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TBC Staff, 6/13/2008, (Excerpts): George W. Bush and Pope Benedict XVI have held an intimate meeting in Rome as rumours mounted in Italy that the president may follow in Tony Blair's footsteps and convert to Catholicism. The two men spoke for half an hour in the 12th century Tower of St. John, a private area...used by the pope for private reflection.

The two men have grown increasingly close in the past two years, and Mr. Bush was overheard whispering: "What an honour, what an honour, what an honour!" It was thought that he may have prayed with the pope in private. Mr. Bush prayed with Benedict in the Oval Office during the Papal visit to the U.S. in April. Several Italian newspapers cited Vatican sources suggesting that Mr. Bush may be prepared to convert. One source told Il Foglio, an authoritative newspaper, that "Anything is possible, especially for a born-again Christian such as Bush."

George William Rutler, a New York-based priest...close to the president, was quoted by the Washington Post...saying that Mr. Bush "is not unaware of how evangelism, by comparison with Catholicism, may seem more limited both theologically and historically." A source close to the Vatican said that Mr. Bush was the most "Catholic-minded" president since John F. Kennedy, who famously played down his Catholicism.

It is thought unlikely that Mr. Bush would convert until after he has left office. Jeb Bush, the president's brother, has already converted to Catholicism....During the contested election in 2000, Jeb Bush travelled to Mexico and prayed to the icon of Our Lady of Guadelupe. His victory was announced by the Supreme Court on December 12, the feast day of the Lady of Guadelupe.

Before Mr. Bush became president, Karl Rove, his former political adviser, invited Catholic intellectuals to Texas to lecture the candidate on the church's teachings.

[TBC: Despite the "lecture," President Bush is either woefully ignorant of Roman Catholicism's foundational "works-salvation," or, worse yet, he does not understand the simple, biblical gospel of grace through faith apart from works.]