This morning on Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel, a brief segment aired in which video was shown of President Bush being greeted by Pope Benedict XVI as he arrived at the Vatican earlier today. Bush is in Europe for a final tour to meet with leaders before he leaves office early next year. The Fox & Friends segment included an on set appearance by contributor Father Jonathan Morris.
All three hosts were on set with Morris as they discussed speculation that Bush is considering conversion to Roman Catholicism. Steve Doocy, and Brian Kilmeade are also Catholic. Part of the speculation is being fueled by this meeting occurring so close on the heals of the Pope’s visit to Washington D.C. just under two months ago. And, Bush’s meeting with the Pope occurred in a more private section of the Vatican than is usually designated for “state visits”. Adding further fuel to the fire is the fact that Bush’s “good friend” Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, converted to Roman Catholicism a couple of years ago.
Bush has professesed, up to today, to be a Methodist. He was raised as an Episcopalian, a part of the world wide Anglican Communion, and the denomination of his parents. So, if he is in fact planning a conversion, this would certainly be a curious reversal of trend. The Methodists were a group of believers who splintered from the Anglican Church in 1738 under the leadership of John Wesley. And the Anglican Church itself was a group who fractured from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534. So, Bush would be swimming back upstream in terms of faith traditions and more importantly doctrine. I would love to know the basis upon which he is making this decision, if it is in fact true.