The Florida Senator has swapped religions four times
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholic voters are paying close attention to pro-life Catholic senator Marco Rubio, who finished just second in the Nevada Caucuses with 23.9 percent. Many Catholics may not realize, however, that Sen. Rubio has changed his religion four times in his life.
According to Communications Director Alex Conant, Rubio was baptized Catholic by his parents as an infant but was re-baptized into the Mormon community when he was eight. Three years later, his family reverted back to the Catholic faith, where he completed the sacraments of initiation.
In 1998 Rubio and his wife Jeanette were married in the Church. But in 2002, Rubio again left the Church and joined the First Baptist Church of Perrine, which is now Christ's Fellowship. Over the years he has donated $50,000 to the megachurch.
In 2005, Rubio returned to the Catholic Church once again. But in his 2012 book "An American Son: A Memoir," he said his family still frequents the Fellowship Baptist church on Saturday nights and attends Mass on Sunday mornings. "I craved, literally, the Most Blessed Sacrament," he writes. "I wondered why there couldn't be a church that offered both a powerful, contemporary gospel message and the actual body and blood of Jesus.
Rubio has affirmed his Catholic identity numerous times during his campaign. Recently in response to a question about Pope Francis' comments on Donald Trump's immigration policy, Rubio said, "The Pope is a religious and spiritual leader. He's the head of the Roman Catholic Church, which I'm a member of and I respect and I follow its theological advice."
He went on to say that the United States, like the Vatican, in the interests of national security has the right to regulate and restrict immigration.
Another example occurred before the latest GOP debate began, when Republican candidates paused for a moment of silence in memory of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: only Senator Marco Rubio crossed himself in prayer.
Reports also allege that Sen. Rubio has drawn the sign of the cross next to his name on the debate podium.
ChurchMilitant.com reached out to Rubio's campaign, but it was not available for questions.