Democratic VP hopeful Tim Kaine's faith often come at odds with his progressive politics
Comments he made about same-sex marriage appear at odds with his hometown bishop
The Bishop of Democratic vice presidential hopeful Tim Kaine’s home diocese re-affirmed the Catholic Church’s stance opposing same-sex marriage following comments the Virginia Democrat made recently predicting a change in church doctrine.
Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia, released a statement Tuesday that doesn’t mention Kaine specifically but makes clear, from his view, there is no chance of the church ending its long-held policy.
“More than a year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage, and despite recent statements from the campaign trail, the Catholic Church’s 2,000-year-old teaching to the truth about what constitutes marriage remains unchanged and resolute,” he said.
LGBT advocates lauded a speech Kaine, who is Catholic, delivered at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual gala over the weekend. In that speech, Kaine suggested that the Catholic Church – for which he once served as a missionary – could change its position.
“I think it’s going to change,” Kaine said to cheers. “Because my church also teaches me about a creator who, in the first chapter of Genesis, surveyed the entire world, including mankind, and said, ‘It is very good.’”
The Clinton campaign declined to respond to the Bishop’s statement.
Kaine’s commitment to the Catholic Church often comes at odds with his progressive politics. Abortion rights activists have often been skeptical of Kaine because he describes himself as personally opposed to abortion like his church but believes in a woman’s right to choose like his party.
Kaine’s Catholic faith and specifically his home church on Richmond’s Northside play prominently in his narrative as a candidate. He even mentioned his church in his first speech after Clinton announced she had selected him as her running mate and attended Mass there the following Sunday.
Like Clinton, Kaine has only relatively recently become an ardent supporter of same-sex marriage. He did not announce that he officially supported the legal rights of gay couples who wanted to marry until 2013.
Kaine supported civil unions as early as 2001 and in 2006 opposed an amendment to Virginia’s constitution that banned same sex marriage in the Commonwealth.
DiLorenzo is known as a conservative bishop but rarely weighs in on political fights.