Mitt Romney as bishop and stake president

The Washington Post investigates Mitt Romney’s time as bishop and stake president and fails to find anything truly shocking or controversial. You can read the entire article here. Mitt comes across as a pretty typical bishop and stake president.

The one potential controversy, which leads the story, is the discovery that Mitt had a seemingly different policy toward undocumented workers as a stake president than he does as a presidential candidate:

In the back office of his Weston, Mass., headquarters a quarter-­century ago, Mitt Romney, the chief Mormon authority in the Boston area, told the leader of his Spanish-speaking congregation that he would not directly pay for lawyers to help the growing number of illegal immigrants in his church. Then he carefully instructed his subordinate on how to circumvent the Mormon Church’s new hard line against such assistance and subsidize their legal aide.

“In those issues I cannot help you financially to pay for lawyers,” Romney said, according to Jose Francisco Anleu, a Guatemalan immigrant. “But what I can do is allow you to give them food assistance from the bishop’s warehouse,” a church welfare pantry. The money saved could be used to “pay lawyers.” He reminded Anleu that he could use church funds to cover rent, utilities and health care for his needy members. The money came from Anleu’s budget, but, as Anleu noted decades later, it was a budget sustained by Romney’s office.

For anybody who knows stake presidents and bishops, this is a pretty pedestrian discovery, but some may find it of interest.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

4 thoughts on “Mitt Romney as bishop and stake president

  1. A clergy man’s duties are very different than that of a politician’s responsibility. In the one, he seeks to assist the members of his flock in any legal method possible.

    In the other, he has to follow the laws of the land, until he can successfully have them changed. (Of course, this does not apply to Pres Obama, who can change federal law with an executive order).

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