This is just a rumor going around in some Catholic circles, but an interesting one:
Ignazio Ingrao, religion journalist of Italian weekly Panorama writes, (translation by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf):
George W. Bush – The President of the United States, like Tony Blair, also about to covert to Catholicism. A huge success for Papa Ratzinger.
After Tony Blair, there could be the turning of George W. Bush. According to Washington voices, the President, a Methodist Christian, could be on the verge of converting to Catholicism like the Anglican Blair. The prayer that the Pope and the Bush family recited together in the Oval Office of the White House could really be the sign of a conversion that has taken place, that the President of the United States would be waiting to communicate at the end of his term. Jeb also, George’s younger brother, became Catholic years ago, thanks to his Mexican wife Columba.
Opportunism or conviction? Certainly President Bush in 2004 was relected with the votes of Catholics, who preferred him to John Kerry, faithful to the Holy Catholic Church. In any event, the President’s emotion when he greeting the Pope, when he had just arrived, beterayed sincere feelings.
Bush is surrounded by Catholics: the chief speechwriter, William McGurn, the bioethics consultant Edmund Pellegrino, the one charged with presidential initiatives concerning religion H. James Towey, two justices of the Supreme Court Samuel Alito and John Roberts, even the new Ambassador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon.
At home in the Oval Office is even the Canadian priest convert Richard John Neuhaus, director of the Catholic monthly First Things. To these is added a New York priest who is helping Bush in his spiritual search.
Benedict XVI could in this way go down in history as the Pope of famous conversions. Bush’s case would be the most impressive outcome of the trip of the German Shepherd in the United States.
More at link.
I know, I know. Not much to go on, there. I just thought I’d pass it on.
Hat tip: The Pertinacious Papist
IN OTHER CATHOLIC NEWS:
This is not at all a rumor. A well respected, and anonymous Catholic female blogger has decided to reveal her true self to the world. Click here to find out who she is. (Takes you to her “About” Page).
Hat tip: Beth at MVRWC
RELATED: (May 3):
Here’s an article from the Deacon’s Bench (4/12) entitled: George W. Bush, “Closet Catholic”.
Moreover, people close to Bush say that he has professed a not-so-secret admiration for the church’s discipline and is personally attracted to the breadth and unity of its teachings. A New York priest who has befriended the president said that Bush respects the way Catholicism starts at the foundation — with the notion that the papacy is willed by God and that the pope is Peter’s successor. “I think what fascinates him about Catholicism is its historical plausibility,” says this priest. “He does appreciate the systematic theology of the church, its intellectual cogency and stability.” The priest also says that Bush “is not unaware of how evangelicalism — by comparison with Catholicism — may seem more limited both theologically and historically.”
Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, another evangelical with an affinity for Catholic teaching, says that the key to understanding Bush’s domestic policy is to view it through the lens of Rome. Others go a step further.
Paul Weyrich, an architect of the religious right, detects in Bush shades of former British prime minister Tony Blair, who converted to Catholicism last year. “I think he is a secret believer,” Weyrich says of Bush. Similarly, John DiIulio, Bush’s first director of faith-based initiatives, has called the president a “closet Catholic.” And he was only half-kidding.
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf of What Does The Prayer Really Say calls Ignazio Ingrao’s article “pure fantasy”. But I like what his first commenter said:
Intuition, perhaps, but fantasy? Father, in the interview conducted on EWTN, Raymond Arroyo asked President Bush what he saw when he looked into the Pope’s eyes, to which the President replied, “God.”
After seeing this interview and watching the reception on the South Lawn at the White House, I came to the same conclusion that President Bush might very well be a convert-in-the-making. Time will tell.
UPDATE: (June 13):
President Bush meets with the Pontiff in Rome.