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Heard on the Hill: God Bless Us, Everyone

Not all Senate Democrats are the devils that their Republican counterparts paint them to be. Some, it seems, are even pious enough to attend services during the workweek.

To commemorate the start of Lent, Sen. John Kerry received ashes and took communion at the 8 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph’s on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

A former altar boy known to complain if his staff doesn’t leave room in his schedule for Sunday Mass, the lifelong Roman Catholic once even considered becoming a priest.

Things are quieter now, but the Massachusetts Democrat’s religious beliefs stirred up controversy when he ran for president in 2004. His political positions on issues such as abortion offended some church officials, a few of whom asked him to stop taking communion.

At the time, the Senator told Time magazine that his faith didn’t complicate things since the country is committed to the separation of church and state.

“I don’t tell church officials what to do,” Kerry said. “And church officials shouldn’t tell American politicians what to do in the context of our public life.”

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