Chad Pecknold , associate professor, theology, was quoted in a NY Daily News story on Marco Rubio's religion. See below.

Conservative presidential hopeful Marco Rubio's religion of many colors

From: NY Daily News Date: June 6, 2015 Author: Deborah Hastings

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Being Catholic no longer has the divisive taint that John F. Kennedy experienced ; nor does belonging to a non-mainstream religion such as Mormonism, political experts say.

Chad Pecknold, a theology professor at the Catholic University of America, says religious voters may disagree over doctrine, but when it comes to morality issues, Catholics, Christians and other believers are united when it comes to what they deem to be great sins.

"There is a new alliance between evangelicals and Catholics," he said. Especially on issues such as "abortion, euthanasia and the nature of marriage."

Despite a recent Pew study that found one out of five people have no religious affiliation, Republican candidates have long known that they can't win without the support, and the votes, of the religious right.

Though Rubio has appeared to flit from one religion the next, he has done so without antagonizing its adherents, Pecknold said. Yet, he could be faulted by voters who see his faith as "vacuous because it's constantly changing."

Rubio's "never turned his back on the Mormons, He's never turned his back on the Catholics, and he's never turned his back on the evangelicals, which are very important to the Republicans," Pecknold said.

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Read more about Pecknold's expertise .

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