CNN anchor Chris Cuomo said Tuesday night that Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s affiliation with the Catholic group People of Praise “makes her different than most Catholics.”
During a conversation with Democratic Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono on “Cuomo Prime Time” following the second day of Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings, Cuomo suggested the implication of that difference means Barrett’s faith is “by design more central to her value system and her behavior and thoughts” than it would be for “just an ordinary Catholic.”
“She does have an affiliation in a religious organization, which I think makes her different than most Catholics,” Cuomo said. “I think that her faith is by design more central to her value system and her behavior and thoughts than it would be for just an ordinary Catholic who doesn’t belong to People of Praise.”
People of Praise, a self-described “charismatic Christian community” with ties to Barrett and her family, was falsely claimed by some media outlets to have inspired Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Critics have, without evidence, attempted to associate the Supreme Court nominee with the oppressed, Puritan-dressed women who appear in the Hulu series of the same name. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Disgusting Attacks On Her Faith’: Sasse Condemns ‘Anti-Catholic Bigotry’ Against Amy Coney Barrett)
Though Democrats declined to directly attack Barrett’s religious affiliations during Tuesday’s proceedings, the topic has arisen before. While the judge was being confirmed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein famously said, “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.” Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin also criticized Barrett’s use of the term “orthodox Catholics” in a journal article because of the insinuation that Catholics who take differing positions would be unorthodox or even heretical.