The Primary Source: JFK's 1960 SpeechJun 20, 2021
from the Rice Hotel in Houston Senator John Kennedy is about to address a special meeting of the Greater Houston Ministerial Association to which he has been invited during this broadcast Senator Kennedy will participate in an informal question and answer period The broadcast of this meeting is sponsored by the Kennedy Johnson Texas Campaign Committee and is being viewed throughout Texas on a special 22-station network the audience you are viewing is comprised of clergy from the Houston area who have been invited by the Reverend Herbert Association Bureau will introduce the Democratic presidential candidate The meeting is about to be called to order by the President Reverend George rec. may i call this special meeting of the greater houston area ministers association to order let us stand and pray that god have mercy on us and bless us and make his face shine upon us so that my way may be known on earth saving health among all nations God will bless us and all the ends of the earth will be pra accept it with these words of the psalmist we stand before the old God as our only sovereign Lord or give us good lord and show us your mercy let your grace rest upon our nation and do not take away the light of your gospel incline our ears to put an end to your will and always show us the truth that makes and maintains freedom in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray amen we are very happy that so many of you ministers be present at this meeting a treasure of our association semester yes Harrison has asked me if some of you would not like n pay your dues for this time this year beginning in September.
I'm sure he'll be in the lobby after this session ready to shake hands with you. We are very happy to see so many. of you ministers present and we want this to be a true meeting of the Association under the policy of your executive committee this year we wish to have as guests at regular and special meetings as many prominent and reputable personalities as possible the purpose of the course is to provide not not only a good program, but also to bring knowledge and enlightenment to the spiritual leaders of our community, so the association extended a similar invitation to mr.
Nixon, please understand that this is not a political rally, it is a meeting of the Association of Ministers and we trust in your sense of good order, due respect for the candidate for the highest office in our land and good Christian behavior, in In general, our little mouse has grown. in a lion of importance, this has not been our original intention, Maria, but things happen, these waves, however, that the atmosphere is informal here and the informal gathering of and that atmosphere is maintained. Table vice president of the Association and president of our program this program tonight does not constitute an endorsement of the speaker or the party that represents the program has been motivated by religious issues in this campaign issues that are not modern there are some who insist that nothing has changed within the Roman Catholic Church and there are others who insist that nothing should change the pro The problem is not denying the religious issue or branding those who raise it as bigots, the problem is putting it in its proper perspective and determining what is the position of the candidate in relation to that perspective.
Extremist extremists on both sides have tended to dominate the debate. Contrary to common propaganda, the South is not a hotbed of religious or racial intolerance. There are many honest minds asking honest questions. Many Catholics differ from us on many issues that are relevant to the well-being of our country. The fact that the senator is with us tonight is to admit that there is a religious issue, it is because there are so many serious Minds decently raising questions that we have invited the Speaker for the evening and it is for that very reason that we have allowed this meeting to be held. broadcast for that purpose.
I would like to introduce at this time Senator John F. Ke and Democratic candidate for President of the United States from Massachusetts. nnedy Mesa Reverend rock, I appreciate the generous invitation from him to expound my views, while the so-called religious issue is necessarily and properly the main theme here tonight. I want to stress up front that I think we have much more critical issues in the
1960campaign the spirit of communist influence so far Fest is only 90 miles off the coast of Florida the humiliating treatment of our president and vice president by those who already they don't respect our power the starving children I saw in West Virginia the elderly who can't pay their doctor's bills the families forced off their farms in America with too many slums with too few schools and too late for the moon and space abroad these are the real issues that should decide this campaign and they are not religious issues for war and famine and ignorance and despair there is no religious barrier but because i am catholic and no catholic has ever been elected president the real issues in this campaign have been accused of freeing Lee in some sectors less responsible than this, so apparently it is necessary for me to state once again not what kind of church I believe in because that should be important only to me, but what kind of America I believe in.
