A Catholic Wind in the White House
By Daniel Burke
Sunday, April 13, 2008; B02
Shortly after Pope Benedict XVI's election in 2005, President Bush met with a small circle of advisers in the Oval Office. As some mentioned their own religious backgrounds, the president remarked that he had read one of the new pontiff's books about faith and culture in Western Europe.
Save for one other soul, Bush was the only non-Catholic in the room. But his interest in the pope's writings was no surprise to those around him. As the White House prepares to welcome Benedict on Tuesday, many in Bush's inner circle expect the pontiff to find a kindred spirit in the president. Because if Bill Clinton can be called America's first black president, some say, then George W. Bush could well be the nation's first Catholic president.
This isn't as strange a notion as it sounds. Yes, there was John F. Kennedy. But where Kennedy sought to divorce his religion from his office, Bush has welcomed Roman Catholic doctrine and teachings into the White House and based many important domestic policy decisions on them.
"I don't think there's any question about it," says Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and a devout Catholic, who was the first to give Bush the "Catholic president" label. "He's certainly much more Catholic than Kennedy." ...
... the rest of the story
CNN Video - Bush Saying We Need Your Message
Bush Becoming a Catholic?
Monday, June 16, 2008 11:05 AM
By: Jim Meyers
President Bush may follow in the footsteps of his brother Jeb and convert to Catholicism, several European papers are reporting.
In the wake of the president’s visit to see Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican, Italian newspapers, citing Vatican sources, said Bush was open to the idea of converting to Catholicism.
The Italian newspaper Il Foglio referred to such talk about Bush’s possible conversion and stated that “anything is possible, especially for someone reborn like Bush.”
Noting that Tony Blair converted to Catholicism after leaving office as Britain’s prime minister last year, the paper also stated that “if anything happens, it will happen after he finishes his period as president, not before. It is similar to Blair’s case, but with different circumstances.”
President Bush welcomed Pope Benedict XVI warmly when he visited the U.S. in April. And Vatican watchers noted that Bush met privately with the pontiff in the private gardens of the Vatican last Friday — an unprecedented place for the Pope to meet a head of state. Typically, the Vatican gardens are used by the Pope for private reflection.
A Vatican spokesman said the Pope used the unusual locale to reciprocate for the “warmth” Bush showed when the two met in Washington.
Though the Catholic Church has criticized the U.S. war in Iraq, Bush has been an ardent supporter of pro-life issues; he has staunchly opposed stem-cell research; and he opposes gay marriage — all issues important for Rome.
Currently Bush belongs to a Methodist church in Texas and attends an Episcopal church in Washington, D.C.
A friend of Bush, Father George William Rutler — who converted to Catholicism in 1979 — told the Catholic News Agency that Bush “is not unaware of how evangelicalism, by comparison with Catholicism, may seem more limited both theologically and historically.”
... none of this may interest you until you understand that Christianity teaches one world church will eventually rise to prominence and the secular authorities will enforce that church's rulings by force. All this is "evidence" is superficial at this point, but it's darn interesting! - Tiger