FARMVILLE, Va. — The vice presidential debate drew Catholic protesters to this sleepy university town Tuesday to denounce Democratic nominee Sen. Tim Kaine for breaking church doctrine.
Mr. Kaine, a Virginia Democrat and practicing Catholic, also was the target of demonstrations this week at his home church in Richmond, where protesters demanded the bishop of the diocese bar Mr. Kaine from receiving communion because of his pro-choice and pro-gay marriage stances.
“Continuing to receive Holy Communion is really scandalous. It is causing confusion. It is leading other people astray,” said Louantha Kerr, who traveled 140 miles from Hampton Roads, Virginia, to the debate to speak out against Mr. Kaine.
She was accompanied by Frances Bouton, who insisted Mr. Kaine was not a Catholic in good standing.
“He says he’s a devout Catholic, but he’s not. He is 100 percent pro-abortion,” she said. “The lie that he perpetuates that ‘I’m personally against it.’ That is a lie because if you are against it you don’t vote for it 100 percent of the time.”
She said the same logic applied to his support for same-sex marriage.
Mr. Kaine will face Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence, who also is a practicing Catholic, on the debate stage at Longwood University.
The protestors were confined in a “free-speech zone” on campus far from the debate site.
“For the Catholic Church, those two issues there: Abortion is an intrinsic evil in the Catholic Church, an absolute intrinsic evil that nobody can exposure if they are Catholic in good standing,” Ms. Bouton said.
Ms. Kerr and Ms. Bouton said they were strong supporters of Mr. Pence. They had doubts about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s commitment to a pro-life agenda but would vote for him over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who is staunchly pro-choice.