WASHINGTON — From the beginning, Representative Jim McGovern’s political life was entwined with his Catholic faith. As a young aide to Democratic Representative Joe Moakley in the early 1990s, McGovern led an investigation into the murders of six Jesuits and two lay women in El Salvador.
As a congressman, he has pushed for more spending on global nutrition, higher taxes on the wealthy, and other positions that, he says, derive from the Catholic Church’s mission to serve the poor. But for most of the last three decades, McGovern wondered if progressives like himself still had a place in the church. He felt “a little bit of an outcast,” he said, because of his liberal views on abortion and gay marriage.