The Dogma Within


Amy Coney Barrett is a Notre Dame Law professor. She was nominated by President Trump for a seat on the seventh court of appeals.

But first she has to get past Senate Judiciary Committee member Diane Feinstein. The Senator wanted answers about an article Professor Coney Barrett co-authored 20 years ago. It was a meditation on what a Catholic judge might do in a capital punishment case. The authors concluded he/she should recuse.

But the professor came across as a little too Catholic for the senator. Feinstein told her, “I think in your case, professor, when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”

Of course, the professor might have taken that as a compliment.

Man Bites Dogma

But no dogma lives within Senator Durbin. The apparently unorthodox Catholic senator from Illinois demanded to know if Coney Barrett is an “Orthodox” Catholic.

A WSJ opinion piece by theology professor C.C. Pecknold had this to say about the dogma:

Mr. Durbin’s attempt to make such a distinction shows that this affair is about more than Catholicism. It is about an ideology—a politically progressive civil religion—that makes comprehensive claims to which all other religions are expected to conform.

4 Responses to The Dogma Within

  1. Elbarto says:

    What part of “no religious test” don’t these Senators understand?

  2. John H. says:

    It’s not so much a religious test as it is a question of whether someone who publicly, proudly and repeatedly presents herself as a faithful Catholic can lay aside her personal beliefs when it comes to judicial decision-making. However clumsily Feinstein’s comment might have been, it is not nearly as strident as our cartoonist portrays here. And if Feinstein and Durbin (who is a Catholic, by the way) had not pursued this line of questioning, they wouldn’t be doing their jobs.

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  4. PGM1972 says:

    There’s one thing, and one thing only that concerns Feinstein’s concern about dogma.

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