Is She Catholic? Does It Matter?

God in Government blogger Jacqueline L. Salmon notes that the blogosophere is buzzing with speculation about Supreme Court nominee Sonia … Continued

God in Government blogger Jacqueline L. Salmon notes that the blogosophere is buzzing with speculation about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s Catholicism. If her nomination and Catholicism is confirmed, Sotomayor would join five other Catholics on the court: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

That would mean six of nine Supreme Court Justices would be Catholic. Or would it? Is Sotomayor really Catholic? How Catholic is she? Should 23 percent of the nation’s population get 67 percent of the nation’s highest court? Does it matter? Do you care?

Sotomayor, who is Puerto Rican, did attend Catholic schools in New York, including Cardinal Spellman High. One White House official told blogger Steve Waldman: “Judge Sotomayor…attends church for family celebrations and other important events.”

Hmmm. Sounds like what those of us who are from the South like to call a CME Christian — a Christian who only goes to church on Christmas, Mothers’ Day and Easter. Not that church attendance has ever been an accurate measure of a person’s true faith or faithfulness. But in Sotomayor’s case, her brand of Catholicism seems to be more at issue that her regular attendance at mass. In reports about her nomination, more progressive Catholic news sites are emphasizing her more liberal Catholicism while conservative sites are downplaying or even ignoring her current religious affiliation.

On the more progressive side, the “independent” National Catholic Reporter led its front page with NCR Today columnist Thomas C. Fox asking: “Is she or isn’t she Catholic?” He concluded that Sotomayor was raised Catholic, but her current affiliation is unknown and that her nomination raises two issues: “What constitutes Catholic affiliation today (self-affiliation?); the other, the diversity of Catholicism itself.”

On the website of America: The National Catholic Weekly, blogger Michael Sean Winters offers a broader view of the nominee’s faith: “People ask if Sotomayor is a Catholic and I reply that she is a Puerto Rican. Whether she is active in the Church, the Church is active in her because in Latin culture, the Church is carried not only through its institutional manifestations but through the culture and especially through the family.”

And culture editor James Martin says any questions about the nominee’s Catholicism should be put to rest: “The very talented Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s choice for Supreme Court justice is, as you’ve probably heard, a Roman Catholic and the product of Catholic schooling. As a result, the unfortunate question ‘How Catholic?’ was bound to come up. (Frankly, the only person who can ask that, as far as I’m concerned, is your priest, your spiritual director, or God, and not in that order.)”

On the conservative side, the Catholic News Service (of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops), didn’t address the nominee’s faith until paragraph 19: “Jesuit Father Joseph O’Hare, the retired president of Fordham University who served with Sotomayor on a New York City campaign finance review council, said when he knew her beginning in the late 1980s she was indeed a practicing Catholic. He said he has no reason to think that has changed. They have stayed in touch intermittently, and he said she gave his name as a reference for her FBI background check.”

Over at the Catholic League, William Donohue, president and arbiter of all things Catholic, acknowledges that Sotomayor is Catholic but also “reliably liberal.” The Catholic League “takes no position on the merits of Sonia Sotomayor to be on the Supreme Court,” Donohue said, but he did applaud her heritage. “On a personal note, I must say that having spent four years in the 1970s teaching in a Catholic elementary school in Spanish Harlem, I loved working with the Puerto Rican people. Indeed, I feel some of the pride that Puerto Ricans rightly feel today. Good for them — this is their special day.”

And the Catholic News Agency noted that Sotomayor would be “the third woman to serve on the nation’s highest court and the first Latina,”but it’s 559-word report on the nomination did not include the word Catholic.

American Catholicism, it seems, is just as diverse politically as all of American Christendom.

As Cathleen Kaveny, law professor at the University of Notre Dame and On Faith panelist, noted in an interview with Manya Brachear of the Chicago Tribune, Sotomayor’s nomination puts the Church’s diversity on display.

“My guess is she’s very much operating in accordance with the commitments of the Catholic social justice tradition which is emphasizing … inclusion, solidarity, justice to those least among us,” Kaveny said. “It’s strand of American Catholic teaching that is somewhat distinct from other Catholic teaching but not incompatible. People emphasize different aspects.”

So what do you think? Vote now:

Written by

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Being Jewish, and having been subjected to hearing the “over-representation” crap from a whole lot of Christians, Catholics, etc., who are alarmed that so many of us are still around and functional, I’m looking long and hard at this:That would mean six of nine Supreme Court Justices would be Catholic. Or would it? Is Sotomayor really Catholic? How Catholic is she? Should 23 percent of the nation’s population get 67 percent of the nation’s highest court?AN awful lot of Christians AND Catholics should be downright hysterical at this point and I mean HYSTERICAL. They would be the ones who think there are two many Jews in Congress (WE are over-represented). That some of these so-called Jews are cultural Jews alone, matters not to them.The numbers don’t lie. The Catholics are obviously plotting to take over the country.Nope, the numbers never lie, not to morons.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Add to my previous post the fact that the Senate, though not the Congress has a Catholic majority.The Catholics, with the Senate and now the Court, are clearly in a conspiriacy that threatens the very fabric of American life, world peace, etc.The rest of us should band together to end the Catholic Conspiracy before it becomes a worldwide menace.ROLFMAO. The gentile chickens are coming home to the gentile roost.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Correction: Meant to write ROFLMAO. Also, not alone.

