'This Conversation With You is a Meditation'

Interview with presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, a New Age vegan Catholic

When Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio was voted out as Mayor of Cleveland in 1979, he began a spiritual exploration. He studied at the Light Institute in Galisteo, N.M., where he became exposed to a variety of New Age principles. Though raised a Catholic, he has been endorsed by a who's-who of spiritual teachers, authors and gurus, including Deepak Chopra, Matthew Fox, Neale Donald Walsch, and Wayne Dyer.

This interview, conducted by Beliefnet Editor-in-Chief Steven Waldman, is one in a series with the candidates.

BELIEFNET:

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A lot of people have strong feelings--positive or negative--about Catholic education. Where do you fit in spectrum?



DENNIS KUCINICH:

Very positive. And I attribute it to the [nuns] who dedicated their lives to the religious. I was very fortunate. These are some of the most significant, important people in my life and I treasure their memories.

BELIEFNET:

Would it be possible to summarize the message they taught you about the nature of Christianity?

KUCINICH:

About always doing the right thing no matter what, about never being afraid to take a stand. About a sense of personal responsibility for one's actions.

BELIEFNET:

So what part of your genetic makeup as a politician came from that?

KUCINICH:

Social conscience. In the spirit of a Dorothy Day, in the spirit of Pope Leo XIII, in the spirit of Pope Paul VI and

Populorum Progressio
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