A published rumor in Rome that George W. Bush might someday convert to Roman Catholicism has all the conservatives in the church atwitter.
William Rutler, a friend of Mr. Bush's, told the Catholic News Agency that the president has a deep respect for Catholicism.
"I think what fascinates him about Catholicism is its historical plausibility," Fr. Rutler said. "He does appreciate the systematic theology of the church, its intellectual cogency and stability." He also went on to mention that Mr. Bush "is not unaware of how evangelicalism - by comparison with Catholicism - may seem more limited both theologically and historically."
It's funny how someone in the church's American conservative branch like Father Rutler, who writes for such Christ-like publications devoted to the poor as the National Review, is such an expert on Evangelicals. (Full Disclosure: The good padre was no friend of my Kennedy tome, nor the Kennedys for that matter.)
When asked about Bush's possible conversion, that noted theologian, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum told the Washington Post, "I don't think there's any question about it. He's certainly more Catholic than Kennedy."
Geez, now there's a really interesting historical what-if: Do you think Bush could have gotten re-elected president as Catholic, if a third term were possible? Mmmm, shades of 1960?