Robert Drinan

Rev. Robert Drinan, who died this week, was the first priest to serve as a voting member of Congress. He may also have been the last – papal decree that clergy cannot hold public office cut his tenure as a representative from Massachusetts short in 1981. He made good use of his 10 years in Washington: He helped abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee, opposed the draft and supported public funding for abortion. He also wrote the first resolution to impeach Nixon – not for Watergate, but for the president’s role in the bombing of Cambodia. Sometimes church and state mix rather well.

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