  • usarownow

    Of course her being catholic is a problem.With her defining education she’ll backslide away from the true secularism of the Times and Post and Naral and Planned Parenthood. Noooo good.

  • jclark3

    I think religion is very relevant. Does the prospective justice think the world is 5000 years old? If yes, can we trust her to have informed opinions about other matters? Does God’s law such as not wearing cloths of mixed fabric or stoning disobetient children, or the killing of homosexuals matter to her, or not? I suppose if she practices the bland secularized religion that many do, it probably isn’t horrible, but I’d prefer it if we could elect people that don’t have to mouth acceptance to Bronze Age myths.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    The Catholics are “over-represented” on the United States Supreme Court, are the majority in the Senate.As a result, there will be nuclear war, mass pedophilia, but no gays, and bubonic plague.As long as Jews controlled the government, we were at least safe from the foregoing. Now, with the Catholics in charge of everything, it’s all over.Time for the rest of us to build fall out shelters.

  • kaylancor

    The comments on Catholicism working with Hitler and being part of the Republican lot are SO wrong. You can check the history on WWII and the Church here:And most Catholics were Democrat in history until the Democrats turned pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage. Many good Catholics are pushing for Democrats for Life and other such organizations because they believe in social justice but do not believe in the immorality of the current Democrat political reps.Wow, I am just amazed at the lack of education of people regarding the Catholic Church. People need to do some research before you comment on such things.You can find more on the Church and WWII doing a search on (in library section) and

  • kaylancor

    I don’t know the Catholic practicing of the current justice but a person really isn’t a practicing Catholic unless they are pro-life and pro-traditional family. If they favor abortion, abortion rights and gay marriage, they are not truly practicing their Faith. Being Catholic means you follow the Christian moral values. If a Justice or political candidate does not follow those basics, they are only Catholic (or Christian) in name only. Most religions have certain morals you have to follow and if they don’t have a religion, there is the natural law. Sadly, even today the natural law is ignored by many in society due to their need to follow “self”. Self is more important than God or other people. That is not uncommon in an individualistic society.

  • wasaUFO

    I remember people complaining about Kennedy when he ran for President & the world didn’t end. Cheney / Limbaugh / Gingrich have to be the Anti-Christ and the stupid Republicans love them. Don’t forget, Americas prominent religion is Catholic !!

  • jb54

    Does it (being Catholic) matter?

  • guer_j

    Just for the record, Sotomayor is not Puerto Rican, she was born in Bronx, NY. If anything, she has Puerto Rican heritage. Also, Puerto Rico is not a country as defined by international law, PR is a US territory.

  • Bluefish2012

    Re the poll at the bottom of the article: My answer — NONE OF THE ABOVE.

  • guer_j

    Justice should be ‘blind’, it should not matter what religion or lack thereof the person has.

  • ravitchn

    No one is worried that the Pope will come over and take over. Catholics are now too educated and independent to take orders from Rome.

  • bob2davis

    It all comes down to how much catholicism would affect her decisions. Certainly, catholicism negatively affects the decisions of Scalia and Thomas. They make decisions with god and not with reason. Hopefully, Sotomayor is only a “cafeteria” catholic and will not let any religious views affect her legal reasoning. Until she shows evidence of this, her catholicism may well be problematic.

  • wilkestraphill

    isn’t a practicing Catholic unless they are pro-life and pro-traditional family. If they favor abortion, abortion rights and gay marriage, they are not truly practicing their Faith.NO one can tell another what their faith is. FREE WILL means I choose to believe as I please.AND the Pope has been INFALLIBLE only 2 time in it’s entire history.Unfortunately John Paul 11 attempted to re-neg on Vatical 11 as is Benedict. For those of us who study, that just won’t ‘fly.’

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    KayLancor writes:”Wow, I am just amazed at the lack of education of people regarding the Catholic Church. People need to do some research before you comment on such things.”Wow, I am just amazed at the militant ignorance that some people insist on despite endless amounts of evidence to the contrary.Same goes for the rest of the bloggers post. Have posted tons of info. on the Catholics and WWII genocide to go back over it now.Ostriches should use google. Simple and they don’t have to go to the library.BTW. When, sixty-five years past the Bishop Hudal, all the Vatican Ratlines, Pacelli the plunderer, will the world have access to Vatican archives on the Shoah?When will they settle with the heirs of the thousands of Jews, Serbs, Roma (Roman Catholics, btw.) killed by the two hundred murdering Croat Priests, who ran concentration camps and cut up their victims with scissors while they were living?Pro-choice, democratically inclined, Catholics. Not antisemitic. Perish. The. Thought.Do Polar Bears fly in the sky?

