Congratulations Rep. Sensenbrenner!

Congratulations to Congressman Sensenbrenner!

From the WSJ:

Joined by church leaders, Sensenbrenner becomes Catholic

Wisconsin Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) converted to Catholicism in a quiet ceremony at Milwaukee’s St. Francis de Sales Seminary on Monday — a private affair reportedly attended by at least two Wisconsin bishops and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

Sensenbrenner’s office confirmed the conversion in an e-mail. But it turned down an interview request, saying the congressman “sees this as a private matter.”

The ceremony was first noted by Mark Silk, professor and director of the Greenberg Center for the study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College in Connecticutt, on his blog, Spiritual Politics. In addition to Dolan, Silk said, Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki and Madison Bishop Robert Morlino were on hand.

A spokesman for Morlino confirmed Wednesday that he attended the ceremony. Listecki’s chief of staff, Jerry Topczewski, said, “We don’t comment on his private calendar.” A representative for Dolan could not be reached.

The Republican lawmaker had previously identified himself as an “Anglican Catholic,” Silk noted, “so jumping the Tiber was for him not much of a leap religiously.

“Sensenbrenner seems to have been traveling this road for awhile,” said Silk.

Silk questioned how the conversion might influence Sensenbrenner’s views on immigration, a policy point on which he and the Catholic bishops have parted ways over the years.

“Who knows whether they even thought about that,” Silk said in a telephone interview. “The question is whether all the bishops really are on board with pro-immigration reform.”

In 2005, the Republican congressman pushed the House of Representatives to pass what became known as the “Sensenbrenner bill,” which would have made it a crime to, among other things, help an undocumented immigrant remain in the United States. And last year, he denounced the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, which had been lauded by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as “the most radical amnesty proposal in our country’s history.”

Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the conference’s committee on Migration, commended the Senate on the vote. And Dolan, then president of the bishops’ conference, urged the House of Representatives to follow suit.

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  1. AngelGuarded says:

    Welcome, Rep Sensenbrenner! God bless you for your courage. While reading this I was reminded of the haranguing we get from the US Bishops about immigration (at least in our weekly bulletin)… Wouldn’t it be interesting if the Holy Father said not to be obsessed with that… I will say this about illegal immigrants, at least they were BORN!

  2. Stephen McMullen says:

    I cringe everytime the bishops meet and make some statement on legislation. Seems like, they are on the wrong side a lot of times…………..

  3. colospgs says:

    I don’t understand why this conversion would have him change his mind on amnesty. This is a political policy about which Catholics can disagree.
    I wish more Anglicans would make the jump. Welcome home congressman!

  4. Phil_NL says:

    Welcome onboard on the barge of Peter!

    And of course a journalist has to attempt to sour the party:
    “Silk questioned how the conversion might influence Sensenbrenner’s views on immigration, a policy point on which he and the Catholic bishops have parted ways over the years.”

    Why on earth would it influence the representative’s view on immigration? It’s not as if immigration reform (whatever you want to mean with that; in my book it would mean less immigration, in other’s it means amnesty and/or more immigration) is dogma. It’s prudential judgement, and I wish bishops would exercise that a bit more in choosing the topics they take political positions on.

  5. DisturbedMary says:

    Welcome to the Mystical Body of Christ with all its mystery and beauty, Senator. I hope Cardinal Dolan doesn’t get on your case about immigration policy. He sits high atop the immigration Trojan Horse ridden by President Obama you know. (The last time he was as excited about “change” was in the passing of universal healthcare and except for that little dustup about abortion and religious freedom, the bishops got everything they wanted!) Check out the Cardinal’s warm collegial reference to NY Senator Chuck Schumer in a recent blog. Let me pray that your RCIA covered the Church’s teaching on the dignity of life and the intrinsic evil of abortion. Especially since every one of these immigrant families will eventually be given a one-way ticket to Planned Parenthood to rid themselves of those large families that will get in the way of the American dream Democrats offer.

    “….I am grateful to those political leaders on both sides of the aisle, people like Senator Chuck Schumer … who have led the fight for comprehensive immigration reform….. “

  6. xgenerationcatholic says:

    In spite of many in our hierarchy’s best efforts to stop conversions to our Catholic Faith, another convert has gotten in! Yippee!

  7. Joe in Canada says:

    Phil_NL: don’t worry about anything Prof. Silk has to say or suggest. It would be irrelevant to Catholic life.

Comments are closed.