Democratic nominee for Vice President and current Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is facing tough questions from conservative Catholics for spending time with radical priest Rev. James Carney.
“Tim Kaine’s public record and his time in Honduras suggest that he has adopted a form of Catholicism that is at odds not only with what his church believes but with the interests of the United States,” Catholic Vote President Brian Burch said to The Daily Beast. The 500,000-strong conservative Catholic group does not want to see Kaine attain higher office because, “He is both in opposition to his church and in opposition to the interests of his own country,” according to Burch.
While living in Honduras for nine months from 1980 to 1981, Kaine met Carney in neighboring Nicaragua who spoke with the 22-year-old Harvard Law student about “getting pushed around by the church.” Carney was living in Nicaragua instead of Honduras when he and Kaine met because he “had been exiled from Honduras in 1979, in part for adopting an extreme view of liberation theology that supported the taking up of arms against military oppressors.” Practitioners of liberation theology believe “the church should act to bring about social change, and should ally itself with the working class to do so,” and in extreme cases such as Carney’s, support violence as a legitimate means of accomplishing their goals.
A mere three years after Carney and Kaine met, the radical priest was reportedly pushed out of a helicopter by a Honduran death squad and fell to his death. Carney celebrated a fusion of thought between Marxism and Catholicism in his autobiography, writing, “Thanks partially to the Marxist criticism of religion, the Holy Spirit has finally been able to lead many present-day Christians to an understanding of the gospel of Christ and the ‘good news for the poor’ about their liberation from the yoke of exploitation.”
Kaine, a practicing Catholic, is shifting his views on a variety of matters of great importance to Catholics. Back in 2005, Kaine described himself in political ads as a “conservative on issues of personal responsibility.” Nevertheless, “There’s some serious questions here,” about Kaine because of his time in Honduras, says Burch.
“It’s always very disappointing, even discouraging, when someone of that prominence, a Catholic, behaves in a way that shows he doesn’t really understand the teachings of the Church; or, perhaps if he does understand them, he waters them down for the sake of political advantage,” Bishop Tobin of Providence, R.I. told the National Catholic Register. Perhaps most damming, Tobin said in referring to Kaine, “He’s not a Pope Francis Catholic, he’s a Joe Biden Catholic, and that’s not a good thing.”
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