ROMEíS LONG OBJECTIVE ATTAINED
Wm. H. Grotheer

On January 6, 1895, Pope Leo XIII released an Encyclical Letter in which he stated:

It would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for state and church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. ... She would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favour of the laws and patronage of the public authority (Quoted in Facts of Faith, p. 257).

Paul M. Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation tells of a telephone conversation he had with Karl Rove, President Bush's political guru. He asked Rove to tell the president that he had mastered the art of Catholic governance. To this Rove replied, "That's pretty good for a Methodist." The American Society of Tradition Family and Property indicates privately "that Bush is more Catholic" than any Catholic who could be elected as President in this country. That says something when the Democrats chose a Catholic for their candidate.

Weyrich continued to comment:

If you examine Bush's speech to the Republican delegates in Philadelphia, that speech had a deeply Catholic tone to it. And likewise Bush's inauguration speech, brief as it was, also had a Catholic overlay to it. This is far more than the work of a speechwriter. It obviously reflects some of Bush's strongly held views.

In an article in the New Republic April 3, 2001, Ryan Lizza tells of Bush's speech to commemorate the opening of the John Paul II Cultural Center at Catholic University. Then he commented: "Bush has courted the Catholic vote more doggedly than any modern president, explicitly - and often eloquently - placing "compassionate conservatism" within the context of the Catholic tradition of aiding the underprivileged and protecting the sanctity of life." The same article further stated that the "President makes a point of meeting with local bishops wherever he travels, but especially on visits to swing states. He has made Catholic leaders fixtures at White House events, and his political staff holds a weekly conference call with conservative Catholics."

Another pre-election report stated that "Bush was so eager for a meeting with Pope John Paul II that he flew overnight to Rome to cram in a visit before the Pontiff - who said that he couldn't rearrange his schedule - left Rome the next day." He had, according to the report, his knuckles rapped by the pope over the war in Iraq. The question was asked, "Why would Bush subject himself to this?" The answer: "Bush badly needed Catholic votes." There is no mistaking the surge of Catholic votes for Bush, along with those of the Evangelicals, which speaks volumes.