By Ann Corkery


I wonder how Daniel Patrick Moynihan would have responded to the Catholic baiting employed by two of his onetime Senate Democratic colleagues last week. Moynihan, who served in office until 2001 – and died in 2003 — noted that anti-Catholicism remains an “acceptable prejudice.” But even he would have been surprised by the sheer ugliness of the descent into anti-Catholicism exhibited by Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin last week.

It came while Moynihan’s former Democratic colleagues were interrogating Notre Dame Law School professor and appeals court nominee Amy Coney Barrett about her faith during last week’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. While ostensibly exploring the nominee’s judicial temperament, Feinstein instead targeted Barrett’s fealty to Catholic teaching. “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for years in this country.”


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