Pope Francis, currently on tour,'isn't Catholic enough to be Pope', says Dennis Ladel a Republican congressman from central Arkansas. The freshman congressman objected to a number of positions the Pope took softening the Church opposition on gay civil unions, contraception and divorce.
Mr. Ladels comments, aside from sparking a backlash from Catholics worldwide, may have greater implications by throwing into question millions of decisions that were confirmed by the phrase 'Is the Pope Catholic?'
The congressman further muddled the waters when he answered the question put forth by a correspondent, "Does a bear shit in the woods?"
Mr. Ladels response of "Of course, but who and what doesn't?" threw the press conference into pandemonium.
Professor Albert Souse, a law professor at Harvard University said, "From a legal standpoint answers to questions relating to the Holy Father or where an animal drops his load don't have much bearing. However, given the public's long held belief that the Pope is indeed Catholic and the weight that phrase has had it could result in a de facto breach of promise between parties if that reference is not proven unequivocally."
Said a Republican operative who asked not to be identified. "Dennis' stand on arming and issuing carry permits to practically anyone who cast a shadow could probably pass here. Likewise his idea to require voters to prove residency with not just a state issued ID but a major credit card and a ride home. But Dennis wasn't our first choice and you can see why."
The Republican Party initially did not back him in the primary election, choosing a party regular. Only when Mr. Ladel unexpectedly won the nomination did the GOP support him in the general election with volunteers and seed money.
His Democratic opponent was painted by Republicans as a former sex offender and member of the ACLU although neither was true.