NewsMon Apr 16, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Interview with Austin Ruse - President Bush is “a True Man of Faith”
By John-Henry Westen
WASHINGTON, April 16, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Austin Ruse, best known for his work as President of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute at the United Nations, is also the Vice President of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. The prayer breakfast has gained instant fame in its short four years of existence with the regular attendance of US President George W. Bush.
After Bush’s address to the nearly 2000 participants at the breakfast, LifeSiteNews spoke with Ruse about the event and the Presidential participation.
Ruse said that while the April 12-14, 2007 prayer breakfast was the fourth such event, it was the third year that President Bush had personally addressed the gathering.
Bush’s presence comes thanks to Leonard Leo, a board member of the National Catholic prayer breakfast "who," explained Ruse, "is a head of the Catholic outreach at the Republican National Committee so he is very close to the White House."
The Presidential participation came however only after the organization proved itself in its inaugural year. "Four years ago we invited the President but it was our inaugural event and they weren’t sure that it was going to be anything so they said no," said Ruse. "The second year, after the first year’s success, Leonard invited him and he came and we invite him every year and he very happily comes."
"I am told that it is one of his favorite events," Ruse told LifeSiteNews.com. "He gets such a warm welcome."
During his address to the prayer breakfast President Bush was relaxed and joking with attendees. Asked about this apparent comfort on the part of the President among the gathering of faithful Catholics, Ruse commented, "I do believe he is a true man of Faith."
Ruse added: "He is an evangelical - he is like any evangelical that I would meet in the pro-life movement."
Concluding his reflections on the President, Ruse said, "I think that is unlike maybe any president that we have ever had, in my life time. He knows when he is with family - that is to say, people who are true believers. It is like sitting around a campfire with good friends and that is the feel that I get from him when he comes to this event."
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Full Text of President Bush Address At National Catholic Prayer Breakfast (April 13, 2007)