I believe in an America, where the separation of church and state is absolute for me. let no Catholic prelate tell the president how he should act if he is a Catholic and no Protestant minister tell his parishioners who to vote for when no church or church school is given public or political funds. preference and where no man is denied public office simply because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic Protestant nor Jewish we are not civil servants to accept instructions about order of the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical
sourcewhen no religious body intends to impose its will directly or indirectly on the general population or the public acts of its officials and where religious freedom is so indivisible but an act against a church it is treated as an act against all well while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is placed, he pointed out in other years that he has been and may one day again be Jewish or Quaker or Unitarian or Baptist it was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that led to the statute of li jefferson religious liberty today i may be the victim but tomorrow it may be you until the entire fabric of our harmonious society is torn apart in a time of great national danger i finally believe in an america where religious bigotry will one day end there all men and women all churches are treated as equals because each man has an equal right to attend or not attend the church of his choice, so there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no block voting of any kind and where the Catholics, Protestants, and Jews are in both the Lai and th The pastoral levels will refrain from those dismissive and divisive attitudes that have so often marked their works in the past and will promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood that is the kind of America I believe in and represents the kind of presidency I want I believe in a great office that should not be humiliated by making it the instrument of no religious or tarnished group arbitrarily denying the occupation of it to members of any religious group. imposed by the nation or imposed by the nation as a condition for holding that position.
I would not look kindly on a president who works to subvert First Amendment guarantees of religious liberty nor would our system of checks and balances allow him to do so, nor would I look kindly on those who would work to subvert Section 6 of the Constitution to the require a religious test even indirectly. because if they don't agree with that safeguard, they should openly work to repeal it. I want an executive director whose public acts are responsible to all and obligated to no one, who can attend any ceremony or dinner that his position requires him to perform and whose fulfillment of his presidential position is not limited or conditioned by any ritual or religious obligation; this is the kind of america i believe in and this is the kind of america i fought for in the south pacific and the kind of america my brother died for in europe no one suggested then that we might have an allegiance divided, that we did not believe in freedom or that we belonged to an unfair group that threatened.
I cite the freedoms our forefathers died for, and indeed this is the kind of America our forefathers died for. dying when they fled here to escape religious tests oaths denying office to members of less favored churches when they fought for the Constitution the Virginia Declaration of Rights s religious liberty statute and when they fought in the sanctuary I visited the Alamo today because side by side with bowie and crockett died twenty years and mccafferty and bailey and video and carrie but no one knows if they were catholic or not well there was no reason just proof i asked you tonight to continue that tradition of judging me based on 14 years in Congress for my stated stances against an ambassador to the Vatican against unconstitutional aid to parochial schools and against any boycott of public schools which I myself attended and instead of doing this, do not judge me on the basis of these pamphlets and publications we have all seen that carefully select out-of-context quotes from statements by Catholic Church leaders generally in other countries, frequently in other centuries, and rarely relevant to any situation here. and always omitting, of course, the statement of the American bishops in 1948 which strongly supported church-state separation and which earlier reflected the views of almost all American Catholics.
I do not consider these other quotes to be binding for my public acts. Why should they? Let me say with regard to other countries, but I am completely opposed to the state being used by any Catholic or Protestant religious group. compel ban or prosecute the free exercise of any other religion and that goes for any persecution at any time by anyone in any country and I hope you and I condemn with equal fervor those nations that deny Protestants their presidency and those that They deny Catholics and instead of citing the misdeeds of those who differ, I would also cite the record of the Catholic Church in nations like France and Ireland and the independence of statesmen like de Gaulle and Adenauer, but let me emphasize again that these are my points. of sight. because contrary to common newspaper usage, I am NOT the Catholic candidate for President.
