Mandate & Cardinal Dolan

Raymond Arroyo: The Catholic community in this country and people across the faith spectrum were outraged by President Obama’s HHS Mandate – requiring abortifacients and contraceptives to be made available to employees. It set off protests by the Catholic bishops and individual people of faith. What will you do as president about that HHS Mandate?

Gov. Romney: Well, first of all I’ll continue to meet with to Cardinal [Timothy] Dolan [of New York and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops] – who by the way is going to offer the benediction on the last evening of the Republican Convention after my acceptance speak. So I am making it very clear that the interest of religious freedom is something I support wholeheartedly and will work with him and with others to assure that each piece of legislation that we consider is thought also in terms of its impact on religious freedom and tolerance. This is a nation where our first freedom is the right to worship God as we choose, and any effort on the part of the federal government to intrude on religious liberty and to reject tolerance in favor of a government mandate is a violation of that first freedom.

Reacting to President Obama’s Charge that Romney means to lower his Personal Tax Burden

Raymond Arroyo: This weekend, the President accused you of choosing Paul Ryan to lower your own tax rate. He said, this is so Mitt Romney could lower his rate to an effective one-percent rate. Your reaction.

Gov. Romney: [Chuckle] That’s a little silly. Obviously, I pay a very substantial amount of money on taxes, also give substantially to charity, and well more than 20 percent – well more – goes to charity and taxes. And I’m not in this race, and I haven’t contributed the money to my campaigns and the time in my campaigns to try to lower my tax bill.

What I’m concerned about is helping people who don’t have work to be able to have a good job. I want folks to know that when they retire, they’re retirement is secure. I want moms and dads to know that their child is going to get an education that will lead to a good job. And I want people to know if they get ill, they’ll get health care that is good and affordable. Those are the reasons that I’m running for president.

And sometimes what Peter says about Paul says more about Peter than Paul. So, I don’t know what the President’s taxes are doing these days.

How Being A Bishop in The Mormon Church Prepared Romney for the Presidency

Raymond: I want to return to your faith for a moment. As a bishop in your church, you helped immigrants who were new to this country, you helped couples make ends meet and balance their budgets, you helped unemployed people find work. How did that position as a leader in your church prepare you for this job you seek?

Romney: Well there’s no question that being a pastor, if you will, a small “p” pastor, where you are working with people of all different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different economic circumstances, some employed and unemployed, as you work with those people, as you try to provide for them a positive path forward in their lives, you understand the very real concerns and pains people have, the struggles that they have. You want to help them and that is one of the things that draws me to this race. I want to help the hundreds of millions of Americans who want to see a brighter and more prosperous future, and I think I know how to do that. And, I’ve laid out the plans that would get America doing what it needs to do to give people good jobs and more take home pay again.

Campaigning with Paul Ryan

Raymond Arroyo: I want to talk about Paul Ryan, your running mate. Watching you all on the trail, and I seen you in person once and now on television a number of times together. You seem rejuvenated. You seem more on point. Why not campaign together? I know that defies the conventional wisdom. Is that going to be a pattern in these last two months of the campaign?

Gov. Romney: Well, we will surely have events that take us together and allow us to campaign to groups of people, and they get to see how we work together. And by the way, I agree with you. I like working with Paul. We have different life experiences. We can each draw on those experiences to do a better job.

At the same time, we have to do something that the President has really caused us to do, which is to have to raise an inordinate amount of money. This is the first post-Watergate president who doesn’t have federal spending limits. He’s brushed them aside. So to be competitive, we got to raise a lot of money, and that means Paul has to go one way, I go another to get the funds necessary to keep up on the air.

Arroyo: I noticed he hasn’t worn a tie since you made him your running mate. Is this a rule in the Romney camp – no ties for Ryan?

Romney: [Laughter] You know, Paul dresses the way he wants to dress. I give him no guidance whatsoever. But in our rallies, we’re typically outdoors on a very hot and sunny day. And who in the heck is going to wear a tie and a jacket on a hot day? Just guys like you, the commentators. [Laughter]

Arroyo: Yes, thanks a lot.

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74 Responses to EWTN INTERVIEW with Mitt Romney

  1. frjim4321 says:

    Thanks for the transcript, did not get a chance to watch the TiVo yet.

    Holy Cow, I can’t believe Arroyo suggested they campaign together, that would be suicide. Ryan has so much adrenaline coursing through him that Romney looks like a cardboard cutout by contrast.

    Anybody who wants to see Romney beat the odds would absolutely NOT want to see those two men on the same stage together.

  2. Titus says:

    So I am making it very clear that the interest of religious freedom is something I support wholeheartedly and will work with him and with others to assure that each piece of legislation that we consider is thought also in terms of its impact on religious freedom and tolerance.

    I won’t accuse him of intentionally prevaricating, but this is a spectacularly vague response.

  3. heway says:

    Well, I did watch the interview and I believe that Romney would do very well alongside Ryan on the campaign trail. Here is a man, who as bishop in his church has made lots of important decisions but does not have to use the “I ” word, as Obama does. Watch for your Parade magazine section this Sunday. Maggie Murphy has also done a nice interview with the whole Romney family present.
    Pleasing interview..this is a man that we can stand by…God bless us all.

  4. Scarltherr says:

    Reading this transcript helped me realize something. When I see Romney, his stiff manner annoys me. When I read Romney, I’m a supporter. This is a recognition of my own shallow nature. When I see Obama or Biden, I’m disgusted. When I read either of them, I’m angered.
    Paul Ryan makes me optimistic either way.

  5. Lurker 59 says:

    I noticed that Gov. Romney redirected the statement about him being a mormon bishop and tried to down play that. Personally I would like to know more. How much of a “bishop” was he? Is he still considered to be a bishop with in the LDS? If so should Americans really be electing clerics to public office? Correct me if I am wrong but I believe it is against canon law for a Catholic “pastor” to be elected to public office.

