December 2023

December 2023

While December’s Heroes and Zeroes is dedicated to announcing the winner of our Hero of the year tournament, we couldn’t let these honorable mentions go unnoticed at year’s end.

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.



Former Senator Rick Santorum, R-PA

Former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum took to X (formerly Twitter) to respond to the story of Kate Cox. Texan mother Cox made headlines this month in her fight to abort her child who had been diagnosed with Trisomy 18. A Texas judge suspended the state’s abortion restriction laws in order to grant Cox’s request.

Santorum’s daughter, Bella has the same disability – and, like Cox’s child, was given little chance of survival when she was diagnosed prenatally. Doctors advised Santorum’s wife, Karen, to have an abortion. The Catholic Santorum family, however, chose life, and Bella is now a thriving teenager.

“My heart goes out to the Cox family,” Santorum wrote. “I will pray for them during this difficult time.” 

He continued: “I don’t know all the details, but I do know that as a father of a 15-year-old [with] Trisomy 18, accepting the cross of such a baby is the hardest and most wonderful thing I have ever done.”


Sr. Jeannine Gramick, nun and LGBTQ activist

The National Catholic Reporter (NCR) gave its 2023 “News-Maker of the Year” award to Gramick, a religious sister who founded the pro-LGBTQ group New Ways Ministry.

Back in May, she wrote a public letter in support of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), the anti-Catholic drag troupe that the Los Angeles Dodgers honored the following month.

“I applaud the [SPI] for their financial assistance to those in need,” Gramick wrote to the baseball team. “I support them because of all their good works.”

“I believe that any group that serves the community, especially those who are less fortunate or on the margins of society, should be honored,” she continued.

NCR Senior Correspondent Heidi Schlumpf called the controversial nun a “tireless advocate for LGBT Catholics and all-around nice person.”

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