  • ccnl1

    Well, at least she is not a member of some “healing” cult. She is also not a member of the strange Baha’ist group. Also, she is not a witch or goddess or a polygamist. So let us be thankful at least for that. Hmmm, may she is a “Crossanized” Catholic?And the soon to be six Catholic Supreme Court Justices is definitely a great tribute to their teachers, lay, nun or brother/priests. My compliments to all the nine judges and their very proud teachers!!!!

  • pgibson1

    when will you nimrods leave church out of government ? it’s fairly clear that one of the primary reasons that the USA exists in its present form is because the Church of England, among other equally coercive forces of religion in Europe, basically left them no choices for practicing thier personal faith as the individuals of society; it was My Church, My state, or get the heck out of here – or we’ll excommunicate, make it very uncomfortable – all very taliban-like.When the founders of this nation looked to a new form of government, one of the FIRST things, Nimrodia, was to eliminate the connection between government and when will YOU get it?Unless this is happening under the radar, and is tacetly accepted, any overt claim that religion has over governance is completely rejected by me and others that KNOW what the constitution is, and how it is to be interpreted.No, God DIDN’T create the U.S. Constitution, as some of you may have come to believe.Men created the US Constitution, and there is no dispute on that.Follow your bliss to religion if you like, but check it at the door when you’re in a position of governing many people with many, many differing viewpoints that is not your own.The idea that this column even exists is putrid to me.

  • FredGranata2

    Does anyone find it strange that when all of the justices were Protestant, no one objected to their religion?

  • jgwlaw

    Well, she could be Zoroastrian.That we are discussing her religion in the 21st century is a sad commentary.Her religion should be irrelevant.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    The Catholics are “over-represented” on the United States Supreme Court, are the majority in the Senate.As a result, there will be nuclear war, mass pedophilia, but no gays, and bubonic plague.As long as Jews controlled the government, we were at least safe from the foregoing. Now, with the Catholics in charge of everything, it’s all over.Time for the rest of us to build fall out shelters.

  • jameschirico

    The only viable button the Republicans can push against voting for Sotomayor is her strong pro choice viewpoint. The reverse racist nonsense won’t fly, nor the played out loony left activist from the bench. The fireman’s test has layers of thought pro and con. The individuals rights, the local governments rights, the interview having a large % weight in the final score and possibly the test questions. Letting people judge and score an interview is an open invitation to bias. Not that it occurred in the case, but the test left the possibility. The Supreme Court has taken the case which may be a first ruling on a decision by a future colleague.

  • JPRS

    I think there should be more religious diversity on the Court. Of course, there’s that bit about “no religious tests for federal office” in the Constitution, but ideally we should have a Court that reflects America.The big problem is that you can’t overlook professional qualifications entirely. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Southern Baptists and education have never mixed well together. The Falwell’s and the Robertson’s have tried their best to create an alternate educational universe. You can’t reject modernity and science and mesh well with a legal system that is grounded on the Enlightenment principles of rationality and the scientific method.So that means if you want to have a socially conservative litmus test judge who is ALSO professionally qualified — you are pretty much limited to those who went to private Catholic schools. (I’m giving Mormon’s short-shrift. The main issue with Mormons is that they haven’t had enough opportunity — in time perhaps they’ll supplant the Catholics as the GOP’s intellectual power center. Southern Baptists day may come again if they re-discover the rules of evidence, the scientific method, and the value of learning outside of a home-school environment).

  • ThomasBaum

    kaylancor You wrote, “but a person really isn’t a practicing Catholic unless…”Maybe it is time to stop “practicing” and if one is a Catholics then be catholic, catholic does mean universal and there is a reason for that.You also wrote, “Most religions have certain morals you have to follow”Christianity, which Catholicism is part of, is not a religion but is the realization that we have a relationship with God. Jesus said, “Come follow Me”, seems pretty straightforward to me.You also wrote, “Sadly, even today the natural law is ignored by many in society due to their need to follow “self”. Self is more important than God or other people.As I have said before, when someone says that we are to “follow the Church”, that is ultimately following self since WE ARE THE CHURCH. Jesus is the One Who extended the invitation to “Come follow Me”, I just pointed it out.You also wrote, “That is not uncommon in an individualistic society.”God made us all individuals and we will be judged individually and just because someone is “individualistic” as you put it does not necessarily mean that they ALL fit into whatever your “judgement” of them may be.As I have said before: God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    The issue isn’t diversity so much as it is religionism. Scalia and Thomas, as has been noted have used the Supreme Court to bypass jucicial interpretation in favor of Catholci.The same is true of Robers and Conservative PRotestantism. The simple fact is that confessing Protestants and Catholics are subject throughout their lives to indoctrination against the separation of church and state.So long as this remains the case, any practicing Christian, regardless of denomination, will have to be rigorously interrogated during candidacy hearings.This was not the case with Roberts, whose hearing was a nonevent. Hopefully, we will be able to say something different when the Sotomayer hearings are held.