  6. Here’s the video of the 15-minute interview:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjLyAY17SFw

    I think that viewing it adds a great deal beyond merely reading the transcript. As one of the commentators following the interview mentioned, this interview shows a surprising side of Romney–relaxed, personable, warm, indeed rather charming–that rarely is seen in the mass media, and (admittedly) rarely in his speeches televised so far.

  7. Amy Giglio says:

    I didn’t read the words I wanted to in questions 1: “I will make the mandate go away.” That’s disappointing. I wish Paul Ryan was at the top of this ticket.

  8. SonofMonica says:

    Lurker 59: It’s my understanding that every Mormon man is considered a priest, so I’m not sure Catholic ideas about clergy really apply here. I’m more concerned that he did not clearly say he would rescind the HHS mandate and instead resorted to cliches. I find that extremely troubling.

  9. Sissy says:

    Lurker 59, I don’t think the title “bishop” in the Mormon faith means anything close to what bishop means for Christians. My understanding is that it is closer to the idea of a deacon or elder in the NT. Mormon bishops are generally charged with caring for people who are in crisis, either personal or financial. I think a Mormon bishop plays a counseling role for members. I don’t think it wold be accurate to describe Mr. Romney as a “cleric”. I’m no expert on Mormonism, so I’d appreciate being corrected if I’m mistaken about this.

  10. DaveM says:

    I agree, Amy. It is quite concerning that he didn’t say directly that he would overturn the HHS mandate. That would be about the only solid reason (IMO) for a Catholic to vote for him, as he’s very similar to Obama on most other issues. I guess the chance that Romney might bite the dust, leaving Ryan as the POTUS, is another reason.

  11. vox borealis says:

    Correct me if I am wrong but I believe it is against canon law for a Catholic “pastor” to be elected to public office.

    Canon law prohibits in most cases priests and bishops from holding elected office. That fact is irrelevant to ministers of other faiths.

  12. Sissy says:

    Amy Giglio, Mr. Romney has promised to eradicate Obamacare as his first order of business, so that means the mandate goes away. He has stated repeatedly that he will issue executive orders on his first day in office to stop all executive branch implementation of Obamacare. Those EOs will remain in force until Congress sends him a bill repealing it outright. That is what he has said ; you may not trust him. But Obama has guaranteed you that the mandate will go forward. So, you have the certainty of a mandate with Obama. The only chance that exists of getting rid of the mandate is electing Romney and pressuring him to keep his word.

  13. Sissy says:

    Dave M, the opportunity to place 2 or 3 Supreme Court justices on the bench is another reason to vote for Mr. Romney. As with the repeal of Obamacare, you may not trust Mr. Romney; you may think he will be squishy and likely to put another Souter on the Court. That’s possible. But it’s a 100% guarantee that Mr. Obama will put a radical leftist on the Court. If Mr. Obama manages to put 2 or 3 people like Cass Sunstein on the Court, the Court will swing hard left and stay that way for a generation. Whatever your misgivings about Mr. Romney, there is no longer any doubt about Mr. Obama. The only chance we have to avert disaster on many fronts is to get Mr. Obama out. You don’t have to like or trust Mr. Romney to know that he’ll be more inclined towards a position of pro-life than Mr. Obama. This isn’t an election between two unknowns. The choice was never more clear.

  14. Peggy R says:

    Chris Wallace is promoting his interview w/the Romneys at their NH lakeside home. Wallace says we do see a more relaxed person. I did see him seem stiff on the stump, but I don’t think it’s fair when people call him “plastic” or an “empty suit.” Is he everything we’d like a pres candidate to be? No. But I think his character is underestimated.

    There is an old article by the late Fr Richard John Neuhaus on Mormonism. You can google it and find it at First Things. It should be very helpful. This looks like the same article at a different site.
    http://www.irr.org/mit/neuhaus.html

  15. JKnott says:

    Lurker 59, The little I read about the function of a Mormon bishop suggests that they are primarily responsible for the temporal affairs of managing funds, visiting and allotting help for those in need in their “ward”. There are other “spiritual” aspects but it’s main purpose seems to be one of coordination and organization. The Mormons also have a strong code of patriotism and obedience to the civil authorities. With this information, it is not difficult to understand why Romney considers himself have what it takes to “turn businesses around” for success.
    I would disagree with FrJim4321 on Romney and Ryan appearing together. I have seen it and they have a wonderful chemistry which I think reflects very well on the character of Romney. Ryan does seem to invigorate him and the two genuinely have fun together. They are both good family men and very respected by their children and wives. Romney shows this same complementarity in public appearances with his wife. In both these instances he is not the “big shot” but a gracious partner. Irregardless of the unfortunate tenets of the Mormon faith, I think he is a good man and very capable. His choice of Ryan exemplifies good business practices par excellance, and his most respectful introduction of Ryan as “a faithful Catholic” speaks highly of good character. Good character may be hard for most of our Democratic “friends” to tolerate.

  16. DaveM says:

    Sissy,
    You can make a case for voting for Romney as a vote against Obama. Just make sure you know what you are getting into. IMO, he’d be worse than Bush. If we don’t demand integrity and honesty from our candidates, we won’t get it. Romney is a cipher. Even so, yeah, the candidate behind door number one is a better choice than a candidate you know is horrible.

  17. Sissy says:

    DaveM, the only vote that will provide knowledge of “what we are getting into” is a vote for Obama. I’m not making a case for Mr. Romney; I’m saying that a chance of disappointment is something I can live with. What our country cannot live with is Act II of the Barack Obama show. Mr. Romney will owe a great deal to the conservative base if he wins, and he will want to win again. I think that improves the odds he will try to keep his promises. He could prove to be just as big a disappointment to conservatives as Obama proved to be to the independents and centrists who rolled the dice and voted for him. But it’s a lead pipe cinch that we are going over the cliff if Mr. Obama is reelected. I don’t see any real choice for rational voters. I’ll take my chances with the cypher rather than the evil that currently emanates from the WH.

