Wassup with Rick Perry and Catholicism?

Am I being too conspiratorial wondering why Rick Perry is talking about Rick Santorum being Catholic on the campaign trail in South Carolina?

Via NBC:

FLORENCE, SC — Speaking to media during an impromptu press conference Tuesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry twice mentioned rival Rick Santorum’s Catholic faith in criticizing his record on fiscal issues.

“Rick Santorum is a good man, he is a good father, he’s a good Catholic,” Perry, an evangelical Christian, said. “But he hasn’t always been a good conservative.”

The casual but twice-repeated remark — the first time that Perry has publicly pointed to his rival’s faith — attracted the attention of journalists because both men are competing to win evangelical voters in the final days before the South Carolina primary.

I have defended Perry on related issues before and am grateful to him for being a defender of religious freedom at the debates and I am suspicious of being overly suspicious — but candidates ought to be overly cautious in this area. No need to fuel bigotry stories waiting to be written or actual bigotry.



  • phil

    This article just shows the vast ignorance of CatholicVote. Nobody here is well versed in politics, the process behind it and any other facet that would contribute to a healthy political discussion.

    Your ‘anti-Catholic’ Governor Perry just dropped out and will endorse Speaker Gingrich who is also a Catholic candidate.

    The real and unspoken issue here is the very fact that Governor Perry, Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum are tragedies to the conservative cause. If we pride ourselves on being exceptional, why do we put halos over men who say it is OK to tell lies about our involvement in covert operations to kill scientists? Why is it OK to kill somebody else in such operations without being proud to do it in the open, under a declaration of war? This is dirty, dirty politics.

    Even beyond that, there is still the pro-life issue of torture. Such blatant misuse and acceptance of the term, ‘enhanced interrogation procedures’ is a severance from our faith and attacks our credibility on pro-life positions. It is time for us to be honest. If Catholics are OK with torture, then they should say unequivocally, “we are OK with torture!”


      Phil ~ People here come from a variety of backgrounds which in one way or another contribute to the discussion. Thomas Peters has a substantial theological background as do others here. In my case, I have a masters in political science and was on the San Francisco Democratic Central Committee for a couple of years. I like to think this background makes me “well versed in politics, the process behind it..” Like John McCain, I oppose “enhanced interrogation.” However, I will argue that Ron Paul’s rigid position that congress must declare war before a soldier, ship or aircraft fires a shot in anger is wrong and ignores consitutional history. These questions can and should be debated here, however denying everyone else’s qualification to have an opinion pretty much stops the conversation before it begins. ~ Pax, Greg

  • Dan F.

    Note: I’m not a ‘paul-bot’, I think Ron Paul is nuts.

    That said, Santorum’s endorsement of ‘enhanced interrogation’ (i.e. torture in the view of the Church) as well as the murder of civilians in a foreign country as well as pre-emptive war doctrine ought to disqualify him from calling his policies “Catholic” in any way. Ally with him on abortion and family issues for sure but I think that Catholic Vote’s endorsement is a mistake until he brings his positions on those issue in line with the Magisterium.

    I don’t like any of the Republican candidates because on those issues they are not significantly different that Obama (with the exception of enhanced interrogation on which they are worse). I may still vote Republican in the general election with an eye towards 1. a better economy, 2. better Supreme Court nominees, 3. Hope for some possibility of pro-life legislation but I will do it holding my nose and possibly under significant duress.

    • bpeters1

      Hear, hear!

  • workingclass artist

    Catholics call themselves catholic to differentiate from protestants all the time.

    Why is it wrong all of the sudden if Perry says it? He’s the only evangelical protestant in the race….And Santorum would emphasize his catholicity if he were in Boston…sheesh!

    molehills aren’t mountains

  • Paul C

    I wouldn’t be so uncharitable to call Rick Perry a bigot against Catholicism. In the last debate, didn’t he use the example of Catholic Charities being discriminated against to illustrate the point that the Obama Administration is at war against religion. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt that we all would want and expect.



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