August 2023

August 2023

CatholicVote is committed to holding self-professed Catholic leaders and institutions to the standards of Church teaching. That’s what our Catholic Accountability Project is all about. 

You deserve to know exactly where our Catholic leaders stand – both the heroes who are standing up for the truth, and the “zeroes” who cause grave scandal by their words and actions.

Every month, we will hold these Catholics accountable – and praise them when they deserve it. 

We ask that you pray for all Catholics in the public square, heroes and zeroes alike.



Bishop Earl Fernandes, Diocese of Columbus, Ohio

In August, Buckeyes went to the polls to defend their constitution. 

The question about whether to make it harder to amend a state’s constitution might seem “morally neutral.” After all, it’s not morally right or wrong to require a 50% or 60% vote to change the constitution of Ohio or any other state.

But Bishop Earl Fernandes of Columbus, OH, understood clearly that we can’t take a question like this in isolation. 

Especially since we could all see how the abortion industry was spending millions of dollars in Ohio to abolish the state’s pro-life laws protecting unborn children.

Ultimately, we lost the battle to make it tougher to amend Ohio’s constitution. But we applaud Bishop Fernandes for understanding what was at stake. He repeatedly urged his priests to be engaged on this issue, because he knew it was our best chance at keeping pro-life protections in place.

Bishop Fernandes was 100% right, and others should take note. 

Bishop Robert J. McManus, Diocese of Worcester, MA

With the LGBTQ agenda assaulting Americans from every angle, it is refreshing to continue to see leaders take a stand for truth. Bishop Robert J. McManus of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, promulgated a diocesan policy regarding sexuality and sexual identity in Catholic schools.

His message? Exactly what a bishop ought to preach: the teachings of the Catholic Church:

When a person experiences same-sex attraction or some form of gender dysphoria, such struggles do not change the biological fact of how God created that person, and it would be untruthful for the Catholic Church or our Catholic schools to pretend otherwise.

Of course, being on the side of truth is bound to receive negative attention in today’s culture. In fact Outreach, an “LGBTQ Catholic ministry” founded by Fr. James Martin, SJ, took it upon themselves to publish an entire article excoriating Bishop McManus’ “belittling and misleading” policies. 

We here at CatholicVote, however, think that far from being “misleading,” these policies invite people to get back on track.

The Knights of Columbus

After the devastating wildfires in Maui completely destroyed a whole community, possibly killing thousands, the Knights of Columbus showed up in their (figurative) shining armor to support the locals.

An authentically Catholic response in stark contrast to President Biden’s “no comment.”


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., presidential candidate

RFK, Jr., almost made the heroic move of being the only pro-life Catholic Democrat in the universe, but the miracle only lasted less than 24 hours.

When questioned by a reporter, Kennedy replied “yes” to a string of questions about a national abortion ban, saying he would cap abortions at three months. 

Way back in 2005, RFK was described as “devout Catholic” and even wrote a children’s book on St. Francis of Assisi. As late as 2018, he was identifying himself as a Catholic committed to “justice and kindness.” Clearly, he’s not anymore, which earns him a spot as a “zero.” 

So close to hero, RFK, so close. 

The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University

When you go to a single-sex university, you expect to be attending school with people of the same sex, but at two partnering single-sex colleges in Minnesota, “transgender” students can now apply to the school with which they “self-identify.” 

St. Benedict, a female-only Catholic university, updated its policies to state that it will accept students who “now consistently live and identify as female, transgender, gender-fluid, or nonbinary.” St. John’s, the partnering male university, says the same regarding women who now “identify as male.”

So much for preserving, protecting, and promoting the Catholic and Benedictine mission, as the school claims to do.

CommonSpirit, Catholic Healthcare Network

America’s largest Catholic healthcare network partnered with the so-called “Planned Parenthood 2.0,” earning it a big 0.0 on CatholicVote’s list. 

CommonSpirit Tia Women’s Health, a virtual and in-person women’s health company, began offering chemical abortions after the overturn of Roe v. Wade despite signing CommonSpirit’s Statement of Common Values that explicitly forbids providing abortion or IVF.

This hasn’t seemed to trouble CommonSpirit. The network disregarded its own statement and continues to work with Tia Women’s to provide abortions today.

Further, many CommonSpirit hospitals provide “gender-affirming care” and “transgender” surgeries, despite the USCCB’s statement that Catholic hospitals should not subject their patients to this type of irreversible mutilation.

Put simply, CommonSpirit truly has no common spirit with the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. 

Join Champions Club

Want to hear breaking news first? Join us.