I am the candidate for president of the Democratic Party who is also a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public issues and the church does not speak for me on any issue that comes before me as president whether I should be elected on birth control divorce censorship gambling or any other issue I will make my decision in accordance with these views in accordance with what my conscience tells me is in the national interest and without regard to external pressure or religious dictates and no power or threat of punishment could make me decide otherwise what would happen if the time ever came and I do not concede any conflict was remotely possible where my position would require me to violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign from office and hope that any other conscientious public servant will do the same, but I do not intend to apologize for these points of view. view with my critics of our Catholic or Protestant faith nor do I intend to deny my views of my church in order to win this election.
If I lose on the real issues I will go back to my Senate seat satisfied that I have done the best I could and have been fairly judged, but if this election is decided on the basis that 40 million Americans lost the opportunity to to be president the day they were baptized, then it's the whole nation. that I will be the loser in the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world in the eyes of history and in the eyes of our own people, but if, on the contrary, I win this election, I will dedicate all the efforts of my mind and spirit of fulfilling the virtually identical oath of the presidency, I might add with the oath I have taken for 14 years in Congress because I can unreservedly and I quote do solemnly swear that I will faithfully discharge the office of President of the United States and do my best that I can preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, so help me dear God, because of time pressure, that you started right away with a question and answer period, you know the basic rules, are there any questions?
I think I speak for many who don't discount in any way or in any sense without their loyalty and their love for this nation or their position that they agree withour position regarding the separation of church and state, but could you bring it? as far as we are here tonight there are two almost identical men standing facing each other if this meeting tonight were to be held in the sanctuary of my church it is the politics in my city which has many very good catholics in it but it is the politics of the catholic leadership ban them from attending a catholic or protestant service if tonight we are in my church sanctuary right on the app we are would you please attend? i can attend anyone as i said in my statement i would attend any service in the interest that had some connection to my public office or in the case of a private ceremony weddings funerals and so on of course i would participate and have participated i think the only question would be whether I could participate as a believer in your faith and maintain my membership in my church that seems to me to be within the private beliefs that a Catholic might have, but as to whether I could attend this kind of function at your church, either that I, as a senator or president, can attend a function in your service related to my position in office, then I could attend, you didn't lie to me?
It was the position in relation to the chat chapel. the chaplain's chapel that was dedicated that I think you have wishes that you accepted the invitation to attend and then the press said that I think Cardinal Doherty lobbied and you declined and did not attend. I would be delighted to refer Lane because that seems to be a matter of great interest. I was invited in 1947 after my election to Congress by dr. voting to attend a fundraiser dinner for an interfaith chapel in honor of the four chaplains who harassed the daughter 14 years ago I was delighted to accept because I thought it was a worthwhile and worthwhile cause a few days before I went due to accept i found out through my administrative assistant i had friends in philadelphia that two things first that was on the list and this is in dr. poll book in which he describes the incident as the spokesman for the Catholic faith at dinner Charles Taft senator Taft brother was to be the spokesman for the Protestant faith senator Lehman was to be the spokesman for the Jewish faith the second thing I learned it was that the chapel instead of being located as I thought it was like an interfaith chapel was located in the basement of another church, it was not in that sense an Interfaith Chapel and during the 14 years since that chapel was built there has never been a service of my church due to physical location, therefore I inform dr.
Surveying that while I would be glad to attend as a citizen, in fact many Catholics attended the dinner, I didn't feel I had very good credentials to attend as a spokesperson for the Catholic faith at that fifth fundraiser dinner when everyone in the Church group Catholic in Philadelphia was not participating and since the chapel has never been blessed to be consecrated, I now want to make it clear that my reasons for not going are private. I had no credentials to speak on behalf of the Catholic faith at a dinner for a chapel that has never made an effort, that has never had any Catholic services, so to this day, sadly, the note service has been carried out at the moment but i think if i can separate it if this was a public matter i told dr.
Poling I would love to go as an individual but I couldn't go to the spokesperson on that paper cannon root and bar from Christ Church Cathedral here in Houston early I have read this platform and the planks on it with great interest and especially in the realms of freedom and I observe that in the educational section the right to education of each person is guaranteed or offered as a guarantee, it also says that there will be equal employment opportunities and in another section it says that there will be equal rights to housing and recreation, everything This speaks, I think, in a wonderful sense of the freedom that we want to maintain here in the United States, but, on the other hand, there is another place on the platform.
