"The United States is a country in which – with the recent exception of the Supreme Court – Catholics have never dominated the highest offices. Only one out of 44 US Presidents has been Catholic. The first and only Catholic Vice President is the current one, Joe Biden. Before John Kerry, the last Catholic Secretary of State was Alexander Haig, who left the post in 1982. Catholics are a rarity in other top positions such as Secretary of Defence.
By contrast, three out of the last five CIA directors have been
Catholic: Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta, and the current director, John
Brennan. Looking back, a number of Catholics led the agency in critical
periods during the Cold War. (There were no Catholic directors in the
Some of the most influential directors in CIA history have been
Catholic – men such as Walter Bedell Smith, John McCone, William Colby
and William Casey. They were not just casual Catholics. They were devout
Mass-goers – in many cases, members of groups like the Knights of
Malta. The conspiracy theorists usually start there, with nefarious
plots about the Vatican steering world affairs. Of course, they never
ask why an all-powerful Vatican can’t engineer more Catholic presidents."
Why so strong in the CIA? A possible explanation.