Statement on the Death of Father Robert F. Drinan, 1920-2007

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Father Robert F. Drinan, a long-time friend of The Interfaith Alliance who keynoted TIA’s 2005 National Leadership Gathering, died Sunday, January 28, at 86. The first Catholic priest elected as a voting member of Congress in 1970, Fr. Drinan served 10 years in the House of Representatives before Pope John Paul II barred priests from elected office.

“Father Drinan was a passionate advocate for religious liberty and a long time friend of The Interfaith Alliance,” Said Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of The Interfaith Alliance. “He understood the role of religion in government like no one else. His decision to resign from Congress in order to not compromise his religion is a testament to the integrity of the man and a model for other leaders.”

An eloquent, passionate activist on issues of war and peace, human rights, civil liberties, poverty, and ending hunger, Father Drinan was an admired and beloved interfaith leader. Prior to his election to Congress he was the dean of Boston College Law School. Since his congressional tenure ended he had been a professor of law at Georgetown University.