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Catholic Chic

GUEST COLUMN

By Richard Crepeau | April 2002
Richard Crepeau is Professor of History at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. This column previously appeared on PopPolitics.com.

Is it some sort of new chic?

Am I somehow suddenly “in”?

For some reason over the past several months there seems to have been a rash of people popping up “everywhere” who claim, and I emphasize “claim,” to have been “raised Catholic.” The most recent is the guy who played “Puddy” on Seinfeld, who made his confession to Terry Gross on Fresh Air.

Reading the newspaper, I discover politicians who were “raised Catholic.” Celebrities of all sorts from television, movies, or some esoteric branch of show business or the arts tell the world with a wink and a nod that they were “raised Catholic.” It seems to resonate with everyone. There seems to be an unspoken understanding of the precise meaning of this biographical fact.

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