News Release

Romney’s Bishophood and Mormonism

The Financial Times reports: “For months, Mitt Romney has been speaking about his Mormon faith only when pressed. On Thursday night, when he accepts the Republican party’s nomination for president, his religion will be celebrated in prime time like never before.”

JOANNA BROOKS, [email]
Brooks is author of The Book of Mormon Girl. She writes regularly for ReligionDispatches.org and her recent pieces include “Romney Lets his Inner Mormon Out Just in Time for Tampa,” “Is the Ryan VP Pick Good for Mormonism?” and “Reuters Probes LDS Church Wealth.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, [email]
Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Tackling America’s Toughest Questions. He said today: “The Mormon Bishop who succeeded Romney in Boston, Grant Bennett, will be speaking. Usually Bishops and Cardinals only lead prayers at Conventions. They don’t give speeches. Romney’s official positions in the hierarchy of the Mormon Church raise serious questions under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Romney must come clean and fully explain his official positions in the Mormon Church hierarchy and the extent to which he takes orders from their Prophet and Apostles. So far the mainstream news media have all given Romney a pass on this threat to the First Amendment.”

“Romney is/was a Mormon Bishop and Archbishop. They take orders from the Mormon Prophet, roughly the Mormon equivalent of the Roman Catholic Pope. Constitutionally speaking under the First Amendment, Romney is not equivalent to either John Kennedy (a lay Catholic) or Joe Lieiberman (a lay orthodox Jew) or Jimmy Carter (a lay Baptist Sunday school teacher).”

“Critically, Kennedy said he would resign if there was a conflict and Romney conspicuously did not.”

Boyle is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law School where he was section-mates with Willard Mitt Romney, now known as Mitt, as first year law students (1Ls) during the 1971-1972 academic year. They took all their first-year law courses together. He teaches courses on the Constitutional Law of U.S. Foreign Affairs, and Jurisprudence, among others.

See Kennedy’s address from 1960.

Romney addressed the issue of religion and public office in 2007.

See “Who is the Mormon Prophet Today?”[Cached version]