I read these words, we will repeal the right to work laws. now it seems to me that in this aspect here and I feel that these are much more important than any religious issue here you are abolishing an open store you are taking away the freedom of the individual worker if he wants to work and wa not belong to this union or not now is not a kind double talk you are guaranteeing freedom on the one hand and yet you are going to take it away on the other no, I do not agree with that, I think there is an economy here in the world of platforms, I think the provision has been in the platform since 1948 and I'm sure there's a difference of opinion between us on that issue and among many Democrats on that issue, but I think it's a decision that goes to economic and political points of view.
I don't think it implies a constitutional guarantee of freedom , in other words, under the provisions of the taft-hartley act, a state was allowed to ban a union store but was not allowed to guarantee a closed store now mine. The judgment is that uniformity and state commerce are valuable and therefore I maintain that it is better to have uniform laws and not a law that is in interstate commerce and these are all this is not intra but interstate commerce that allows a condition in one state to another in another this is not a new provision it has been in the last three platforms thank you max Gaulke president of Gulf Coast Bible College and faster a First Church of God here in Houston and I am a member mr. mason from houston so jason minister mr.
Kennedy, you made your position very clear tonight regarding the spread of the gospel by all religious groups and other countries. I really appreciated it because the ursines are a missionary people. However, the question I have to ask you is if you are elected president. use your influence to get the Roman Catholic countries of South America and Spain to stop persecuting Protestant missionaries and give Protestants the same rights to propagate their faith as the United States gives Roman Catholics or any other group . I would use my influence as president. of the United States allows to promote the development of freedom throughout the world one of the rights that I consider important is the right to freedom of expression the right of assembly depends on free religious practice and I hope that the United States and the president i would defend those rights around the world regardless of geography, religion or political status, thank you.
Kennedy, this is the Westmoreland Pastor of Maine Southern Baptist Church here in Houston. Today I received a copy of a resolution passed by the st. Louis and they will confront him with this tomorrow night. I'd like you to give an answer to the Houston crowd before you hit the street. Louis this is the resolution with deep sincerity and in Christian grace we plead with Senator John F. Kennedy as the person currently interested in this matter to appeal to Cardinal Cushing mr. Kennedy's own superior in Boston to present to the Vatican mr. Kennedy's candid statement regarding the separation of church and state in the United States and religious liberty as embodied in the United States Constitution so that the Vatican can officially authorize such belief for all Roman Catholics in the USA. that since I do not accept the right of any ecclesiastical official, as I said, to tell me what to do in the sphere of my public responsibilities as an elected official, I do not propose to ask Cardinal Cushing to ask the Vatican to take any action.
I do not propose to interfere with their free right to do exactly what they want. I have no doubt that the point of view I have expressed. I have no doubt that the point of view that I have expressed publicly tonight represents the opinion of the overwhelming majority of American Catholics mr. Kennedy, where did you make my point? It is certainly unknown to Catholics around the world. I only hope that by stating it fairly accurately and I think I said it in the tradition of the American Catholic Way up to Bishop John Carroll. I feel like I hope this clears it up without having to go the rather circuitous route.
This is the position I say for the American Catholic Church in the United States with which I am associated. We appreciate your candid statement. I can say that we have great admiration. for you, but until we know that this is the position of your church because there will be many Catholics who will be appointed if you are elected president, we would like to know that they too are free to make such a statement, since you have been so kind. To get it right, let me just say that anyone I appoint to any position as a senator or president I hope I am of the same mind about the need for you to live not only by the letter of the Constitution but also by the spi. if I may say so, I am Catholic.
