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Kaine: Church may set bad example

Anita Kumar

Gov. Tim Kaine criticized the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington today for saying it would have to end its contracts to operate social service programs for the District government if the city approves gay marriage, as is expected.

"I'm Catholic and I think it's wrong,'' Kaine said. "I don't think you take your ball and go home. ... In any kind of group organization ... in a family, in a business, in a government entity, there's going to be points where you don't completely agree. But I don't think that 'if I don't agree with everything I'm going to take my ball and go home' strategy makes any sense."

Kaine appeared with fellow Democrat Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on the "Hands Across the Potomac" program on WTOP radio. Both governors are Catholics and share the same view on the issue. Listen to the full audio of the show below.

Kaine called the disocese's work "remarkable" but that it would set a "bad example" by halting services.

"It's not really who the church has been,'' he said. "If you look at the church through history, the church will stand in tough situations and continue to do good. I think the strategy of threatening to hold back, it just doesn't seem like the church I've come up in."

The City Council is expected to approve gay marriage next month.

"I would be very very disappointed here or anywhere else if the Catholic Church decides gosh we don't like something happening in civil society so we're going to retreat into our shell,'' Kaine said.

By Anita Kumar  |  November 24, 2009; 4:53 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Timothy M. Kaine  
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Governor . . . many of us in the Commonwealth thought you taking a Part-time job to head the DNC while collecting full state salary was wrong . . . but did you listen to us and resign from office.

I rest my case.

Posted by: WeThePeopleofVirginia | November 24, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what church Governors Kaine and O'Malley grew up in but it certainly wasn't my Catholic Church. If they weren't such cowards they'd stand up to the district and tell them that the Catholic Church does not, will not, and cannot support gay marriage. If either of them had ever read the Bible, they'd know you don't have to read very far to get to Sodom and Gomorrah.

Posted by: jcammann | November 25, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

It is clear that Kaine is more focused on running the DNC than on paying attention to issues impacting Virginia and its neighbors.

The Archdiocese of Washington has told the DC Gov't that if they pass legislation that legalizes gay marriage and that does not include sufficient religious freedom protections that the Church and its charities would not be eligible to receive further contracts from the city unless the Church violated its faith.

The Church is not saying that they will take their ball and go home as Kaine accused them. The Church will continue to provide services, but they will not be able to leverage DC resources to provide these services at a level that DC has relied on for decades.

The DC Council is engaged in a cynical political exercise and DC's poorest and those who depend on programs run by Catholic Charities will be the one's who bear the burden of the Council's actions.

Posted by: Chris-n-Fairfax | November 25, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

After listening to NPR it is my understanding that the Archdiocese will not end its efforts in the area of helping the poor but will end its contracts to manage money that comes from the local government to help in these efforts. The law being considered would require the Archdiocese to not "discriminate" against gay couples in employment and require them to, for example, offer equal medical benefits to gay couples as they offer to heterosexual couples.

Unlike Kaine's statement that the Archdiocese would be taking the ball and going home, they will be taking the ball to their own court and continue to play as hard as they can by the established rules. Let the district find someone else as motivated and competent to manage their funds for the poor as they found from the Archdiocese now that they are going to change the rules on their own court.

Posted by: LittleDavid | November 25, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Governor/DNC Chair Kaine's description of the Catholic Church's stance is not quite fair, I think. My understanding is the Church is concerned that legislation under consideration by the DC City Council could force the Church to choose between continuing to provide social services at the same level and violating the tenets of its faith.

Posted by: VirginiaIndependent | November 26, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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