  18. Dismas says:

    I was especially impressed by his comments regarding planks and the GOP platform at around 2:48. Good or bad, although Republican, he makes clear regardless of his ‘party’s planks’ he has his own and is not enslaved to the party line. I was also impressed by his distinctions regarding the functions of Church and State at around 4:45. Regarding their seperation, he seems to have a well ordered view of their complementarities and dissimilarities. At the end of the video he unabashedly admits to mistakes and recourse to repentance.

    Mitt Romney continues to demonstrate use of reason and reassessment in the light of faith, natural law and good will. He continues to increase my hope.

    I’ve taken the dive and contributed to his campaign at:

    https://www.mittromney.com/donate

  19. DaveM says:

    Sissy,
    I would say that we’re going over the cliff either way, but perhaps we’ll go over slower if Romney is elected. The choice is between someone who hates our faith and values against someone who doesn’t care about them. Obviously, the answer to that choice is clear, but if that’s the best we can do, we’ll continue to go in the wrong direction…the only question is the speed.

    The bad thing about Romney is that we’re guaranteed not to have a good President until 2020 if he wins. The bad thing about Obama is that we might not have elections ever again if he is re-elected.

    I am only trying to point out that the pro-life movement and Catholic positions in general have generally gotten very little help from GOP administrations, and we need to either start transforming the GOP party from within or building a viable third party before it’s too late.

    More importantly, we need to start evangelizing others like our life depends on it. We can’t get good candidates because there aren’t enough people of strong faith and values.

  20. JKnott says:

    DaveM Obama is a socialist and a secularist. The majority of his actions since being elected president are at odds with the United States of America in it’s Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    This vision of his is no longer covered up by him. The American people want their republic as outlined by the Founding Fathers. Socialism has been an abysmal failure not to mention it’s necessary persecution of the Church. No president in the history of our country has demonstrated his antipathy to the USA. So DaveM, this IS what we know about Obama. We know that he is for killing babies out of the womb, for insisting that Catholics sin against their conscience and be fined out of existence so the government can take over Catholic practices of genuine charity. He has weakened our military, advanced the militant homosexual agenda which seeks to silence Catholic teaching, he is a community organizer, alla Alinsky which seeks to divide and build revolution (see Occupy) and he putting the country in so much debt that we will never be able to return to the once know freedoms of the United States of America. A perfect way to sink us permanently.
    Whatever imperfections we may see in the Romney ticket, he is not a socialist and is capable of getting us back economically. He is an American and not a socialist. Ryan is going to be a strong influence on Romney in the White House and that is a plus.
    In the end then, there is no choice for a good American and a good Catholic between Obama and Romney. None . A good study of the birth of our country and the documents should also help to relieve any anxieties you may have about not voting AGAINST Obama. And Catholic moral teaching demands, for the sake of our own eternal salvation, that we vote AGAINST those promoting the intrinsic evil of abortion. Abortion is grave, while people can disagree about the method of helping the poor, we have NO CHOICE when it comes to a promoter of abortion. And that is what we DO know about Obama.

  21. Dismas says:

    @DaveM –

    “I am only trying to point out that the pro-life movement and Catholic positions in general have generally gotten very little help from GOP administrations, and we need to either start transforming the GOP party from within or building a viable third party before it’s too late.”

    Contrary to your statement, at no time in recent memory have I personally witnessed the pro-life movement receiving more legislative help against abortion than through recently elected GOP members to the House of Representatives.

    Please stop making calumnous sweeping generalizations against the GOP and Mitt Romney based on your personal feelings and start supporting your statements with facts.

  22. PA mom says:

    I had to laugh with him when he heard the question about running for office to lower his tax bill. Only someone who does not have the kind of real wealth that he has would even consider that a possibility. He doesn’t need to do any of this and neither he, nor his wife, nor his children would ever need to work for the rest of their lives, regardless of the tax bracket.
    It was disarming to hear him describe the challenges of being on the road for the campaign. With the difficulty I have sleeping, that would be a tough adjustment for me too.
    Mostly, I was excited to see an interview with questions of substance and an interviewer who allowed more than 30 seconds for the answer.

  23. Sissy says:

    DaveM, I would say getting the partial-birth abortion ban was good help. Republican majorities in numerous states are making good progress on the pro-life front. The Republican party is far from ideal, but at least it is moving in the right direction. However wishy-washy they might be in practice, at least they don’t openly worship Moloch. I’d love a genuine Catholic party, but we have to play with the hand we’re dealt. I think you and I generally agree.

  24. wmeyer says:

    “That would be about the only solid reason (IMO) for a Catholic to vote for him, as he’s very similar to Obama on most other issues.”

    To the contrary. Obama is so aggressively opposed to most of what our Church teaches that truly, no Catholic can, in good conscience vote for him.

  25. DaveM says:

    “Contrary to your statement, at no time in recent memory have I personally witnessed the pro-life movement receiving more legislative help against abortion than through recently elected GOP members to the House of Representatives.”

    Examples? I haven’t noticed much positive change in the realm of abortion law lately. Partial birth abortion? Please. Sure, that is good, and throws a bone to the pro-life side, but it probably saves 10 lives out of 1+ million. Plus, it’s easy to vote pro-life when you know that your bill won’t become law anyway because of the Senate and President. The GOP had full control of the government for several years last decade and didn’t do much of anything.

    I’m no closet Democrat. I’d die before I’d vote for Obama, Pelosi, or any of those nuts, and in no way do I mean to suggest that one should or could legitimately vote for Obama.

    I’m simply someone who has voted Republican for 25 years, then smelled the roses and realized that very little has changed regarding the abortion status quo. Basically, we are being used. If Romney is elected, we are going to have to be ready to unleash an outcry along the lines of the Harriet Miers debacle in order to have our voices heard.

    I have no doubt that legislatures in states are doing some good pro-life work, but much of it is useless as long as Roe vs. Wade remains the status quo.