  • thebobbob

    I love it when Evangelicals argue that a self-proclaimed Catholic isn’t a real Catholic because of either Church attendance or non-adherence to a specific stricture. It wasn’t that long ago that the same crowd was insisting that a Catholic could never hold office because the head of the Church was a Sovereign and that meant they held allegiance to a sovereign power. “Take orders from The Pope (or Rome)” was a common attack phrase.Can you imagine if there were six Jews on the Supreme court? The rabid, reactionary extreme right-wing Republicans are tying themselves into knots. What a joke.

  • Omyobama

    I love it. When the boys in skirts were denying the Sacraments to Catholic politicians they deemed “impure” and arguing about whether a Catholic school should, horrors, invite the sitting President of the United States to speak, I warned that the chickens would come home to roost. If Rome required its Catholic politicians to pass some voodoo litmus test, I warned we were one step away from re-awakening anti-Catholic prejudice in public life (and, perhaps, rightly so). I can only hope that Judge Sotamayor is a non-practicing Catholic so that she would not be likely to bend her views to Rome in fear of excommunication or refusal of the Sacraments. And for you observant Catholics, sorry but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t pretend that Catholics should not receive extra scrutiny and then applaud the Pope when he reins in his “followers.” JFK won in 1960 by promising to serve his country, not his church. The church should remember that and note the extra scrutiny IT has wrought here.

  • mmm1110

    Sotomayor’s religion is irrelevant as long as she does not bring into her rulings. That is true of any religion. I thought JFK settled the question of Catholics not answering to the Vatican.The right-wing Protestants who want government in everyone’s personal life must be foaming at the mouth that they are being banished from the Court.

  • jellyhouse56

    Should a refugee from the isle of Lesbos be allowed to sit on the highest court in the land ??

  • Alexis3

    In my opinion the five worst justices on the court are Roberts, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Kennedy. It’s kind of worrying that those are the five Catholics on the court.

  • kippy314

    I think you’re missing the real issue. Is she really Puerto Rican? I mean does she regularly attend La Raza events? And in this day in age what does it mean to be Puerto Rican.Or another equally important issue. Is she really a woman. I demand proof of menstruation before i’m satisfied!Seriously. Who cares? Did you just have a deadline and figured this made up issue would fill a page?p.s. i just noticed that someone unironically used the Puerto Rican joke. Goes to prove you can’t satirize the ridiculous.

  • Judy9

    Isn’t she divorced? Does that have any bearing on this issue of “how Catholic is she” ? Finally, it might be nice to have a Catholic on the court who isn’t part of the Conservative majority. Catholics are actually pretty liberal as a religious group and those on the court don’t fairly represent their co-religionists.

  • Chops2

    This is not Iran so no religious test is necessary. Is she qualified? Yes.If Americans want a theocracy, go ahead, see how long it lasts.

  • B2O2

    Lets see, the question is “is Sotomayer a legitimate member of the church that has gotten every major question confronting mankind wrong for the past five centuries?”…Should we insult the woman by trying to make the case that she belongs to this silly cult led by the senile man in the ridiculous white dress? Or should we suppose that she is an intelligent, educated member of modern society who is likely doing her best to cleanse herself of the superstitious brainwashing she was given as a child? I’ll suppose the latter, because the former is frankly too scary to countenance.

  • kentuckywoman

    Good Grief Margaret, her religion, or any of the Justice’s religion, shouldn’t matter. That’s because the Constitution isn’t a religious document. Furthermore, I’d like to add that I know there are many “brands” of Catholics. There are those who call themselves Catholic, but never go to church. They don’t necessarily put the Pope before God, either, and many have used birth control long before the Pope gave it the thumbs up.Yes, there are those that grow up in devoutly “religious” households, many of them Catholic, but that doesn’t mean that the products of those households, i.e., the children, grow up to hold those same strict religious views, particularly the more educated ones. Higher education seems to temper religious viewpoints somewhat.So, even if Judge Sotomayor grew up in some strict Catholic household doesn’t mean anything to me other than that this is a person who has been exposed to the concept of a Higher Power and that man doesn’t always know best….I think she’s a good choice and while there are those who would nitpick her nomination to death, they’d do the same regardless of who was nominated.You can’t please all the people all the time. If Sotomayor’s nomination pisses off Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney, then she must be the right choice.

  • cletus1

    I was raised catholic but am not anymore. I suppose I would still be if I ran for some office. Hard to get elected as an atheist. I suspect she’s the same way, using it for political purposes. I don’t dislike her for that. I can’t stand liberals, though.

