Sen. Dianne Feinstein defended her aggressive questioning of Amy Barrett’s Catholic faith Sunday, explaining that she is not anti-Catholic because she attended Catholic School in her youth.
“I’m a product of Catholic education,” Feinstein said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I sat in doctrine classes for four years for five days a week. I think that Catholicism is a great religion, I have great respect for it.”
“I’ve known many of the archbishops who have been in my community,” she continued. “We’ve had dinner together, we’ve spoken together over many many decades and I’ve tried to be helpful to the church whenever I could.”
Feinstein was criticized by many Catholics and conservatives for appearing to apply a religious litmus test to Barrett’s nomination to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals last week. Feinstein suggested that Barrett may be unable to separate her Catholic faith from her dedication to the law, thus disqualifying her from the position.
“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said during the Senate Judiciary hearing. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”
“All we have to look at are [Barrett’s] writings,” Feinstein expanded on CNN on Sunday. “And in her writings she makes some statements which are questionable, which deserve questions.”