  26. JohnE says:

    I agree wmeyer. Romney is much more in line with Catholic teachings on moral issues such as abortion, marriage, religious freedom, and embryonic stem cell research. I have heard unconfirmed rumblings that he favors the rape exception for abortion though, but he’s nowhere similar to Obama on these issues, and having Ryan as his VP gives me hope for the influence he may have on policies. I just don’t see Romney promoting abortion and gay marriage at home and abroad as the Obama administration has done. I would vote for Romney simply on what he’s NOT going to do.

    How effective he would be on introducing other legislation on these other issues or repealing bad laws hopefully remains to be seen. I’m not overly impressed looking at the website where he touts “more jobs and more take-home pay” as apparently the most important issues our country faces, but similar to what Fr. Z said before, I’d vote for a dead frog before I’d vote for Obama.

    The waffling I heard from the daily Mass-goers a few years ago who were blank-check Democrat party supporters for John Kerry was that the Republicans never do anything on the social issues anyway. That’s not true, but even if it was I’d rather vote for someone who “won’t do anything” than one who gets things done with recess appointments and going around congress and promotes abortion and gay marriage at home and abroad.

  27. JohnE says:

    DaveM,
    A few examples from the top of my head:

    - removing government funding for Planned Parenthood or those who perform abortions (I believe Texas was one of these states)
    - requiring parental approval and/or ultrasound before an abortion
    - tougher requirements for those who perform abortions, which puts some out of business who are unable to meet those requirements

  28. Amy Giglio says:

    Sissy, I agree with your comment at 9:35 AM. I just think that here he is on a Catholic TV network, an extremely friendly audience, and he didn’t say “With me in the White house, Catholics don’t have to worry about the mandate.” I think that’s very telling of what we can expect. I will vote for him because I feel that a vote for anyone else is a vote FOR Obama. In this case, a vote for the devil I don’t know is better than for the one I DO know. But either way, I’m voting for the devil.

  29. Banjo pickin girl says:

    There is an article in today’s Deseret News about Romney which has lots of good details about LDS polity, the difference between a bishop and stake president, for example. Romney had a lot more responsibility as stake president than as bishop but people know the term “bishop” so they want to hear more about that.

  30. Elle says:

    I reluctantly was going to vote for Romney, but after reading a email I recieved I’m extremely unsure. I have been very concerned with the horrible matter of disposing of the pre-born babies after they have been aborted. I learned not unlike how the Nazi’s incinerated their victims, in America we do the same. Now it seems we have a presidential candidate having invested in this unholy business. Go to Stopsericycle.com you be the judge.

  31. Elle says:

    should be stopstericycle.com

  32. Elle says:

    Stopstericycle.com

  33. DaveM says:

    John E,
    That’s great, and I agree with you. I am not as cynical about the GOP at state or local levels (though I *AM* cynical about all politicians, unless proven otherwise.)

    At the national level, though, as long as Roe vs. Wade stands (and there ARE legislative means to redress this issue, which the GOP declined to use when they had full government power), Moloch wins. Next January marks 40 years of largely unrestricted abortion. God has given us a generation (or two, depending on how you count it) to do something about this. This needs to end NOW.

  34. Giuseppe says:

    The perfect is the enemy of the good. Whatever you think about any presidential candidate, no one will satisfy every policy you wish for. This goes for conservatives and liberals. With President Obama, there is a clearer track record, but he has forsaken his positions a number of times (agreeing to extend Bush tax cuts on higher incomes, agreeing to the individual mandate, keeping Guantanamo open, killing American terrorists overseas, etc.) I think Governor Romney’s changeability is overrated. He has been very consistent x 4+ years on most things.

    I once wrote my own name on an absentee ballot as a write-in for mayor, because I thought I would be the person most likely to agree with all of my policy positions, but I have disagreed with myself more times than I’d like to admit, and I know I would have complained about myself if I were elected.

  35. lydia says:

    I get the feeling there are some Obama supporters here. Romney has said he will stop Obamacare on day one. The only party that has done anything about abortion is the republican party. Do we want Row repealed yes but it is going to take a lot more than writing a bill. Such a bill if signed and passed will be appealed all over the country. Liberal judges will throw it out and I’m not too assured by the Supreme Court given the Roberts decision. Pro life position is gaining support but I think we could use a whole lot more help from the pulpits in America to change hearts and minds. We have had some degree of success but it takes more work on all our parts.

  36. Dismas says:

    @Dave M –

    Here is a list bills for your reference and research:

    http://capwiz.com/vacatholic/issues/alert/?alertid=61078916

    REPORT ON 2012 OUTCOMES ON PRIORITY BILLS

    Abortion-related bills struggled, big gains made in other areas

    As the 2012 Virginia General Assembly session winds down, the Virginia Catholic Conference would like to thank all who participated in the Email Advocacy Network and all who attended Catholic Advocacy Day, which was blessed with record-breaking participation. Below is a summary of how the Conference’s priority initiatives fared.

    ABORTION

    Informed Consent. The General Assembly passed, and the Governor has signed, an ultrasound bill (HB 462, Delegate Byron) that improves Virginia’s informed consent law. The House vote was 61-35 and the Senate vote was 21-19. The bill (amended from its original version) requires that, prior to receiving an abortion, a transabdominal ultrasound be conducted. If the unborn child’s gestational age cannot be determined by a transabdominal ultrasound, the patient undergoing the abortion would then be offered other ultrasound imaging to determine gestational age, which she may refuse. [The prior version of the bill did not limit the ultrasound requirement to transabdominal ultrasounds only.] The pregnant woman would then be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound image, to receive a printed copy of the image, and to hear the fetal heart tones. Though amended, the ultrasound bill still provides, in many instances, the chance for a woman to see the baby and listen to his or her heartbeat before making a decision that is life-altering for her and life-determinative for her unborn child. The Virginia Catholic Conference supported the bill.