  • mharwick

    Justice AffiliationJudge Sotomayor has the credentials and the expertise and the experience to be a fine Justice. That she expressed herself in a way that brought pause to some, or voted a certain way in one case does not disqualify her. I think the GOP should vet her and then if nothing pops up, confirm her. John Roberts and Samuel Alito were both opposed by Sen. Obama even though he admitted both were well qualified to serve. The GOP should not follow suit.

  • bobtich

    Catholic socalled morality seemed to disappear when the pederastic priests were abusing children and when the church and establishment of Ireland was abusing the foster children under their care.The ancient and current corruption of the church of Rome leads me to worry about any fervent Catholic.Calling opposition to gay rights and legal abortion Christian or Catholic morality is a double oxymoron. Unfortunately the Roberts court is tilted to the hard Christian right.If Sotomayor is a fervent Catholic how will she vote on these rights issues? I hope Obama has gotten the right answers from her.

  • jplannert

    Most everyone knows by now that since the Second Vatican Council in the mid-1960s, Catholocism has become an a la carte religion that carries no clear meaning or identity, even for its congregants. Non-Catholics need not worry about Sotomayor’s faith, but rather, her enigmatic judicial profile.

  • myopinionmatters

    All week it’s has been “you are catholic”. So what? We as catholic have the right be believe in our religion and practice it too! Who are you to judge us? I am getting tired of everyone looking down on you because of you because you are catholic. I am a catholic and my 5 kids are being brought up in a catholic way. My brother-in-law has switched due to a loss in the family. I say if you question God, you were never a true beleiver, that’s my opinion. Everyone can beleive in what they want, but you should never judge on religion. We should look around and see what is happening. Look really close at what is happening. We need God more than ever. God created one man and one woman and to be able to fill the world. Look at us. You worry about the judge being catholic? You should worry about how we are going to answer God about allowing gay marriages and abortions.

  • myopinionmatters

    You people who judge catholics are no better than the rest of us! What makes your religion any better? We are ALL SINNERS!!! Just in case you forgot! Stop judging and start accepting that our 1st black president is going to start changing a lot of things. You all voted for him, now start supporting him!

  • dubhlaoich

    It doesn’t matter. In fact to be a justice and claim allegiance to the Catholic Church could work against her. The church is corrupt worldwide. Totally corrupt. This country exists because the founders did not want any church sticking its nose into the public business. We must strive to keep it that way.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    jb54, you said,ha! that’s funny!it is surprising that we could have 2/3 catholic judges. i think the idea of “represented groups” is somewhat of a red herring. you want the best minds. as much as i disagree with roberts and scalia, i’ve got to say they’re unbelievably great arguers, and i guess that’s what the supreme court does is agrue a point. scalia is so good at it it’s scary.having said all that, when will we have an atheist judge?

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Should we insult the woman by trying to make the case that she belongs to this silly cult led by the senile man in the ridiculous white dress?”I believe, that is to say, in my opinion, Pope Bennie has been influenced by the immortal Vera Wang. Note, for example, the Prada slippers and red-and-blue gown, the Gucci loafers, white and golde gown, with pointed hat. Unpredictable, daring, bold sartorial statements.Improbable. Imaginative. Striking. Being Himself. Pope Bennie.

  • flounder2

    Do it creeps (aka Donohue), throw her out of the Catholic Church. You’ll be throwing out me and millions just like us.

  • nwflyfisher01

    Good grief, I certainly hope not–at least not when she is in the role of a federal court judge. As an attorney, I would consider a judge’s application of his or her religion in judicial decision-making to be grounds for removal from their position, and disbarrment to boot.

  • ccnl1

    Two of the judges are Jewish i.e. 22% of the Supreme Court whereas the Jewish population of the USA is only 1.7%.

  • radgrad63

    She’s divorced. She would be denied the sacraments if divorced. So, she cannot be a practicing Catholic, unless she has petitioned the Catholic church to nullify the wedding, which I doubt she would have done.How Catholic is she? What a ridiculous question.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    The problem is that we have a conservative Catholic and Protestant majority on the Supreme Court. These are confessing religionists. Were they simply believers, there would be no problem.As for the “two” Jewish Supreme Court Justices, Breyer has displayed in his life no interet in Judaism; hence, it is meaningless to say he is Jewish. He has a son who is an Episcopal priest. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is Jewish. She is also a legal genius. We would be a significantly healthier country if she and not the religionist activist ultra conservative Roberts were Chief Justice.Unlike Protestant ministers and Catholic priests, rabbis do not instruct congregants on how to vote. There are no episcopates, presbyteries, no Vatican. Hence, the danger of either a religionist-activist conservative or liberal Jewish Supreme Court Justice is close to nil.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    I have to tell you all, from a Jewish perspective, I find it hilarious to be thinking this way: Is her Catholicism a problem?ROFLMAO! It’s a helluva a lot of fun, though, watching the Christians make such utter asses of themselves over this. Same Catholics who do this sh*t with us Js–we’re “over-represented,” control the economy, climate, and solar system– getting it up the old rear which is where it belongs. Religionism is the problem, not religion. We’ve got way too many Christian religionists, denominations irrelevant, in the country, in the Congress, in the Supreme Court. Less faithiness in the Executive Office would be salutary, but thus far the current president has not evidenced religionism.Religionism in Christianities needs to end. Christian religious institutions must either purge themselves of this illness or get off the NONPROFIT DOLE and declare themselves the political entities they, in fact, are. It is they who produce the Roberts, Alitos, Thomas’s, Scalias none of whom we need in their current positions.

