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NYT’s Maureen Dowd: Supreme Court’s ‘Catholic’ ‘ecclesiastical ethos’ threatens to upend America


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A New York Times opinion column by Maureen Dowd on Saturday claimed that the Catholic Church is imposing its moral vision on America through Catholic conservatives on the Supreme Court.

Dowd began her article, titled “Too Much Church in The State”, by specifically targeting conservative Catholic judge Amy Coney Barrett, claiming that the mother of 7 is about to impose her religious will on the country through the Supreme Court.

“During her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Amy Coney Barrett tried to reassure Democrats who were suspicious of her role as a ‘handmaiden’ in a Christian group called ‘People of Praise’.” The author then trashed the group saying, “The group has a male-dominated hierarchy and a rigid view of sexuality that reflects conservative gender norms and openly rejects gay men and women.”

As such, Dowd feared that Barrett and the other conservative Catholic judges would bring that perspective down on millions of Americans if they dismantled Roe v Wade: “Like a royal queen, she will impose her will on the world. This will be the Amy’s law. And Sam. And Clarence. And Neil. And Brett.

NYT’s Maureen Dowd: Supreme Court’s ‘Catholic’ ‘ecclesiastical ethos’ threatens to upend America

Protesters hold signs during an abortion rights protest, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in New York City. (AP Photo/Jeenah Moon)

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“It is outrageous that five or six people in irresponsible jobs for life are about to impose their personal views on the rest of the country,” Dowd said, nearly 50 years after 7 men in irresponsible jobs for life were imposed their personal views on abortion on the rest of the country. the country with Roe c. Wade in 1973.

She said they would do it under the auspices of the proper jurisprudence, but that’s a disguise. “While they will certainly provide the legal casuistry of their opinion, let’s not be fooled: Roe’s impending repeal by the Supreme Court will be due to more than legal argument. There are worldviews that predate the work in this upheaval,” she wrote.

Dowd mentioned her own Catholic faith and that she is “happy to see Catholics succeeding in the world”. She then observed the Catholic makeup of the Supreme Court, writing: “There is an astonishing preponderance of Catholics on the Supreme Court – six of the nine justices, and a seventh, Neil Gorsuch, was raised as a Catholic.”

Then she made her larger point: “However, this Catholic feels intense concern that Catholic doctrine could shape (or distort) the freedom and future of millions of women and men. There is a wreath of religious fervor around the court, an ecclesiastical philosophy that threatens to upend our entire country.”

NYT’s Maureen Dowd: Supreme Court’s ‘Catholic’ ‘ecclesiastical ethos’ threatens to upend America

Inside a catholic church
(Catholic Diocese of El Paso)

Dowd said: “I come from a family that respects Catholic dictates on abortion…But it’s hard for me to watch the church try to control women’s sexuality after a shocking number of its own priests sexually abused children and adolescents for decades.”

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She also accused the Church of not really respecting women, saying, “It is also difficult to see the Church formulating its anti-abortion position in the context of caring for women as it continues to keep women in subordinate roles in the Church.

Dowd then returned to the “religiosity” of Catholics on the ground: “Religiosity is a subject on which some Catholics on the ground have been more open in recent years”, and claimed to miss the style of the late Mario Cuomo, a Catholic . , Democrat and former Governor of New York “who respected the multiplicity of values ​​in an open society”.

She referred to Cuomo’s 1984 speech at Notre Dame University in which he said, “The Catholic who holds political office in a pluralistic democracy” can respect the “right to divorce, to use birth control and even to choose abortion” of other citizens.

NYT’s Maureen Dowd: Supreme Court’s ‘Catholic’ ‘ecclesiastical ethos’ threatens to upend America

An anti-abortion activist attends a protest outside the Supreme Court building, ahead of arguments in the Mississippi abortion rights case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, in Washington, December 1, 2021. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst

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“The explosive nature of Alito’s opinion project on Roe highlighted just how radical the majority on the ground is, eager to fit women into their zealous worldview,” Dowd wrote near the end of his article.

She then targeted “radical Republicans”, concluding, “We will all have to live with the catastrophic results of their bigotry.”

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