The most important Roman Catholic figure in preparing the president for his first meeting today with Pope Benedict XVI–and in reaching out to the American Catholic community in advance of the visit–is someone whom few Catholics would recognize.
His name is Mark Linton, and though his official title is director
of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of
Housing and Urban Development, he doubles as the White House’s top
liaison to the Catholic world.
[Deputy National Security Adviser Denis] McDonough, a graduate of St. John’s and Georgetown universities,
is the key architect of Obama’s Catholic outreach. The former foreign
policy aide to Senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) has organized discussions
for liberal Catholic politicians about how their faith shapes their
(h/t to Georgetown’s Michael Kessler)