    Abortion Funding. Under the Medicaid program, the federal government funds abortions when the life of the eligible woman is at risk and in cases of rape and incest, and in no other cases. This restriction on federal funding of abortion (in place since 1977) is called the Hyde policy. States are permitted, but not required, to spend their own funds (with no federal match) for abortions that fall outside these three categories. By funding abortions in cases of the fetus’ “physical deformity” or “mental deficiency,” Virginia is among the minority of states that fund abortions beyond the Hyde policy circumstances. HB 62 (Delegate Cole) would have conformed Virginia’s policy to the federal Hyde policy, by repealing the law that currently authorizes the Commonwealth to fund these non-federally-funded abortions. The bill passed the House, 64-35. It was then approved 8-7 by the Senate Education and Health Committee. That committee, however, added an amendment to prioritize state services for the children born with physical deformities or mental deficiencies. The amendment created uncertainty about the bill’s fiscal impact, and the measure was therefore referred to the Senate Finance Committee. The legislation then died in Senate Finance when 9 of the committees’ 15 members voted to “pass it by indefinitely.” The Conference opposes all government funding of abortion and supported HB 62 because it would have stopped all state-only abortion funding.

    Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Conference-supported bills – SB 637 (Senator Obenshain) and HB 1285 (Delegate Anderson) – sought to add to Virginia law constitutionally permitted protections for unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates they are capable of feeling pain (thus banning most abortions from that stage onward). SB 637 was defeated 7-7 in the Senate Education and Health Committee. HB 1285 was then carried over until next year.

    OTHER BEGINNING-OF-LIFE BILLS

    Life Beginning at Conception / Wrongful Death. HB 1 (Delegate Robert Marshall) sought to provide explicit recognition in Virginia law of the value of unborn life. This bill passed the House 66-32, was then approved 8-7 by the Senate Education and Health Committee, but then failed on the Senate floor when a majority voted to recommit the bill to committee. Had HB 1 been enacted, it would not have changed any current abortion laws, but one practical effect would have been to create a wrongful death cause of action for the death of an unborn child in certain situations (for example, in instances of domestic violence). Though it has often been called a personhood bill, HB 1 is different than personhood ballot measures that failed in Colorado and Mississippi. Unlike those measures, HB 1 is modeled after a provision that has been in Missouri’s statutory law for over 25 years. Given the longstanding presence of this provision in Missouri law, Virginia would not have been breaking any uncharted constitutional territory had this Conference-supported bill been enacted.

    Meanwhile, SB 674 (Senators Stanley and Garrett) sought to create an explicit cause of action for the wrongful death of an unborn child. This bill, also supported by the Conference, passed the Senate 33-6 and passed the House 76-19. As with HB 1, SB 674 does not change abortion-related laws.

    Embryonic Stem-Cell Research. A Conference-endorsed bill (HB 1162, Delegate Cline) to ban embryonic stem-cell research was assigned to the House Rules Committee and never received a hearing or a vote. A Conference-supported budget amendment to prohibit state funding of research that requires a human embryo to be destroyed or a fetus to be aborted was approved on the House floor 65-31. The amendment’s inclusion in the final budget, however, remains uncertain.

    DEATH PENALTY

    Currently, with few exceptions, only the actual perpetrator of a capital murder (the “triggerman”) is eligible for the death penalty. SB 58 (Senator Obenshain) and HB 389 (Delegate Gilbert) threatened to eliminate this “triggerman rule” so that accomplices could be sentenced to death under a much broader range of circumstances. However, both measures failed to pass: SB 58 failed in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee (7-7-1); HB 389 passed the House (72-28) but also failed to pass the Senate Courts of Justice Committee (8-6-1). The Conference opposed these bills.

    RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

    The General Assembly passed legislation (SB 349 – Senator McWaters / HB 189 – Delegate Gilbert) – supported by the Conference and the McDonnell Administration – providing strong, explicit conscience protections for adoption and foster care agencies, so that those agencies cannot be forced to violate their beliefs, or be penalized for following their beliefs, when placing children. The legislation was introduced in response to debate during a regulatory process last year over whether to force agencies to disregard factors such as “sexual orientation” and “family status” when making placements, regardless of those agencies’ beliefs about marriage and the family. Though the objectionable provisions were rejected by the State Board of Social Services and final regulations were adopted that affirmed agencies’ freedom of conscience, the Conference and its allies considered clear statutory protections essential, rather than waiting for more conflicts to arise. The measure passed the House by a 71-28 vote and the Senate by a 22-18 vote.

    IMMIGRANT PRENATAL CARE

    HB 183 (Delegate O’Bannon) passed the House (99-1) and Senate (40-0). SB 568 (Senator Ebbin) passed the Senate (36-4) and the House (99-0). These Conference-supported bills ensure that legal immigrants have better access to health care through Medicaid (the federal program which provides health insurance to certain very low-income individuals) and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS), the state program which provides insurance for low-income women and children who are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. Specifically, the bills provide Medicaid and FAMIS Plan access for Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) pregnant women and children within the first five years of residency. In addition to passing this legislation, the House and Senate also included funding for this care in their respective budgets. (Note: Although funding was included in both the House and Senate budgets, as of this report, no budget bill has been passed by the Senate.)

    IMMIGRATION POLICY

    A number of bills which attempted to address immigration enforcement at the state level were introduced during the 2012 session. Of particular concern to the Conference was HB 1060 (Delegate Anderson) which passed the House (75-25) but failed in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee (7-7). Opposed by the Conference, HB 1060 would have required a police officer to inquire about the immigration status of an arrested individual before that individual went before a magistrate. (Virginia is one of two states which already checks the immigration status of all persons arrested and taken into custody and those convicted of crimes upon admission to a jail or prison.)

    PARENTAL CHOICE IN EDUCATION

    The General Assembly passed the Education Improvement Scholarship bill (HB 321 – Delegate Massie, SB 131 – Senators Stanley and Obenshain), which will greatly expand educational options for lower-income students and low-to-moderate-income students with disabilities. Supported by the Conference and the McDonnell Administration, the newly enacted program – similar to programs already in place in eight other states – establishes a tax credit for K-12 scholarship donations by individuals and businesses. It has great potential to assist thousands of families with limited economic means who wish to send their children to nonpublic schools. The measure – an unprecedented breakthrough for Virginia’s school choice movement – will also benefit Virginia’s Catholic-school community as a whole in its collective effort to sustain enrollments and provide opportunities for more children. The legislation passed the Senate 20-20 (with Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling then casting the deciding vote in favor of the bill in his role as Senate President) and passed the House 54-37.