  • jojomijala

    Mr. Farnaz1MansouriWhich faith would suggest the Supreme Court nominees have? Your religion? I am from the Middle East and have followed the career of Madame Sotomayor and I find her suitable to be a supreme court justice.


    catholic that support abortion are no catholics…

  • SoldiersMom

    How can Roman Catholics claim to be the largest of the Christian churches when they keep disavowing anyone in public life as not a REAL Catholic? Kathleen Sebelius, Joe Biden, Sonia Sotomayor, & who-knows-how-many low-profile parishioners practicing birth control? Is Bobby Jindal a REAL Catholic? Newt Gingrich? Rudi Giuliani?

  • peter49

    The Constitution bars any religious test so Sonia’s religion is irrelevant. The issue for me is whether the Court has a majority of the conservative Opus Dei and members of the Federalist Society. If that ever happens, then the Court will have gone too far to the right.Then again I still believe that the Court was irreparably damaged by Scalia’s (a member of Opus Dei and the Federalist Society) actions in Bush v. Gore.

  • AIPACiswar

    Ever see the t-shirt, “I survived growing up Catholic”? Good, smart, progressive, learned Catholics learn to be free of all of the Catholic institutions, this is the beauty of Catholicism, in order to get the best of it you must escape it. The clergy are for show not for ordering us around, the church in Rome puts out intense written decisions you can take with a grain of salt. Excommunication is a lark, and we’ll decide for ourselves which sin is serious and which are not. Confession is for fools, but you try it a time or two to learn that. So Catholics exist in two state, those who are locked into foolish Catholicism, and those who got the best of Catholicism and crap canned the institutions. It’s a great religion, very flexible in reality!Yes she is a fine Catholic!

  • rpvt

    People attend church on mother’s day?That custome must have started AFTER I woke up and walked out on the catholic church.

  • durk2

    Of course she is a Catholic if she says she is. Many Catholics are of the cafeteria variety- some support choice, come support the death penalty. Some even support bush’s wars, which the last two Popes have declared illegal & unholy.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Mr. Farnaz1MansouriWhich faith would suggest the Supreme Court nominees have? Your religion? I am from the Middle East and have followed the career of Madame Sotomayor and I find her suitable to be a supreme court justice.Posted by: jojomijala

  • coloradodog

    Stop trying to portray Catholics as whack jobs, when in truth we are brought closer to reality through our faith and charity with the strength of God. We have God to help us, who do you have?Posted by: therunnergmaCatholics portray themselves as “whack jobs” – we don’t have to.Until Catholics start talking about throwing a few thousand criminal pedophiles in prison, they have no credibility talking about having “God on their side” and moralizing only about abortion and gays.With the Cathoic clergy’s idea of what “heaven” will be for them, little boys who go there better hope the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

  • Buckeye7

    The presumption is that religion when reared is the key to a worldview is just that, a presumption. I think that Justice Thomas has left the RC church to become an Episcopalian. The governor of Minnesota left the RC church to become first a Lutheran and then a Baptist (I think). The governor of Louisiana left Hinduism to become a RC. Should we count these governors as “members” of their childhood religion? Maybe so. Remember the bitter Northern Ireland joke. A paramilitary (unidentified by religion) stopped a car on a lonely road and asked the driver: Are you RC or Protestant? The driver nervously answered: atheist. After a moment of befuddlement, the paramilitary brightened and asked a second question: are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist? It was a fair question.

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    jojomijala:Last post was addressed to you. Await reply.

  • clearthink1

    The level of ignorance about Catholicism, its history, and about Catholics is astonishing. The Church did not assist in “murdering Jews.” Please read some history! Far too many people feed on mis-information handed to them by hearsay. I shudder at the disatrous consequences of this level of ignorance in our American commonweal.

  • ghp60

    What does being a Catholic, real or not, have to do with God?

  • ravitchn

    Many interesting things revealed here. Most Americans are woefully ignorant about religion, even the ones they supposedly believe in. Catholics are no longer viewed as a threat to our liberties, mainly because they are not lock-step in line with that sorry bunch of men called bishops. The Pope is no boogey man any more. We could have 9 Catholics on the Court and it would not be scarey. Nine evangelicals? Now that’s a different story. Anyone who believes a word of redneck preachers like Billy Graham or Jerry Falwell should not sit on the court.

