The Corner

Manipulative Catholics

It’s been pointed out that with the confirmation of Sam Alito, five of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court are Catholic. For some, this is merely a bit of trivia. For others — such as Federation for American Immigration Reform board member Don Collins, writing in the Pittsburgh Tribune — this is an astonishingly dangerous development:

We now have five male Catholic justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Most Catholics, particularly women, with whom I talk are highly displeased with this concentration of power and the likely rightward course of women’s rights under the new alignment. Evidence of this came sharply to me when I attended a Jan. 11 reception honoring Kate Michelman, recently retired president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Among those on the dais were her successor, Nancy Keenan, and Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice. All three were raised Catholic and all three are strongly pro-choice.

That’s merely silly. But this is appalling:

On Nov. 20, 1975, the American Catholic bishops issued their Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities. This plan is a superbly detailed blueprint of the bishops’ strategy for infiltrating and manipulating the American democratic process at national, state and local levels. It called for the creation of a national political machine controlled by the bishops. In large measure, this machine has, dragging along its unwitting evangelical brethren, taken over the Republican Party.

Infiltrating and manipulating? Because Catholics have decided to promote pro-life causes through conventional politics? I don’t particularly care for the agenda of the Collins’s Federation for American Immigration Reform, but I wouldn’t accuse it of trying to subvert our country’s democracy because it pursues a political agenda in Washington. But I might accuse its leaders of coming dangerously close to trafficking in anti-Catholic bigotry.

Hat tip: Catholic League.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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