"If you've ever wondered whether God laughs, think back to 1980, when the Rev. Robert Drinan was ordered by Pope John Paul II to get out of politics and leave Congress. The Jesuit priest, who died on Sunday, was finishing his fifth term representing a suburban Boston district that included Cambridge and Brookline. The pope had been hearing from rankled conservative American Catholics--the Pat Buchanan, William F. Buckley Jr., William Bennett wing of the church -- that Father Drinan, a purebred Democrat, was a dangerous liberal. His voting record on abortion was seen as too pro-choice.
Father Drinan's presence in the House of Representatives had been sanctioned by the previous pope, Paul VI, as well as by the U.S. episcopate, the cardinal of Boston, his own Jesuit superiors and emphatically by the voters in his district.
John Paul, knowing that Jesuits take a vow of loyalty to popes, had his way. And who replaced the dangerously liberal Father Drinan? The more dangerously liberal Barney Frank--as ardent an advocate for abortion rights and as he was for gay rights. If there is a God, the Frank-for-Drinan trade surely had Him laughing at the Vatican's expense."
A chance meeting with Father Drinan when I was an undergraduate at Brandeis convinced me that one could be a lawyer and a politician and still have a soul.
Had he stayed in Congress I may have never become a photographer after law school. There are still many days I wonder about what working for him would have been like.