Catholic to run Obama White House

President Obama named Denis McDonough to be his Chief of Staff, appointing his former National Security Advisor to the post. McDonough was appointed last week; watch a video here.


The Atlantic offers some quick facts on the new appointment, including that he is a practicing Catholic and one of 11 children, one of whom is a Catholic priest. The left-leaning advocacy group Catholics United released a statement praising Obama’s selection:

And more recently, in 2012, Denis did his best to iron out the tenuous relationship between the Catholic bishops and the Obama Administration over the HHS contraceptive mandate. When the White House realized that the original rule did not provide as much sensitivity as possible for religious organizations that were being compelled to offer medical services contrary to their religious beliefs, Denis helped make sure a third party fix, otherwise known as the accommodation, was the official White House policy. To help matters even further, Denis went out of his way to give a key policy address on the administration's commitment to religious liberty both at home and abroad at Catholic University this past Summer. The speech was widely praised by Catholic bishops and policy experts.

Michael J. O’Loughlin

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
ed gleason
5 years 8 months ago
"Denis helped make sure a third party fix, otherwise known as the accommodation, was the official White House policy." Hearing about the accommodation the USCCB attorney countered with a demand for an exemption for Taco Bell franchisess, who won't give health care to their counter people at the point of an AR15.
billie chloe
4 years 9 months ago
Obama has been a consistent supporter of Catholic schools and has held multiple events honoring them at the White House. site: term paper of
Jim McCrea
5 years 8 months ago
Isn't it time that we get beyond crowing everytime a Catholic gets a good job? I remember all of that from the 1950s when it appeared that Catholics had the world's largest inferiority complex. I notice that we don't ID each and every Catholic who is a failure.
ed gleason
5 years 8 months ago
Jim. you are giving up on Catholic Triumphalism? And just when I'm about to wave a gun and mention that NRA's Wayne LaPierre went to Siena Franciscan college and grad school at Jesuit Boston College. Imagine with all of that six years of indoctrination and him missing out on Franciscan non violence and Jesuit logic, Tuition refund in order?..


The latest from america

 10.17.2018 Pope Francis greets Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago before a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
“We take people where they are, walking with them, moving forward,” Cardinal Blase Cupich said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 20, 2018
Catherine Pakaluk, who currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, describes her tweet to Mr. Macron as “spirited” and “playful.”
Emma Winters October 19, 2018
A new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could make it much more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards in the United States. But even before its implementation, the proposal has led immigrants to avoid receiving public benefits.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 19, 2018
 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 19, 2018