    JUVENILE JUSTICE

    SB 583 (Senator Edwards) would have allowed – under certain circumstances – for a juvenile defendant of a violent felony to appeal a Commonwealth Attorney’s decision to transfer the case to the circuit court for trial as an adult. The bill failed in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee (8-7). The Conference supported the bill.

  37. cyejbv says:

    wmyer says: “To the contrary. Obama is so aggressively opposed to most of what our Church teaches that truly, no Catholic can, in good conscience vote for him.”

    I say, That is exactly and precisely right.

    It may be ‘the lesser of two evils’ to many Catholics, and the the just released Catholic Voter Guide for Latino’s may help clarify that, which in part says: “According to the group’s analysis, President Obama achieved a score of 17.4 percent while Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney had a rating of 52.2 percent. (This) assigns them a score signifying how closely their policies and opinions line up with that of Catholic social teaching.” The higher score being the better score.

    I live in Utah, and have for over 20 years. My husband was raised in the Mormon church, and it is at odds theologically with Catholicism to be sure. But to say Romney’s politics are ‘not much different than Obama’s is dangerous and simply untrue, and let us please-PLEASE- remember those sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. Since Roe V. Wade, over 54 million babies have been aborted, and President Obama has OPPOSED support for the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. That is just one issue. The details of that bill should make you weep.
    To leave an infant born alive to die?

    Christ Have Mercy.

    Please, take just a minute all of you, and say a Hail Mary for the fifty four million, six hundred twenty seven thousand, four hundred twenty seven babies aborted since Roe V Wade before you post or read on.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/08/23/new-audio-surfaces-of-obama-defending-infanticide-in-illinois/

    http://www.nrlc.org/ObamaBAIPA/WhitePaperAugust282008.html

    http://www.all.org/article/index/id/MTA4NzE/

    some canon law on the subject of voting:

    http://www.ewtn.com/vote/voting_faq.htm

    God Bless You.

  38. SK Bill says:

    I hate to be picky, but I am going to be picky. Mr. Romney refers to “freedom of worship” — that’s not enough, and it’s not the issue.

    The First Amendment does more than guarantee freedom of worship — that’s the box that Obama wants to put religion in. (Do anything you want, but keep it inside your physical “worship facility” and outside of that building keep your mouth shut.) The First Amendment uses the words “religion” and “free practice thereof” — which for Catholic Christians means practicing out in the world what we believe. You can’t do the Corporal Works of Mercy sitting in a pew. You can’t do much in the Spiritual Works of Mercy unless you are out in the street or in the workplace.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacebly to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievences.”

  39. Dismas says:

    @Dave M –

    Here is a source of some of the legislative Bills for your reference and research:

    http://capwiz.com/vacatholic/issues/alert/?alertid=61078916

  40. Nerinab says:

    SKBill and Amy,

    Yes and yes. Sometimes a simple declarative sentence is all that is needed: “I will overturn the mandate.” Full stop. I was excited to have Ryan on the ticket, but given how he has been forced to temper his pro-life position for politics, I now wish he weren’t there because I don’t want him tainted. Politics is a messy, dishonorable business.

  41. lydia: “I get the feeling there are some Obama supporters here.”

    Surely you’re not serious! D’ya not know that this is a faithful Catholic blog?

  42. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Given Mr. Romney’s record in Massachusetts on marriage and violation of conscience where abortifacients is concerned, might one not say that in terms of both policy and practice, ‘new national Obama is old state-level Romney, “writ large” ‘ ?

    And if so, what reason has anyone for supposing a national-level Romney will begin acting differently? If he has repented, candidly, convincingly, where can we see the evidence of that?

  43. wmeyer says:

    Venerator Sti Lot: So… are you proposing this as a justification for not voting against Obama?

    The devil we know must be removed. Romney may turn out to be only a little less worse. I can’t see the future, can you? But I can see the recent past, and it is utterly unacceptable.

  44. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Elle, if Stericycle refused to incinerate everything that is sent to them as “medical waste” they would not be permitted to take anything at all. And then medical waste of all kinds, including infectious materials, would be handled by somebody else, maybe less careful in handling. It is a fact that in the current climate aborted infants are referred to and treated as “medical waste” but that is not the company’s doing.

    If you have an amputation the limb is treated as medical waste, potentially infectious because of the blood.

  45. Indulgentiam says:

    Washington D.C., Feb 3, 2012 / 01:48 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has pledged to overturn the HHS contraception mandate that he says takes “particular aim” at Catholics.

    “I stand with the Catholic bishops and all religious organizations in their strenuous objection to this liberty- and conscience-stifling regulation,” Romney wrote in a Feb. 3 Washington Examiner column titled “President Obama vs. religious liberty”

    If elected president, the former Massachusetts governor said, he would eliminate the mandate “on day one.”

    “Such rules don’t belong in the America that I believe in.”

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/romney-pledges-to-eliminate-hhs-mandate-on-day-one-of-presidency/

  46. Facta Non Verba says:

    Venerator Sti Lot: Romney says that he believes in federalism; thus, what is good for the state of Massachusetts may not be what’s right for South Dakota. So, I think a “national-level Romey” (as you refer to him), would do the following: (i) appoint judges to the federal bench who understand and believe in federalism; and (ii) set policy on a national level in accordance with federalism. I don’t think you need to worry about him making sure the laws of Massachusetts are the laws across the nation.

