WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (RNS) -- More than two years after starting to meet with his spiritual advisers, President Clinton has decided to continue the practice when his term ends.

The Rev. Tony Campolo, one of the three clerics who have met regularly with Clinton, said the president wants to keep the meetings going.

"He has indicated that he will continue this relationship," Campolo told Religion News Service on Friday. "He expects that, being relieved of the presidency, he will be able to give even more attention to ... these matters so he is looking for spiritual counsel especially as he defines the future of his life."

The Rev. J. Philip Wogaman, another spiritual adviser and senior minister at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, confirmed the president's plans.

"The three of us will have a continuing relationship with the president," he said after the three met with Clinton on Friday.

Campolo is encouraged that the meetings with the president will be ongoing.

"It's a further indication of his desire to understand his life and behavior in spiritual terms," he said.

In September 1998, Clinton confessed to religious leaders attending a White House breakfast that he had "sinned" in his sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and announced he would be "seeking pastoral support." Clinton was impeached as a result of the scandal and narrowly escaped being removed from office.

Since the 1998 breakfast, he has met individually and in a group with Campolo, an evangelical leader based in St. Davids, Pa.; Wogaman; and the Rev. Gordon MacDonald, a writer and speaker based in Canterbury, N.H. Clinton is a Southern Baptist, but he has attended Wogaman's church during his presidency with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, a United Methodist.

Campolo, president of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, said Clinton has generally met with at least one of them on a weekly basis and met with all three on Friday "because he's coming to the end of the administration."

Wogaman said post-presidential meetings with Clinton won't follow exactly the same pattern they did when he inhabited the White House, but said "it's going to be significant."

MacDonald could not be reached for comment.

Throughout the second half of his second term, Clinton has juggled his appointments with the spiritual advisers as he attends to major world concerns, such as his current efforts to achieve a Mideast peace agreement.

"He's nevertheless carving out the time -- usually an hour and a half -- to be with us, even in the midst of a very pressured schedule, given the peace-talk situation," said Campolo.

Wogaman also affirmed Clinton's commitment to the meetings.

"He really has kept faith with this thing throughout a very long time," Wogaman said.

When Clinton was not able to meet with them in person, such as when he traveled abroad, they "maintained close communication," Wogaman added.

Campolo described the discussions as "earnest" but not "confrontational."

"Every time we get together, we do so in the context of deep prayer and self-searching and biblical study," Campolo said.

Neither Campolo or Wogaman would speak of the details of their meetings with Clinton, but Campolo said they address various aspects of the president's life.

"We are concerned about the whole person and his whole life and not just a segment," said Campolo. "We contend that what goes on in one area of life impacts all areas of life."

As the meetings have continued, Campolo said, so did criticism and praise from those who have contacted him and the other advisers.

He said some Christians -- both Republicans and Democrats -- have been critical of the gatherings.

"Very often political attitudes have taken precedence over the beliefs about grace and forgiveness that are at the core of the Christian community," said Campolo. "Politics has highly influenced the criticism."

But he added that all three regularly receive encouragement as well, from letter writers saying they are praying for their ministry with Clinton.

"These go from farmers on the plains of Iowa to the archbishop of Canterbury," Campolo said.

Wogaman said he's been struck by the president's intelligence and how easy it is to talk with Clinton.

"It's been very interesting," Wogaman said of the meetings in general. "Quite apart from him being president of the United States, he's good company."

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