"We don't expect legislators to be blank slates," he said. "We expect them certainly to represent the interests of their constituents, but we vote for our legislators based on their positions on things, which one would hope would be shaped by experience, by life, by family, by faith – all of these things."
"And so one naturally has to ask how important is the faith for any person who says 'my faith has no bearing on my work or what I do in life'," he continued.
Kaine has received a 100 percent rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League during his time in the Senate. Planned Parenthood's political arm has hailed him as "a strong advocate for reproductive health and rights" and gave him a 100 percent rating.
"He supports access to affordable birth control and has consistently voted to ensure women have access to safe, legal abortion care," the Planned Parenthood Action Fund stated of Kaine.
The candidate has said he personally supports the Hyde Amendment – which prohibits the taxpayer funding of elective abortions – but Clinton wants it repealed, and a Clinton spokesperson previously said that Kaine "is committed to carrying out Secretary Clinton's agenda."
When Kaine was picked by Clinton to be her running mate, his bishop issued a statement about Church teaching on abortion and legislating.
"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," Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond stated on July 22.
Kaine also said that he believed the Catholic Church would eventually change its teaching and allow for same-sex marriage, speaking at a national dinner of the LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.
Three days later, his bishop issued another statement that Church teaching on marriage could not, and will not, change.
"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," Bishop DiLorenzo stated on Sept. 13.
"As Catholics, we believe all humans warrant dignity and deserve love and respect, and unjust discrimination is always wrong," he added. "Our understanding of marriage, however, is a matter of justice and fidelity to our Creator's original design."
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Matt Hadro was the political editor at Catholic News Agency through October 2021. He previously worked as CNA senior D.C. correspondent and as a press secretary for U.S. Congressman Chris Smith.