  47. Sissy says:

    We’re living in desperate times and our future is bleak. The Democratic party platform is unashamedly pro-abortion, pro-same-sex-marriage, and pro-Obamacare (therefore, pro-mandate). Does it really matter whether Romney answered a question on EWTN in the exact wording we might wish? You know what? I wish he had announced that he is converting to Catholicism! But he didn’t; he is what he is. Is any faithful Catholic seriously uncertain about whether to vote for Obama or Romney? There are no other choices; you’re getting one of those guys. “Choose today whom you will serve”.

  48. wmeyer says:

    Is any faithful Catholic seriously uncertain about whether to vote for Obama or Romney? There are no other choices; you’re getting one of those guys. “Choose today whom you will serve”.

    Exactly right, Sissy. A 3rd party vote is a failure to exercise responsibility. A vote for Obama is a denial of your faith. It was linked here before, but the Catholic Hispanic Leadership Alliance guide is very well done, and does not pull punches. I do not agree with all their goals, and do not agree with all the goals of the USCCB, but given that framework, the CHLA has published a very responsible analysis. Their conclusion: 17% favorable to Obama, 52% favorable to Romney, based on 23 issues. Hardly too close to call!

  49. Sissy says:

    wmeyer, I agree. I sincerely pray that faithful Catholics will begin to come to gripes with the stakes prior to November. There is abundant guidance from Catholic leadership that says the prime issue is abortion. On that issue alone, there is simply no comparison. This President is on record (on audio tape anyone can listen to if they don’t believe me) as voting in favor of infanticide. Add to that the horror of the HHS mandate about to engulf us, and what else really matters? We have to vote Obama out.

  50. wmeyer says:

    Let us not forget, Sissy, the damage he and his have done to the economy. Another term, and collapse is pretty well assured.

  51. Sissy says:

    wmeyer, the difference between the two candidates has never been more stark. I know a lot of people claim they didn’t really know about Obama’s philosophy and policy goals in 2008, but they can’t say that now.

  52. wmeyer says:

    Sissy, we agree. One of the real problems, though, seems to be the blind–or deaf–spot many liberals have for the really bad policies Obama campaigned on. They appear unable to hear what he says, or perhaps, to comprehend it, except the part about money for them. He was pretty open about his views in the 2008 campaign, and they were stunningly statist views.

  53. Sissy says:

    wmeyer, I know; it’s depressing to think how many people in our country just won’t take Obama at his word. I find it very hard to understand.

  54. wmeyer says:

    There is much I find hard to understand. But John Dewey set in motion the destruction of the public schools, over 100 years ago. Much of what confounds us is his legacy.

  55. Sissy says:

    wmeyer, that’s a good observation. When I was teaching history back in the 80s and 90s, I couldn’t believe how little college freshmen knew and how ill-equipped they were to reason their way through material in a logical way. From things my nieces and grandchildren tell me about their college classrooms, it’s far worse now.

  56. cyejbv says:

    I have never been thrown in Fr Z’s Awaiting Moderation world .. oh my… I just checked and my post from 11 am MST is still in virtual limbo… oh my. It’s been a while since I’ve posted… is mod the nature of this particular beast if links are part of your post, anyone know? I’m experiencing a vague sense of guilt! Oh my…

  57. cyejbv says:

    They must be, since that worked. Hmm. I shall wait then…

  58. wmeyer says:

    Sissy, sadly, most Catholics seem to be as poorly educated in their faith. Logic? Reason? no longer taught.

  59. Sissy says:

    wmeyer, you don’t have to tell me. I just went through RCIA last year!! It’s a good thing I had already studied and reasoned myself into the faith. It wasn’t always so. When I started teaching, I could guess with 100% accuracy which of my students had attended Catholic prep schools. I doubt that would be the case today.

  60. cyejbv says:

    I couldn’t take it. I will just repost without the links, all of which I feel Father Z you would approve of, but anyway. I’m cutting them out! :)
    —————————
    wmyer says: “To the contrary. Obama is so aggressively opposed to most of what our Church teaches that truly, no Catholic can, in good conscience vote for him.”

    I say, That is exactly and precisely right.

    It may be ‘the lesser of two evils’ to many Catholics, and the the just released Catholic Voter Guide for Latino’s may help clarify that, which in part says: “According to the group’s analysis, President Obama achieved a score of 17.4 percent while Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney had a rating of 52.2 percent. (This) assigns them a score signifying how closely their policies and opinions line up with that of Catholic social teaching.” The higher score being the better score.

    I live in Utah, and have for over 20 years. My husband was raised in the Mormon church, and it is at odds theologically with Catholicism to be sure. But to say Romney’s politics are ‘not much different than Obama’s is dangerous and simply untrue, and let us please-PLEASE- remember those sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. Since Roe V. Wade, over 54 million babies have been aborted, and President Obama has OPPOSED support for the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. That is just one issue. The details of that bill should make you weep.
    To leave an infant born alive to die?

    Christ Have Mercy.

    Please, take just a minute all of you, and say a Hail Mary for the fifty four million, six hundred twenty seven thousand, four hundred twenty seven babies aborted since Roe V Wade before you post or read on.

    Note, The links I deleted were just in reference to Canon Law as per voting obligations of Catholics from EWTN and some well known Catholic pro life sites; I too, as are you Father Z, lock stock and papist. But also impatient. :)

  61. AnnAsher says:

    This text leads me to doubt Romney even more. He avoids any direct answer. He speaks in circles. His language reveals distancing when he uses the term “you” instead of “I” when asked about his being bishop in Mormonism. Never a direct, first person, event specific, answer. He is deceptive.

  62. Sissy says:

    AnnAsher, that is your opinion. Others saw the interview differently. I thought his downplaying the “bishop” title was appropriate humility in light of the fact that he was talking to a man whose faith has real Bishops. Isn’t it possible he felt a little uncomfortable and awkward given many Catholics consider Mormonism to be a non-Christian cult? Do you honestly prefer the alternative? I doubt it, so get used to President Romney if you don’t want a second round of President Obama.

  63. cyejbv says:

    I just don’t understand why so many Catholics struggle with obedience; in many arenas to be sure, but in this post, with what the Catechism- as well as Pastoral Letters etc.- say about our voting obligations, and how to determine what they are. The use of pronouns didn’t come up AnnAsher. I really don’t understand.

