John Allen on the thriving Catholic churches of Texas–and the church’s new political muscle.
If there’s one thing the outside world seems to grasp about Catholicism it’s the difference between a cardinal and everyone else, and there are clear signs that having a “red hat” in the state gives the church extra clout. A week after DiNardo’s nomination was announced, for example, Gov. Rick Perry held an interfaith luncheon in his honor. According to longtime observers, it was the first time a Texas governor has ever held an event to honor a Catholic prelate. Church lobbyists also said that a prominent legislator from south Texas made an appointment to see DiNardo shortly after his nomination, and promised to change his vote to support school choice.