Virginia Senator Tim Kaine is now the official running mate of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. And many of those who keep up with politics have been praising her decision. But Kaine is a “devout” Catholic. How will his religious beliefs sync with the liberal agenda of Hillary Clinton?
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This one is tricky. Catholics, as a rule, are pro-life. That often is reduced to the single-issue hot-button abortion. Yet the church has a firm stance on the death penalty, too. The Catholic church won’t let women be priests, either–and there’s a pretty clear line drawn in the sand on homosexuality and gay marriage.
Now that Kaine (who is so devout that he once served as a Catholic missionary) is officially in the hot seat, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia (Kaine’s home turf) felt compelled to release a statement concerning the obligations of Catholics who serve in public office.
Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo’s message, “Regarding Catholics in Public Office,” seems direct enough:
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. From the very beginning, 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.
“It is the duty of all Catholics” DiLorenzo added, to “decide through an upright and informed conscience as to their worthiness to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.”
In other words, if you sin–you won’t get to take communion, the central and most spiritually significant moment of ever Catholic mass.
Kaine is a bot of an anomaly. He’ll talk about his faith, and his personal beliefs, yet he’ll pledge to defend abortion rights, too. So which is it?
Now that he’s a national political figure, he’s attracting the attention of a much wider audience and they want answers. Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, asked the question this way:
Bishop Tobin concludes this way, and I think it will be a major talking point in the months ahead: “Senator Kaine has said, ‘My faith is central to everything I do”. But apparently, and unfortunately, his faith isn’t central to his public, political life.”