Democrat VP candidate Tim Kaine a “Pope Francis Catholic”

Hillary Clinton has chosen Tim Kaine as her Democratic running mate.

Kaine might be described as a “Pope Francis Catholic,” said William D’Antonio, a Catholic University sociologist who writes books on U.S. Catholic voting.

While attending Harvard Law School Kaine realised that he had been drifting away from the Catholic church and was uncertain about what he wanted to do with his life.

Between 1980 and 1981 he decided to take some time off. After appealed to Jesuits in Honduras they allowed him to volunteer. He was put in charge of a vocation school teaching carpentry and welding skills to teenage boys.

Kaine said that his year in Honduras put him back on a path to service and Catholic worship.

While working as a missionary he also became a fluent speaker of Spanish.

In 2008, Kaine told Charlie Rose how much his time as a missionary meant to him.

“The transformative event in my life, next to being a husband and father, was this year that I spent as a missionary in Honduras, not only informing my views of our country, but giving me a sense of mission in life at a time when I lacked it. That was a powerful faith experience for me.”

“Serving the poor has been a key aspect of [Kaine’s] work — and social justice, however you define it. He’s always looked upon that as a crucial part of his life,” D’Antonio said of why he puts Kaine in the Francis mold.

Like other Democratic politicians who are Catholic, Kaine struggles with the challenge of living out his personal faith in a party that doesn’t always share his church’s views on complicated issues.

He personally opposes abortion and pleased anti-abortion advocates earlier in his political career by saying he would aim to reduce the number of abortions by promoting adoption and abstinence education.

He is known to personally oppose the death penalty. However, in both cases he has been able to convince voters he would not interfere with the law.

Liberal groups, which had pressured Clinton not to pick Kaine because of his support for fast-track authority for the White House to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, were dismayed by the choice

59 percent of Catholics are white.  In each of the last four elections they have favoured Republicans. The margins vary; John McCain beat Barack Obama in 2008 by five points and Mitt Romney beat Obama in 2012 by 19 points, according to election day exit polls conducted by the National Election Pool.


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