  • practica1

    Catholics were not the only Christians in cahoots with Hitler (or any regressive regime).For two hundred years the minority white men dominated 99% of the government – their white maleness and their hubris mattered more than their religion (which mostly boiled down to white male supremacy, anyway).Religion has little to do with godliness, and even less to do with being an American.

  • TomfromNJ1

    I have a great idea, if it is too Catholic, when she is confirmed, we have one of the Catholic justices step down (I suggest Scalia) and Obama appoint a replacement from among the many non-Catholics who are qualified (and, I hope, far to the left of anyone we know have). That would balance both the religious differences and the strong right wing leaning of the present court!

  • Utahreb

    Remeber John Kennedy? After all, he was a Catholic but did not allow his religious beliefs to influence his political views for our country. We can only hope that this is the case with Judge Sotomayor.We have too many religious fanatics in politics and fanatics are to be avoided in anything!

  • Fate1

    You know, I grew up in the 60s and remember questions of how black someone was and whether they were trying to pass as white. I remember questions of obviously white people, like JFK and his brother, as to how much they loved blacks. I remember the “conspiracies”, of blacks passing as whites trying to gain power in government. I remember the suspicions of those who were obviously black having positions of power of any kind, whether judge, police or congressman, and how we can’t have too many black police or they’ll start attacking whites. And I remember, when telling an adult my last name, being asked just what background I had, even though they knew I was 6th generation American. Back then your name was a qualifier and your color was a qualifier. If this article had been about how black the candidate was I hope we’d be appaulled and consider it racist. We’ve grown beyond that today, at least most of us have.So why is a question of her level of Catholicism discussed? Sotomayor should be judged on her long history of work both on and off the bench. “How Catholic is she” is a bigoted question, as bigoted as asking how black someone is. I could see the question come up if she were running for pope, or cardinal. Who has the right to judge a person’s private religious beliefs and standing anyway? Who has the right to question her credentials based on her religious affiliation? Who even has the ability to determine her qualifications for the job she seeks? Its the same old bigotry. So little has changed. Shame on all those who feel her religious belief is of any concern for this position. People should grow up and act like Americans and stop trying to base a persons life long qualifications on something as simple and trivial as religious belief. Its as bigoted as basing qualifications on color and it needs to be pointed out. The problem with bigotry when it happens is most people are unaware they are practicing it.

  • TomfromNJ1

    Earlier comments that Catholics made up a majority of the Senate. A little research shows that is not even close. The senate is 26% Catholic. Since the country is just about 24% Catholic, that should be no surprise,

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Sotomayer and AbortionThe following is pasted from Fr. Tom Reese’s essay:”Although her position on abortion is not yet known, she did uphold the Bush administration’s right to deny federal funds to overseas organizations that provided or referred clients for abortions,”Now, this I did not know and do find alarming. This means that information and assistance were withheld from rape victims, incest victims, pregnant women who risked death if they carried to term. She will not reveal her position on choice, not before, during, or after the hearings. However, we now know more than we did.

  • dixiesc

    Most of these posts are virulently anti-Catholic. I am deeply offended and appalled by the display of stupidity. Pope Pius XII was instrumental in saving the lives of many Jewish people than most of you are aware. Try to remember that many Catholics, particularly priests and nuns were exterminated in Hitler’s concentration camps. Ever hear of St. Maximillan Kolbe,a priest interred at Auschwitz, who volunteered to replace to take the place of a young father condemned to execution? As a result, he was starved to death in 1941. St. Edith Stein was also exterminated by the Nazis. Your malice toward the Catholic Church is beyond belief! Read some history, people!The current nominee for the Supreme Court is a product of the Catholic school system. There should be no problem with that. Has she remained Catholic? Who knows? The fact that some public figures and politicians identify themselves Catholic (only because they have been baptized Catholics) is often a misnomer. FYI: Catholics believe that abortion is an intrinsic evil. Biden and Pelosi, to name two, support abortion. Have any of you heard of the Fifth Commandment which is a law given to Moses by God. For you who are bashing the Catholic faith, your lack of knowledge about the Catholic faith is unforgiveable. Learn and think before you post. Also, some of you need to brush up on your spelling and grammar before posting. Turn off the TV and spend time actually learning something instead of sprewing venom and hatred toward a faith you obviously know little or nothing about.

  • bill3

    Of all the people I went to Catholic school with I don’t think one of them went to law school. Given that Catholics control the supreme court and senate that has got to be some bizarre anomoly. As far as the court being 2/3 Catholic, yeah that doesn’t seem to represent the country all that well, but as far as diversity goes I’m more concerned with the academic/career backgrounds of the justices. I mean from my brief google search we have the following undergrad majors: Roberts – history, Stevens – english, Scalia – history, Kennedy – polsci, Souter – philosophy, Thomas – english lit, Breyer – philosophy, Ginsburg&Alito – government. Then of course they all went to law school and became attorneys, judges, and law professors, but is it too much to ask to get a scientist on the court? Are there any patent attorneys out there who’d be interested in the job? Or even a business major? Business is the most popular major so if we want the court to represent America then someone with that background, and ideally one who spent a few years in business prior to law school, would seem to be a good choice.

