I am reading a very interesting book titled *The Making of a Catholic President *by Shaun Casey, Oxford University Press, 2009. Although I was only a grade-schooler in 1960-61, I remember many of the comments and fears surrounding John F. Kennedy’s nomination and election. This book is a scholarly study of the religious issue as it was treated by anti-Catholics and the Kennedy campaign alike. (Scholarly, yet hardly dull at all!) For those of us in our late 50s or older, it will bring back alot of memories and perhaps revive the sense of pride we felt when one of “our own” overcame blatant prejudice to win the nation’s highest office. For those of us too young to have lived through that time, it might be an opportunity to fill in some blank spaces in an important period of Catholic history in the U.S.
This is not a theological work nor a discussion of anyone’s spiritual values. It is a history of a people finally breaking the “2nd class citizen” barrier…a barrier which confronted my own grandparents and parents many times in their lives.
The “Era of the two Johns” should not be forgotten by us Catholics who today enjoy the full fruits of citizenship.