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The bold acts of a priest in Congress

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Jesuit Fr. Robert F. Drinan (CNS)

In the midst of President Richard Nixon’s first term, the 1970 election sent to Congress a small band of liberals who helped shape the progressive legislation of the next three Congresses: the War Powers Resolution, and the Freedom of Information, Endangered Species, Legal Services and Budget Acts, not to mention the impeachment of Nixon.

Among those new members -- Bella Abzug, Paul Sarbanes, Charles Rangel, Ron Dellums -- one man stood out from the start, the first priest elected to Congress, Jesuit Fr. Robert Drinan.

Raymond Schroth’s biography portrays a man whose own life and concerns followed the trajectory of American life and the American Catholic church in the 20th century. NCR readers are no doubt familiar through his columns with the range and depth of Drinan’s mind and the durable power of his faith. To those who might be less familiar with Drinan, the strength of Schroth’s work is that it portrays Drinan’s public life in the full context of his life as a Jesuit.

Read the full book review here: Bob Drinan: The Controversial Life of the First Catholic Priest Elected to Congress.

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April 11-24, 2014

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