I expressed my point of view very clearly. I find no difficulty in expressing that point of view. for as long as you can state it anyway, which I hope is satisfactory to you, why possibly doubt that I represent a point of view hostile to the Catholic Church in the United States? I think I am expressing the point of view of Catholics in this country clings to the happy relationship that exists between church and state says it with the approval of the Vatican I do not have to have approval in that sense I am not I have not submitted my statement before reading it to the vatican I did not present it to Cardinal Cushing, but my opinion is that Cardinal Cushing, who is the cardinal of the diocese of which I am a member, would approve this statement in the same way that he approved the 1948 statement of the Vatican. bishop at my trial and I am NOT a theology student I am stating what I believe to be the position of my personal position and also the position of the vast majority who have been watching Senator John Kennedy appear before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association for one term The unrehearsed question-and-answer broadcast of this meeting was sponsored by the Kennedy Johnson Texas Campaign Committee on behalf of Senator Kennedy's candidacy for pres ktrk-tv facility id this has been a special statement from texas state network since today i had a phone conversation with dr. i am sure you would like to clarify this matter let me read briefly from your telegram the memo on religion as an election issue prepared by senator kennedy's associates has a section on the voting incident this section contains serious errors of fact i believe the senator will want to correct the errors or that he will want to remove that section the original draft of the program on the interfaith dinner held at the bellevue-stratford hotel on december 15, 1947 identified mr.
Kennedy then congressman from massachusetts as the honorable congressman john f kennedy of massachusetts mr. Kennedy was never invited as an official representative of a religious organization or as a spokesperson for the Catholic faith. No speaker on that occasion was identified by their faith as a Catholic or Protestant Jew when, two days before the dinner, Mr. Kennedy called off his engagement, he expressed regret and regret but stated that since His Eminence the Cardinal asked him not to did he is a loyal son of the church he had no choice therefore it was necessary to destroy this first program and now reprint our state again the words I used or a quote from kata from the book of Reverend Pauling, spokesman for the Catholic faith, the book that was produced about a year ago, which first discussed this incident, secondly, my recollection of the incident is quite clear, in fact, it is as good as Reverend Polonia because when the matter was first discussed, Reverend Poling stated that the incident took place in 1950 and it was only in the last two months that it was known that the incident took place in 1947.
Thirdly, I never discussed the matter with Cardinal Doherty in m i life. I never spoke to the cardinal. I first learned a little through mr. Radin, who was my administrative assistant, who is new, and mr. Doyle, who worked at the welfare conference in the nation's capital, who said there was a lot of concern among many people in the church in Philadelphia about the location of the chapel and that no service would ever be held in it because it was located in the basement. from another church was a completely different situation than the one I had faced when I first happily accepted it there were now three speakers Kennedy was one of them Taft was the second senator Lehman was the third I don't think he misstated that one of them was supposed to they should speak for the catholic faith as spokesperson and mr.
The word from Poland, one of them for the Protestant faith and one for the Jewish faith, now all I can tell you, sir, is this Chapel. I was glad to accept the invitation. I did not clarify the invitation with anyone. It was only when they informed me that I was speaking and I was invited obviously as a service man because I come from a prominent Catholic family, but they informed me that I was actually there in a sense without any credentials, the chapel, as I have said, has never had a catholic service, it is not an interfaith chapel and therefore for me to participate as a spokesperson in that sense of the catholic faith i thinkit would have given the wrong impression now i have been there 14 years this was in 1947 i have been in politics probably two months and was relatively inexperienced i should have asked before i went into the instance if this is the best thing to do after 14 years yes this is the only incident that can be shown and this was a private dinner this was not a public dinner this was a private dinner The dinner this did not involve my responsibilities as a public official it was my judgment it was wrong just by accepting it without having all the facts which I would not have done at a later date, but I want to say that I have been there.
