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PHOTO: Baltimore Archbishop William LoriLisa Bourne / LifeSiteNews
By Doug Mainwaring, LifeSiteNews, September 8, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. bishops point man for religious freedom has stepped in to defend a Trump judicial nominee who came under attack in the U.S. Senate for being an “orthodox Catholic.”
The episode is a sign that “anti-Catholic bigotry” still remains, Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, said in a statement today.
At the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Durbin assailed University of Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic mother of seven for her faith. Trump has nominated Barrett for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“The dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said in a now-famous line.
Lori, the archbishop of Baltimore, said that rather than examining Barrett’s professional credentials, the Democratic senators “challenged her fitness to serve due to her Catholic faith.”
“Such questions … sadly, harken back to a time in our country when anti-Catholic bigotry did distort our laws and civil order,” he said. “These comments are a reminder that we must remain vigilant against latent bigotries that may still infect our national soul.”
The archbishop then fired a pointed question directly at Senators Feinstein and Durbin: “Were the comments of the Senators meant as a warning shot to future law students and attorneys, that they should never discuss their faith in a public forum, if they have aspirations to serve in the federal judiciary?”
Archbishop Lori’s statement on behalf of the USCCB joins a growing chorus of condemnation of the treatment of Professor Barrett.
Archbishop Lori’s statement can be read in its entirety here.