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White House chief of staff claims Obama is the ‘most Catholic’ of American presidents

President Barack Obama and former White House chief of staff Jack Lew, right, applaud as Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, left, looks on during a personnel announcement at the East Room of the White House Jan. 25, 2013. Obama appointed McDonough to replace Lew to be the new White House chief of staff. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough stated Wednesday that President Barack Obama is the “most Catholic” of American presidents.

The claim came during a discussion with David Axelrod on his podcast “The Axe Files.” Axelrod, Obama’s former senior adviser, said that the president often describes being raised in a “spiritual tradition” rather than a “religious tradition.”

McDonough concurred that Obama is spiritual. “Look, I say to him, Axe, and I think I’ve said this to him in your presence, and I’ve said this publicly before, I think this is our most Catholic of presidents,” he said. “And I mean that by capital ‘C’ Catholic in what I see and what he does everyday.”

“It’s not to say that he does everything entirely consistent with Catholic teaching,” McDonough continued. “That’s not the idea, but I think, in fact, his view of the person and his view of our role and the view of us as adding to the common good, I think is an undeniably Catholic set of premises, and that’s why I say that to him a lot.”

Obama has frequently been criticized by Catholics for his positions on issues such as abortion. Also, many Catholics vehemently fought the president's signature law, the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that religious organizations provide insurance that covers birth control to their employees. Several Catholic groups, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of nuns that care for the elderly poor, sued the Obama administration over the provision. Both abortion and artificial contraceptives violate Catholic Church teaching.

It is also noteworthy that President John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was Catholic.

(H/T: Washington Free Beacon)

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