  • agapn9

    It was Bishop Berkley – a Protestant who believed the world was 7000 years old.In the 13th century the catholic church was trying to purge Aristotelian metaphysics of the notion that the world was eternal – had always existed.The debate was whether the world had an exact beginning as stated in Holy Scripture or since time and motion go hand in hand one could not exist without the other and therefore since motion seems to be eternal time must have always been eternal as well. (Aristotle)Science sided with Holy Scripture – the big bang theory and atheists have been on the defensive ever since.The two great Moslem Aristotelians and the great jewish Aristotlian Moses Maimondes saw things in much the same way as St. Thomas Aquinas though all three men saw faith and reason as separate.St. Thomas Aquinas saw faith and reason going hand in hand – as will I hope Supreme Court Justice Sonia.


    I wish to know why someone is able to malign the Catholic Church and any rebutals are being prescribed.


    Why on this forum it is allowed to mock the Church and make outrageous statements about it and rebutals are being are proscribed from being posted?

  • therunnergma

    This list of comments is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read. How is it that all of you can be so uninformed about the Catholic Church? Perhaps youre right, there are members of the church who are not what they say to be — but name ONE organization that has no conspiracies, corruption, or poor judgment. Thats what I thought.What one must realize is, every catholic is a catholic because they have come to believe that it is through Catholicism that they are able to grow closer to God. It is an incredibly personal journey, not a cult or a pack of blind lemmings.Also, how is it possible that some of you are able to turn a religion which celebrates faith, hope, peace, love, LIFE, charity, respect, and patience into the devil? All of you scream tolerance but none choose to be tolerant of Catholicism. I will never make any apologetics for being pro-life (i dont support infanticide, sorry) yet I do not hate mothers who choose that path…catholics, as well as everyone else, acknowledge that abortion is one of the hardest and damaging experiences a woman could go through–thats why there are hundreds of abortion healing centers sponsored by catholics in the country. Funny, we choose life for little helpless babies and give support to mothers unconditionally yet we are the devils and evil-doers. huh thats weird.Stop trying to portray Catholics as whack jobs, when in truth we are brought closer to reality through our faith and charity with the strength of God. We have God to help us, who do you have?

  • patisok

    Who cares? Is she qualified that is the question? Yes, she is. End of story.

  • garrafa10

    Farnaz1Mansouri1:You are correct, all Americans should be very concerned that there are not enough Jews in the government. It is an issue of the utmost importance and critical to our well-being as a nation.

  • garrafa10

    Perhaps Martin Luther’s severe constipation has transferred itself to his followers? Why did the “priesthood of believers ” feel the imperative to produce a catechism? Let’s examine the theological foundations of Anglicanism: the English king was not man enough to father any sons that lived and blamed it on the Pope. The Church is corrupt, unlike our pristine government and political system. You are all carnival marks.

  • RonS2

    I would be concerned if she were a conservative (in the theological sense as well as the political sense). As far as I know, the Catholic Church has not relinquished its medieval notion that it has the wisdom, responsibility, and god-given authority to dictate to the rest of us, both through its ecclesiastical institutions as well as through political institutions to the extent it is able to control or influence them, how the rest of us, Catholic or non-Catholic, should run our lives. I worry that “conservative” Catholics share or support this notion, which is, in my opinion, a blight on the landscape of Western civilization. If Sotomayor does not buy into this idiocy, and I suspect she does not, then I am unconcerned. This is in contrast to Roberts, Scalia, Alito, et. al., who I worry do — “buying into” the Roman Catholic notions of authority may explain the arrogance of Scalia in particular.

  • Willis E. Elliott

    Believing in original sin, and that the devil’s power increases with the clumping together of human beings, I’m relieved to see how different Catholics are about their Catholicism. A few generations ago, when they “all got together” in the sense of being submissive to Rome, anti-Catholicism made some sense. No more.

  • Siftingthru

    It’s shocking to me, the apathy of the majority to having another Catholic on the Supreme Court! We need diversity in this regard as much as in gender and ethnicity. I have been concerned about Catholics becoming Supreme Court Justices during the last several appointments. Not because I have any prejudice at all toward anyone’s beliefs, but because the Bishops have weighed in politically and powerfully in several recent elections. What! doesn’t anyone remember that John Kerry — and any Catholic who voted for any pro-choice candidate — was ineligible to take communion! I would love to see Sotomayor on the Court in every way; that is, if one, two or three of the other Catholics on the bench will resign; immediately.

  • Doomore

    There’s only one reason this is be discussed. The Republicans want ever one to believe the Demarcates are all anti-God, that they are all anti-religion. Of course no Catholic could ever be a Republican, right?