For 14 years I have voted on hundreds of issues, probably thousands of issues involving all sorts of public questions, some of which border on the relationship between church and state and obviously that record has to be reasonably good or we wouldn't keep listening. about the poll incident senator kennedy plus yes yes I don't mean to be disrespectful to the reverend poll I have great respect for the son and great respect for dr. pol II I don't like being in a debate with him about it, but I have to say that even looking back, I think it was reckless of me to have agreed without more information, but I really don't feel like he shows incapacity to hold public office the reason Of our concern is the fact that your church has declared that it has the privilege, right, and responsibility to lead its members in various areas of life, including politics, but let history and observation indicate that it has done so. done and we raise the question because we would like to know if you are elected president and your church chooses to use that privilege and obligation what will be your response in those circumstances if my church tried to influence me in a way that was inappropriate or that negatively affected my responsibilities as a servant public who swore to uphold the Constitution, then I would answer them that it was an inappropriate action on their part that I could not subscribe to that I objected and that it would be an unfortunate violation of an interference with the American political system.
I trust there would be no such interference. We have had two Chief Justices or Catholics. Canada had three prime ministers in this century. I have already mentioned mr. Degaul honest ad now in my judgment is that an American who is a Catholic who is as sensitive as a Catholic should be the one who seeks his position as exposed to the pressures around us that he will be extremely diligent in his protection of is the constitutional separation, we would be very Happy to have such a statement from the Vatican due to the shortness of time, let's cut the applause, Senator Kennedy ve Howard ministered to the Church of Christ, first of all I would like to quote some authoritative quotes from Catholic
sources. and then posing a question so that a knowingly false statement made to someone who has no right to the truth is not a lie.
The easiest way to fulfill that Duty is to say what is false or to tell a lie Catholic Encyclopedia volume 10 page 195 when mental reserve is permissible it is lawful to cooperate in making statements under oath if there is adequate cause article on perjury Catholic Encyclopedia volume 11 page 696 citing again the truth that we proclaim under oath is relative and not absolute explanation of Catholic morality page 130 recently from the Vatican in Rome this published news was given from the official Vatican newspaper and I quote that update made on Tuesday 19,
1960stated that the roman catholic hierarchy had the right and duty to intervene in the political field to guide its flock the newspaper rejected what is called citing the absurd division of conscience between the believer and the citizen however the Minoo Observatory clarified that its severe pronouncement was valid for Roman Catholic laity everywhere deplored the great merger of ideas that is spreading especially between the catholic doctrine and the social and political activities and between the ecclesiastical hierarchy and the lay faithful in the civil field pope john xxiii recently gave this statement consequently the st. louis review dated 12 december 1958: catholics can join forces for common help and the catholic hierarchy has the right and duty to guide them question says do you subscribe to the doctrine of mental reserve that i have codified from the authorities catholic? submit to the authority of the current Pope that I have quoted in these quotes, well let me say first of all and I have not read the Catholic Encyclopedia and I don't know all the quotes that you are giving me, I don't disagree with the statement.
I don't find it difficult to say so, but I think I could probably make a better comment if I had the full quote before me, but in any case, I hadn't read it before and if the quote is intended. to imply that when you swear an oath you don't mean it or if it's okay for you to take oaths and then break them, but it's okay for you to lie if that's what you say and I don't know if that's what you say unless you tell me read everything in context and then of course i would disagree with him secondly on the rome observatory question ah no article once again i don't have that in the fall i read the statement last december that he was addressing a situation in Sicily where some of the Catholics were active in the Communist Party, but I'm not familiar with the May 1960 one you mentioned, in any case the Roman Observatory has no binding power on me.
