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Only in Print: Catholicism and the Presidency

President John F. Kennedy shakes hands with Pope Paul VI at the Vatican on July 2, 1963. (Photo: CNS)

WINDSOR TERRACE — Being Catholic and a major party’s nominee for President of the United States has always been controversial. It has only occurred four times — including this year — and the reason for controversy has changed.

After Sen. John F. Kennedy, a Catholic from Massachusetts, was elected in 1960, the debate was different. It would be another 44 years until another Catholic, Sen. John Kerry, also from Massachusetts, was nominated.

For President Kennedy and New York Gov. Al Smith, the first Catholic to run for president in 1928, the argument was whether a Catholic was fi t to be elected. Anti-Catholic bigots questioned whether a Catholic would look to the Vatican for guidance in running the country…

The rest of this article can be found exclusively in the Oct. 31 printed version of The Tablet. You can buy it at church for $1, or you can receive future editions of the paper in your mailbox at a discounted rate by subscribing here. Thank you for supporting Catholic journalism.