Christianity,  Politics

Marco Rubio’s faith: A circuitous route to Catholicism

Kudos to Sarah Pulliam Bailey for pulling together a short summary of the faith of Marco Rubio—who by the way announced that he is running for president today. In short, the story goes like this. He went from Mormon to Catholic to Evangelicalish and back to Catholic. In Bailey’s report, he says…

“I immersed myself in LDS theology,” Rubio wrote. “I studied church literature and other sources of information to learn all I could about the church’s teachings.”

By the time he was in sixth grade, his family had left the Mormon Church for Catholicism, and he had his First Communion on Christmas Day 1984.

In 2007, Rubio told me that he spent a few years in an evangelical church…

“I felt called back to Catholicism around 2004, but have maintained the relationship with Christ Fellowship and attend their services often or listen to the podcasts.”

Rubio now firmly identifies with the Catholic church, though he noted how he finds commonality between different Christian denominations.

I expect we’ll be learning a lot about Rubio in coming days, and no doubt his faith will be no small part of that. Great job by Bailey in being the first out of the gate with this. Read the rest here.


  • Christiane Smith

    It sounds like he identifies with something Pope Francis calls ‘the Church universal’ which is a phrase that has meaning for those who believe in the mystical Body of Christ. I can’t speak for him, of course, but he does not sound ‘exclusive’ in the way some Christian people have used that term, and it also sounds like he has explored his own faith by examining the faith of others in order ‘to understand’, which is something that Franciscan philosophy embraces, as the Franciscans consider it more blessed to understand than to be understood.

    Interesting article. One always hopes that a politician doesn’t ‘use’ religion to gain votes in a manipulative way, and it doesn’t sound at all like Rubio is that sort.
    ( I would like to give Rubio the benefit of the doubt in that respect because what was described sounds like he is a ‘real’ person who is honest about his faith journey. And goodness, I grow weary of being cynical about politicians. Maybe that is something others also feel. )

    • Chris Ryan

      I’d have to agree with you, Christiane. I like people who study their faith and other faiths as well. I was raised Pentecostal and I never liked that my father was so dismissive of other faiths because they weren’t literal enough or “Christian” enough. If you don’t challenge your faith you’ll never grow in it.

      To Lynn’s point below about Santorum, I dismissed him entirely because of an interview he did many years ago. When the interviewer asked him his favorite scripture he said that he didn’t have one because he didn’t read the Bible much. He then went on to say that he hadn’t read the Bible for himself but mostly read books about the Bible. For someone who beat the Bible as much as he did in his political campaigns and ads it just seemed the height of hypocrisy to me. Too many politicians use the Bible as a political gimmick and his answer just set off alarm bells.

  • Lynn B.

    This is my question to anyone who wants to offer an opinion… how much should we care… ??

    If I could choose the next president today, I am not sure whom I would elect, but I believe that Rubio has a fair chance of winning and from what I know of him, I would expect him to be as good or better president than many… he surely loves America…

    I admittedly hiccup at Mormonism but I voted for Romney in 2012 because I believed he was a good man as unregenerate sinners go and that he was the best candidate given the viable options. Likely, I voted for Santorum in the primaries; I honestly do not remember but I think he is a super great guy… but although he talks and lives much like an evangelical his church affiliation would cause me to doubt that he is born again.

    Many of my friends voted for third party candidates in 2012 that did not have a chance of winning or they stayed home… a bunch of them went to classes on how to vote strictly ethics or values or something… to my mind the whole lot of them really voted for our present president.

    Certainly, many of our founding fathers were born again Christians but many were deists and I wonder how far removed is that from Santorum or Rubio, et al?

    This is the sad reality, politics in great part is the art of persuasion and compromise… being a bull in a china shop (i.e. Ted Cruz and maybe Rand Paul), no matter their relationship to Christ or how biblical their positions may be is going to shut down D.C. and not be able to govern effectively.

    I guess the bottom line question is do we vote in the primary for someone we believe is reasonably likely to truly be a born again Christian or do we vote for the person who shares our values and we believe can both win and govern effectively?

    This is a secondary thought… it is amazing how many GOP candidates and potential candidates this cycle have a credible testimony for Christ; it really would be a shame if we cannot elect one of them.

  • James Bradshaw

    Lynn writes: “I voted for Romney in 2012 because I believed he was a good man as unregenerate sinners go”

    Oh here we go.

    “Marco chooses one false faith for another!”

    Such is the human condition. It’s just like driving. Anyone moving slower than you is a jerk, and anyone driving faster than you is insane. Likewise, anyone to our right or left politically or religiously is either stupid or wicked.

    You really have to laugh if you think about it, no?

    • Christiane Smith

      Oh, JAMES,
      we can’t afford to laugh anymore . . . too much division, too many ‘extremes’ without understanding or the ability to find middle ground . . . depending on who is allowed into one’s understanding of ‘WE’, others on the outside may be labeled, denied their human dignity, denied their constitutional and/or legal rights, branded ‘not a Christian’, humiliated, pointed at, and lied about . . .

      we have way too much trouble not to stop and think ‘what are we doing ?’ and consider by our actions who comes to shame and harm . . .

      I have thought about my own part in the brokenness of this world.
      In the words of my best friend’s stepdaughter, I can affirm her hopeful prayer:

      ‘Let me stop being that thing against which anything, everything, can break.”

  • Kate Casteel

    He did attend Christ Fellowship a few years ago but since CF has gone emergent it was an easy path back to Catholicism.

  • Robert Karl

    Marco Rubio is one of many Chrisitians which have Come Home in recent years. The Holy Spirit is doing great work.

    • Kate Casteel

      The truth is, Dr. R.C. Sproul is dead-on-target when he says:
      there are believers, true believers, here and there in the Roman Catholic Church, and Liberal Churches and so on. They are mavericks to their community, and I personally believe that those people who truly accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior in the Biblical sense, who live in the Roman Catholic Church, have a moral and spiritual duty to leave that communion immediately!

      They are living in sin by continuing to be a visible member of an institution that anathematizes the Gospel of Jesus Christ! (source)

  • Robert Karl


    Thanks for your input. However, I, as a believer in Jesus Christ as my savior, will be staying in the Church instituted by Jesus at Pentecost–The Holy Catholic Church. We will be prayingfor you to Come Home.

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