March 2023

March 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 Kevin Rhoades, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

Bishop Rhoades, who oversees the diocese in which the University of Notre Dame is located, called out the Catholic university for its “Reproductive Justice: Scholarship for Solidarity and Social Change” lecture series in an op-ed for the diocesan website. The series, which highlights more activists than academics, features several abortionists including “black trans abortion doula” Ash Williams – who wears a tattoo of an abortion suction tool. 

Writing in Today’s Catholic, Bishop Rhoades blasted the university for not only promoting the series but also hosting it without offering any opposing platform for pro-life voices. 

“Academic freedom is meant to create the space for free inquiry and intellectual exchange in service of pursuing and sharing the truth in charity,” wrote Rhoades. “But this lecture is simply a conduit for activist propaganda that is not merely wrong, but squarely contrary to principles of basic human equality, justice, dignity, and nonviolence that the Catholic Church, Notre Dame, and many others (including non-Catholics) have affirmed for millennia.”

USCCB Committee on Doctrine

As CatholicVote reported, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued an unequivocal statement condemning transgender interventions and surgeries and forbidding Catholic hospitals to perform them.

Quoting the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the document says that biological sex “cannot be reduced to a pure and insignificant biological fact, but rather is a fundamental component of personality, one of its modes of being, of manifestation, of communicating with others, of feeling, of expressing and of living human love.”

The document also addresses broader issues of attempts to manipulate and customize the human body – such as genetic engineering, “cybernetic enhancement,” and other aspects of transhumanism.

“There is an order in human nature which we are called to respect,” the document states. “Genuine respect for human dignity requires that decisions about the use of technology be guided by genuine respect for this created order.”

The bishops signing the document included: 

Most Reverend Daniel E. Flores Bishop of Brownsville

Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, S.J. Bishop of Oakland 

Most Reverend Richard G. Henning Auxiliary Bishop of Diocese of Rockville Centre 

Most Reverend Steven J. Lopes Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter 

Most Reverend James Massa Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn 

Most Reverend Robert J. McManus Bishop of Worcester 

Most Reverend Michael F. Olson Bishop of Fort Worth 

Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend 

Most Reverend William E. Lori Archbishop of Baltimore

Mary Hasson, recipient of the 2023 Christifideles Laici Award

Hasson, who serves as the Kate O’Beirne Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, accepted the prestigious Christifideles Laici Award at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. The award goes annually to a member of the laity “In Honor and Gratitude for Fidelity to the Church, Exemplary Selfless and Steadfast Service in the Lord’s Vineyard.”

She founded and directs the Person and Identity Project, and has been instrumental in equipping parents and faith-based institutions with resources to promote the truth about the human person and to counter gender ideology. In her acceptance speech, Hasson warned that Catholic parents who send their children to public school risk putting them squarely in the crosshairs of “trans” propaganda. 

“It’s impossible for 40 hours a year of religious education to overcome 1,200 hours of being saturated in an anthropology that is false, that renders [children’s] hearts and minds inhospitable to the Gospel,” she said. “Drawn in by this false anthropology, burdened with a false freedom to have to create themselves, young people don’t know who they are.”


German Bishops Who Voted for Same-Sex Blessings

At a meeting of the Synodal Way, 38 out of 58 German bishops voted in favor of “blessing” sexual relationships between persons of the same sex. 

The document they voted in favor of, which calls on bishops to “bless” unions of “those who love each other,” directly contradicts a 2021 Vatican warning that “the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex.” It also effectively endorses sin, leading Cardinal Gerhard Müller to call the decision “absolutely blasphemic.” 

For some great commentary on what the German synodal drama means for the global Church – including non-Catholic Christians – check out Anglican priest Brett Murphy’s commentary.

Father Daniel Horan, OFM

The Franciscan friar and director of the Center for Spirituality at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana (which made our “zero” list last month) attacked the USCCB document condemning “transgender” medical procedures, claiming the bishops who wrote the document are “not interested in understanding even the basic facts and reality” of the matter.

Horan, who apparently does not understand the basic facts of biological reality, joined other liberal Catholic clergy like Fr. James Martin, SJ, to denounce the bishops, writing in a National Catholic Reporter op-ed that the new document “lacks sound science and trans voices.” Horan supports “gender-affirming care” procedures (including castration and mutilation), and gave a lecture at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut in March titled: “Understanding the Impacts of Whiteness: Laying the Foundations of an Antiracist Spirituality”

Villanova University

The Augustinian university recently hosted a lecture by a black lesbian LGBTQ activist on “the end of white Christian America.” The university’s Center for Peace and Justice Education and the Theology and Religious Studies department co-hosted the talk by Naomi Washington-Leapheart, who aside from being an adjunct professor at Villanova is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. 

A flyer promoting the event compared Christian Trump supporters to KKK members, asserting that “white supremacy is grounded in Christian history, texts, ideas, and institutions.” 


National Catholic Reporter

In March, the news outlet featured a prominent editorial by the most pro-abortion Speaker of the House in U.S. history, who mocked Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco and made light of the all-male priesthood and the Eucharist. 

A week later, NCR’s editorial staff blasted the USCCB’s defense of bodily integrity, while its executive editor Heidi Schlump tweeted a call for Pope Francis to “remake” the U.S. episcopate. 
The hard-left heterodox “news organization” has turned into a progressive propaganda organ for radical gender theory and the Marxist remaking of society. Bishops might do well to ban any distribution of NCR content in their dioceses – like Cardinal McElroy did with EWTN.

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