National Catholic Register


President to Catholic Press: On Church Attendance

BY Tim Drake

| Posted 7/2/09 at 5:21 PM


In response to a question from The Washington Post regarding finding a home church, President Obama had this to say:

“Michelle and I decided that we would wait a few months after arriving before we made a decision on this, partly — let’s be blunt: I mean, we were pretty affected by what happened at Trinity and the controversy surrounding Reverend Wright,” said the president. “That was deeply disturbing to us, and it was disappointing for us personally. It made us very sensitive to the fact that as president the church we attend can end up being interpreted as speaking for us at all times. We were also mindful of the fact that the times that we have attended church here, everybody who attends has to go through a mag — and it’s a scene. I mean, it’s just — unfortunately, I am now very disruptive wherever I go. And so thinking about how to just manage the logistics of that was something that we spent some time talking about.”

“We have attended services at Camp David every weekend that we’re there. I will tell you, by the way, that it is a wonderful little congregation; the members of Camp David who are up there consistently have their families there; they’ve got a Sunday school. The young chaplain there, Chaplain Cash, is terrific — as good of a — delivers as powerful a sermon as I’ve heard in a while. I really think he’s excellent. So we will continue to go to services there.”

He continued, “How we handle church when we’re here in D.C. is something that we’re still figuring out. And I think that in the second half of the year we will have made a decision. We may choose, rather than to join just one church, to rotate and attend a number of different churches.”

The president added that he’s looking into inviting in a broad collection of pastors from various denominations to the White House to come pray with the first family. He also described that he receives spiritual sustenance from a devotional that a colleague sends to his BlackBerry every morning. That practice, which started during the campaign, has continued.