Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) (R) speaks to voters as his wife Anne Holton (L) looks on during a campaign event August 1, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine’s bishop has issued a statement reiterating the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings on marriage after the Democratic vice presidential nominee suggested that the church would abandon its position on same-sex marriage.
During remarks at the Human Rights Campaign's annual gala Saturday, Kaine suggested that the Catholic Church is “going to change” its teachings on marriage: “And you know, like many people of faith, including maybe many in this room, my support for marriage equality now, my full, complete, unconditional support for marriage equality, is at odds with the current doctrine of the church that I still attend.”
“But I think that’s going to change, too," he continued. "I think that’s going to change, too. And I think it’s going to change because my church also teaches me about a Creator, in the first chapter of Genesis, who surveys the entire world, including mankind, and said, ‘It is very good. It is very good.’ Pope Francis famously said, ‘Who am I to judge?’ And to that I want to add, who am I to challenge God for the beautiful diversity of the human family? I think we’re supposed to celebrate it, not challenge it.”
Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia, responded to Kaine in a statement Tuesday, saying, “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 2000-year-old teaching to the truth about what constitutes marriage remains unchanged and resolute.”
As Catholics, we believe, all humans warrant dignity and deserve love and respect, and unjust discrimination is always wrong. Our understanding of marriage, however, is a matter of justice and fidelity to our Creator’s original design. Marriage is the only institution uniting one man and one woman with each other and with any child who comes from their union. Redefining marriage furthers no one’s rights, least of all those of children, who should not purposely be deprived of the right to be nurtured and loved by a mother and a father.
We call on Catholics and all those concerned for preserving this sacred union to unite in prayer, to live and speak out with compassion and charity about the true nature of marriage — the heart of family life.
DiLorenzo has criticized the positions held by Kaine before. Shortly after Hillary Clinton's selection of Kaine as her running mate, he called the candidate's position on abortion "clearly contrary to well-established Catholic teachings."
Others have argued that Kaine — who once served as a missionary in Honduras — holds positions on abortion and marriage that conflict with the teachings of the church. Pro-life Catholics recently protested the candidate’s position on abortion outside his parish.
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