Episcopal priest Luis Leon expected to deliver inaugural benediction


HuffPo and CNN are reporting that the Presidential Inaugural Committee has selected the longtime rector of the “Church of the Presidents” to give the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration next week.

The Cuban-born Rev. Luis Leon, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square near the White House, will take the place of Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio, who bowed out after a 1990s sermon against homosexuality angered gay priests.

Leon is a known quantity to both the White House and the president — the Obamas typically go to St. John’s (when they go to church), and Leon has also counted George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in his pews. Presumably, Leon will host the Obamas for the traditional morning-of inaugural prayer service at St. John’s.

As HuffPo notes, Leon and his parish are gay friendly, which should squelch that particular fire. But more importantly, we think, is that Leon would add a notable Hispanic voice to the inaugural line-up — a subtle nod to a minority that Obama won handily, and one that is expecting him to deliver on immigration reform.

While the news hasn’t been officially confirmed (or announced) by inauguration officials, remember where Leon’s name first appeared: on our list of possible subs to replace Giglio.

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