I’m a Catholic. I’m a Catholic.

I’m a Catholic. I’m a Catholic.

Nicholas Goldberg: Karen Bass says she’ll protect Angelenos’ abortion rights. But can the mayor of L.A. really do that?

I’m not a public official. I’ve never been in public office. The best I could hope for is to make the occasional pitch. There’s something almost magical about that. To step down from a pedestal, to walk into the public square and to stand in the eye of an angry crowd and to face the voters’ wrath. I have a hunch they’d remember me.

I’ve spent many years working in politics. I’ve worked in City Hall, on City Council, in City Attorney and with the Los Angeles Police Department. I’ve served as president of the Los Angeles Commission on the Arts and the Humanities, City School board president — the list goes on and on.

But I’ve never been in public office, although I have worked with politicians.

Not only that, but for more than four decades, I’ve devoted my life to the Catholic Church. Not just a few hours a week in youth ministry or a dozen hours a month in the church, but all my life. I teach CCD 101 in high school, I counsel couples in my parish who have lost their faith, I lead retreats to reacquaint people with themselves and their faith. I’ve served on the boards of directors of parishes and non-profits, and served as a deacon in my parish. I’ve sat in on parish council meetings, and I’ve been on committees. I’ve given sermons, delivered funeral orations and preached.

And I’ve taught in Catholic schools. On Sunday mornings I’ll arrive at a Catholic school and the first thing I’ll do — after I greet the children and the parents — is to lead my homily. At St. Michael’s Elementary School, we don’t have a formal homily each week. Most of the time, we just talk about the importance of prayer. But before my homily, I ask the students to stand and pray. Every time we’ve done it, it’s been a special time.

I think most Catholic laypeople don’t

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