Third quote from Pope John from 1958. I didn't. capture all of that and if you read it again i will tell you if i am viola i support it or not pope john 23 recently stated according to st. Luis review date of December twelfth eight thousand nine hundred and fifty-eight coldly Catholics must join forces for common help and the Catholic hierarchy has the right and duty to guide them yes we all write to that well now I but I couldn't describe lead them in what area and if you're talking in the area of faith and morals in church instructions, I think any Baptist minister, a Congregational minister, has the right and duty to try to lead his flock if he means that only because of that statement that the Pope or any other person could force me in compliance with a statement in the performance of my public duties I say no if that statement is intended to mean and it is very difficult to comment on a sentence taken from an article that I have not read, but if that is meant to imply that the hierarchy has some obligation, how it has an obligation to try to guide the members of the Catholic Church, then that may be appropriate. ado, but it all depends on the above rule. of what you mean by God if you mean to direct or instruct on matters related to the organization of the faith the details of the faith then of course you have that obligation if you mean that's why he could guide me or anyone could guide or direct me in the fulfillment of my public duty so I do not agree thank you sir so you do not agree with the Pope in that statement gentlemen and see yes that is why I wanted to be careful because that statement seems to me to be taken out of context that you have just given me I couldn't tell you what the Pope meant unless I had the full article.
I would be happy to tell you that no one can direct me in the performance of my duties as a public official in the United States. Constitution that I am commanded to make to the people of the United States and schwann because of an oath to God, now that is my flat statement. I don't want to go into detail about a sentence you read to me that I may not fully understand. my gentle state emen we have time we have time for one more question if you can manage briefly Kennedy Senator Robert McLaren of Westminster Presbyterian Church here in Houston has been quite clear and I think he praised Lee on this matter of the separation of church and state. and he has very kindly responded to the many questions that have arisen around him.
There is a question that seems quite relevant to me and it relates to your statement that if you found by any remote possibility a real conflict between your oath as president that you would resign from that position if you were in real conflict with your church, you know I said with my conscience with your conscience on the hopefully overnight bug show that the Catholic Encyclopedia says is still binding even though it's from a different century is still binding on all Catholics there are three very specific things being denounced including the separation of church and state, freedom of religion or Beyond Catholics to propagate and freedom of conscience, do you still feel these are binding on you?
That you uphold your oath of office over your loyalty to the Pope on these issues. Well let's break down the issue because I don't think there is a conflict on these three issues, the first issue as I understood it was about the relationship between Catholics and state and other religions was that the only separation of church and state explicitly he cares what I support that and in my judgment the 1948 American bishop's statement clearly supported it that in my judgment the view of Catholics in this country is that they support the Constitution or the separation of church and state and they are not wrong in that regard.
I just want to end the Rite of religions other than Roman Catholic to propagate I think they should be allowed to propagate any faith without any limitation by the power of the state or encouragement by the power of the say what the third the third was freedom of conscience in matters of religion and this also in point 46 I think it extends to freedom of mind in the realm of science but this is part yes well I believe in freedom of conscience leave me alone I think our time is coming to its over but i believe in it let me finally say that i am delighted to come here today i don't want anyone to think because i am being questioned on this very important question that i think it is unfair or unreasonable or that someone who is concerned about the subject is prejudiced or is intolerant.
I believe this fight for religious freedom is central to the establishment of the American system, and therefore any candidate for office I believe must submit to any reasonable question. man my only objection would be my only limit to that would be if someone said regardless of senator kennedy's position regardless of how much evidence he gave that's what he says it means I still wouldn't vote for him because he's member of that church. I would consider it unreasonable. What I consider reasonable and an exercise of free will and free choice is to ask the candidate to present his views as broadly as possible. if he says he believes and then makes an independent rational judgment about whether he could be trusted with this very important position, so I want you to know that I am grateful to you for having me tonight.
I'm sure I have. He didn't talk to my church, but I hope I hope that at least my point of view, which I think is the point of view of my fellow Catholics who hold office, I hope it can be of some value and at least help you make a careful judgment. that we will channel and we will remain we will remain standing you have been watching Senator John Kennedy appear before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in an unrelated question and answer period the broadcast of this meeting was sponsored by the Kennedy Johnson Campaign Committee Texas on behalf of Senator Kennedy's candidacy for the presidency of the United States through the facilities of ktrk-tv this has been a special vote of the program Texas State Network
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