    In Christ.

  64. Theodore says:

    Once upon a time there was a man that lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town. The report said that the whole town should evacuate immediately. But the man said, “I’m religious, I pray. God loves me. God will save me.” But the waters began to rise. A man in a rowing boat came along and he shouted. ‘Hey! Hey you! You up there. The town is flooding. I can take you to safety.’ But the man shouted back: “I’m religious, I pray. God loves me. God will save me.” A helicopter came hovering overhead. A guy with a megaphone shouted. ‘Hey! You there! The town is fully flooded. Let me drop down a ladder and I will help you to safety.’ But the men shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God would take him to safety. The man then drowned. When he got to the pearly gates of St Peter, he demanded an audience with God. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘I’m a religious man, I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?’ God said, ‘I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a rowing boat. What on earth are you doing here?’

    Obama is the flood, this blog is the radio, Romney is the boat and Ryan is the helicopter. Do not let the good be the enemy of the perfect.

  65. Widukind says:

    To wmeyer: thank you sincerely for your clear and direct comments. You are able to see
    through the sophistication of the cowardly and lay out the truth simply, but boldly. By the way, are you a farmer? As you sure know how to remove the —-.

  66. wmeyer says:

    Widukind: Thank you, but I am baffled when people cannot see through things. It’s not rocket science. Well, if you accept the teachings of the Church, as a package, not a menu, it is very clear.

    Sissy: I did two years in RCIA, and luckily my sponsor gave me a copy of the Catechism the first time we met. It was never mentioned in class. However, we had essays from Sr. Joan Chittister, Teilhard de Chardin, and our DRE’s “favorite theologian” Fr. Richard Rohr. If they left out any dissidents, it was not for lack of effort. None, of course, were identified as dissident. And while they proclaimed the many benefits of Vatican II, I am quite certain none of them ever read Sacrosanctum concilium.

  67. Elle says:

    @Banjo pickn girl
    If Stericycle refused to pick up this “waste” at the 600 Planned Parenthood and other abortuaries there would be a BIG problem! Could you live in your residence w/o ever getting rid of the garbage? Another question, would you invest in such a company? I understand refuse companies have to seperate their waste, this is not the issue.
    Go to http://www.Stopsericycle.com
    Thanks for your comment Banjo pickn girl

  68. Sissy says:

    wmeyer: said: “I am baffled when people cannot see through things. It’s not rocket science. Well, if you accept the teachings of the Church, as a package, not a menu, it is very clear.”

    We haven’t advanced since the last days of the Judges when “every person did that which was right in his own eyes.” I don’t think Catholics who vote for Democrats are ignorant, by and large. They just want to do what they want to do. It’s an issue of obedience more than a lack of knowledge, in my opinion. They cover it up with a variety of rationalizations, but it usually boils down to substituting their own flawed judgement for that of the Church. They believe they know best.

  69. wmeyer says:

    Sissy, I believe that many of our brethren vote their conscience, without appreciating that a conscience unformed or ill-formed, cannot lead you to right action.

    I read on the back of the CCC that over 8 million copies have been sold, and weep that so many Catholics have not their own copy. What a sad, small number.

  70. Sissy says:

    wmeyer, yes I think they vote THEIR consciences, just as you say. It isn’t a conscience that reflects the teachings of the Church, in some cases – that’s the problem. They have forgotten or never knew that verse about “lean not on your own understanding”. I think this is an advantage a lot of former protestant converts have; we’ve lived the experience of interpreting the Bible to suit oneself and learned what a disaster that is. We know that is not the way to wisdom. Catholic education in the US needs a massive overhaul, from what I’ve seen in my little world.

  71. wmeyer says:

    Sissy: All education in the U.S. needs a massive overhaul. Supertradmum and I have both written about it, and John Dewey is the source of the ill-formed theories. Or perhaps I should say mal-formed theories, as they are malicious in intent, not inept or ignorant. Their goals are evil, and their application has been effective, both in secular, and more recently, in Catholic schools.

  72. Sissy says:

    wmeyer: (crosses room to shake hands) Amen. I couldn’t agree more. But Catholic education is something we can (theoretically) address in our own parishes. I think faithful Catholics need to be looking at ways to get involved in our parish educational programs during this Year of Faith. We have to be willing to get to work on this problem.

  73. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Responding belatedly to wmeyer (24 Aug., 1:42 p.m.) and Facta Non Verba (2:16 p.m.):

    I see no justification for voting for an impenitent Mr. Obama for any office whatsoever.

    However, and I write under correction, Mr. Romney would seem to be another one of ‘the devils we know’, with the not-so-distant Romneyan past being to all effects as equally unacceptable as the recent Obaman past: if so, what reasonable hopes are there that a Romneyan future would be different?

    It is not clear to me that a possible ‘Romneyan federalism’ would offer any such hopes.

    For, what would the contours of such a ‘federalism’ be like? If it countenances Mr. Romney’s factual past anti-natural-law (and, for that matter, un-Mormon) and ruthlessly statist actions with respect to marriage and freedom of conscience re. abortifacients (etc.) on any level of government – in or for any kind of ‘state’ – why should it not also countenance such actions on the Federal Government level? I used to live in Massachusetts. I would not want to live there again any time in the foreseeable future (unless there is a ‘radical roll-back’ to the status quo ante Romney: which is not to say that I lack admiration for the faithful Christians who live there now). I would not want to depend on nothing more robust than Mr. Romney’s prudential considerations as to whether this or that state or the nation as a whole is ‘ready’ to share in a ‘Massachusetts-level of (falsely so-called) enlightenment’!

    Can one vote for Mr. Romney in the serious hope of ‘ trying to hold his feet to the fire to implement the platform’ nationally (to paraphrase Sissy elsewhere) – as the upholders of natural law (et al.) were unable to do in comparable circumstances in Massachusetts? – a real, not a rhetorical question!