In an exclusive interview with The Brody File, Sen. Marco Rubio explains how he transitioned from being part of the Mormon Church to Catholicism along with a healthy dose of evangelical Christianity along the way, too.
It is a fascinating look from someone who could be the next vice president of the United States or even president of the United States someday.
Watch below with the full transcription.
Mandatory Courtesy: CBN News/The Brody File
David Brody: I was reading the book, so you’re what is it second grade, third grade you’re reading church doctrine for goodness sake in third grade. What’s that about? Who reads church doctrine?
Marco Rubio: You know what happened, I was always interested in religion. I was always interested in my spiritual life and from a very young age was attending the Catholic Church. And then, when we moved to Las Vegas my mom was looking for a family friendly environment to raise us in. I know that sounds funny to say that Las Vegas is family friendly. But back then it was a much smaller place, certainly much smaller than Miami was.
So we were living there, and I had three aunts living there. One of them was very much involved in the LDS Church. And my mom just kind of loved the family friendly environment that the church created for her and her kids and that’s why we started going. My dad never really bought in, but my mom, and I understood the church’s doctrine about as well as an 8-year-old can, an 8 or 9-year-old.
And then about around the time I was in sixth grade, I had a friend of mine who was a Catholic, and I don’t know why, but I started researching Catholicism again and just got called back to it and felt called back to it and got back to the church, and that’s where I was for much of my life.
And then in my early-to-mid 30’s, I got really busy with politics and my wife found this fantastic church down in Miami called Christ Fellowship. At that time it was First Baptist Church, and then she started going, and my sister was going, my parents were going. My kids loved to go. And not only did I lose spiritual leadership in my home, but beyond it we found this really great church home and it became kind of our church home, and it’s still the place that we have a very strong relationship with. They’re great teachers of the written Word, I mean just a fantastic job that they do, and their Children’s ministry is A+, and that’s really important to me.
But then about 2006, 2005, once again, felt called back to Catholicism. I started reading again. I remember during one break, I don’t remember the exact year I read the entire catechism of the entire church which was a thick document. I just felt called back to the church, and reinvigorated my faith.
So I am glad for that journey. It strengthened me and my reliance on God. More importantly, I think what it has done is given me an extra, increased appreciation for my brother and sisters in Christ and the tremendous job they do, in bringing people to the truth.
Brody: So there is a balancer there, …fellowship and the Catholic church?
Rubio: We still very much enjoy the sermons there. They have a great children’s ministry, a great online ministry and we try to attend in person as often as we can. We are fully aligned with the Catholic church, in terms of the doctrine and its teachings. We are very at home there. We are very happy with it.
I am not sure. Some people think that is a big deal. I don’t understand why people make it such a big deal of it. But anytime someone is talking about the gospel of Jesus and the truth that is so far based on the truth and solid theology, that is something we should listen and take in.
I listen to a podcast by a pastor called Greg Laurie. He is fantastic. I listen to, obviously there are other lay preachers. I read a Catholic author who is a lay author who writes a tremendous number of books. So there are all kinds of people that are doing a fantastic job.
Brody: What is it about the Catholic Church that interested you?
Rubio: There are a lot of things. Obviously, the Sacraments and the one thing I particularly miss and I talked about in the book is the Eucharist. The actual body and blood of Jesus and how powerful that is and just the whole symbolism behind that. How that became the new Lamb and Supper, and how Jesus became the new Passover Lamb for us.
And in so many ways, all of this was pre-scene by the original Passover where God’s chosen people were brought from slavery into freedom. And they commemorated where they celebrate the Passover, where an unblemished Lamb is sacrificed in commemoration of that.
Now we have the Ultimate unblemished lamb of Jesus, the God-made man and that is what the Eucharist is all about. And obviously from that, I also have tremendous respect for what I think is the teaching authority of the church that goes all the way back to the apostles.
