Republican Catholics in Congress reach an all-time high

Posted: Friday, November 19, 2004

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) A religious survey of the incoming U.S. Congress shows an all-time high of 67 Roman Catholic Republicans, including six of the nine new Catholics in the House. There are 86 Catholics from the Democratic Party, Catholics' longtime political home.

The biennial survey is conducted by Albert Menendez of Americans for Religious Liberty and posted on its Web site.

Catholics reached their highest total ever 153 and remained the largest denominational group, followed by Baptists (72), Methodists (61), Presbyterians (50), Episcopalians (41) and Jews (37). Six members listed no religious affiliation.

Most totals changed little from 2002. The largest declines were of three seats for Lutherans and Episcopalians.

The 38 new House members include one clergyman, United Methodist Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo.; Jess Fortenberry, R-Neb., who holds a divinity degree from the Catholic Franciscan University, and Kenny Marchant, R-Texas, who spent a year at the Church of the Nazarene theological seminary.

The data cover only 533 members because two Louisiana races for House seats await Dec. 4 runoffs.

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