But for all the churches… One of beautiful things is that what is not told enough is how the Catholic Church and the catechism recognizes how the elements of salvation can be found in multiple faith traditions within Christianity. That we are all at the end of the day part of the same body of Christ.
We are not in communion so to speak. We are not. Many churches for example don’t accept the leadership of the Pope in Rome and some of the teachings of the Catholic Church but we are all Christians. And I think that is the one thing that is most amazing.
How Christianity has found its way in every part of the world. And nothing to me is more touching than to see someone that is lost in the world, come to Christ and have a transformed moment. You see that so often in the evangelical churches and Christ Fellowship. I have tremendous appreciation for that and I celebrate it.
Sen. Marco Rubio tells The Brody File that his view of immigration policy doesn’t differ from anything that Mitt Romney has said on the topic.
“We’ve been working on an idea that’s an alternative to the Dream Act that doesn’t encourage illegal immigration in the future, but it’s compassionate towards these kids and the unique circumstance they find themselves in. I don’t think that in anyway conflicts with anything Governor Romney has said. I think what he has said is he is willing to look at what it is we’re proposing and he’s anxious to see what it is,” Rubio tells The Brody File.
Watch his answer below with the transcription. If Romney picks Rubio as his VP, immigration policy could be a distraction especially amongst members of the mainstream media looking to exploit a wedge issue.
Mandatory Courtesy: CBN News/The Brody File
David Brody: You want to clear up anything on the Dream Act between you and Romney? A lot of people in the mainstream media like to say, “O, there’s some difference, a little difference between where you are on the Dream Act and Romney’s position on immigration.”
Marco Rubio: Well, we’ve been working on an idea that’s an alternative to the Dream Act that doesn’t encourage illegal immigration in the future, but it’s compassionate towards these kids and the unique circumstance they find themselves in. I don’t think that in anyway conflicts with anything Governor Romney has said. I think what he has said is he is willing to look at what it is we’re proposing and he’s anxious to see what it is.
We haven’t finished that project yet because there’s a lot of unintended consequences that could come from something like this. We want to do this right. We don’t just want to do this fast. So we don’t want to propose a law that ends up exasperating illegal immigration in the future or dividing our country unnecessarily.
So look, I think what the president has done on this issue is going to make it harder for us to solve it before the election. I hope I’m wrong. We’ll continue to work on framing a responsible idea, and if the opportunity presents itself, God willing, we’ll pursue it.
Evangelical leaders tell The Brody File that they would be excited to see Sen. Marco Rubio as Mitt Romney’s VP pick and in an interview with The Brody File, Rubio returns the love by telling me that, “evangelical leaders have played an important role in framing America’s political debate.”
Watch my interview with Rubio, which was recorded Thursday morning in our Brody File studio.
Mandatory Courtesy: CBN News/The Brody File
David Brody: I can tell you I’m talking to evangelical leaders and when they, when I talk about who would be a great VP, I know you get the VP question all the time. When they say ‘Who would be a great VP pick within the evangelical world?’ You’re at the top of the list. What do you say about that because evangelicals would be very comfortable with you as a VP?
Marco Rubio: Well I don’t discuss the Vice Presidential process out of respect for Governor Romney and the decisions that he’s making, but I think evangelical leaders have played an important role in framing America’s political debate, and I think there’s forces out there that want to discourage them from being involved in American politics, almost guilt them into saying we shouldn’t mix religion with politics, or spirituality with politics.
And I certainly think the one thing I would say to you is that you can’t have a strong country, you can’t have a strong economy without strong people. And the church community, the faith community has an important role to play in helping families and parents raise strong children who become strong adults who become the foundations of a strong country.
Not only do they have the religious constitutional liberties to participate in our politics, but the values that they defend to our faith are critically important for the well-being of this country and its future. So I just encourage faith leaders to continue to get involved.
I think most of them are very respectful of the fact that there’s diversity of opinion within their flock on taxes and spending and the role of government, but on the essential truths of what makes a strong society and strong people, their voices need to be heard as much as ever.