May 2023

May 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.



Blake Treinen and Trevor Williams

These two MLB pitchers bravely stepped up to condemn the Los Angeles Dodgers’ decision to honor anti-Catholic hate group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), at the team’s “Pride Night.” 

A devout Catholic and Washington Nationals pitcher, Trevor Williams first slammed the Dodgers for violating their own policies. Williams wrote in a statement

“To invite and honor a group that makes a blatant and deeply offensive mockery of my religion, and the religion of over 4 million people in Los Angeles county alone, undermines the values of respect and inclusivity that should be upheld by any organization.” 

Dodgers pitcher Blake Treinen followed suit, issuing a powerful statement that said SPI, “openly mocks Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of my faith, and I want to make it clear that I do not agree with nor support the decision.” Treinen said that the opportunity to play baseball is a privilege, but affirmed that “My convictions in Jesus Christ will always come first.”  

Lila Rose

Outspoken pro-life activist and foundress of LiveAction Lila Rose delivered a stunning defense of marriage and family life on the secular “Whatever” podcast this month. Rose gracefully navigated the objections and various viewpoints of her fellow guests, who promoted hookup culture, non-monogamous relationships, and pornography.  

One guest in particular, Justin Waller, attempted to accuse Rose of “a limited mindset” because of her Catholic faith. Waller even resorted to name-calling. Rose responded firmly, but charitably. Check out her amazing performance here: 

Emily Torres and Matthew McKenna, student protesters

Two Loyola University Chicago students bravely took a stand when the Catholic school hosted its annual drag show on campus. The two Catholic students stuck to their faith-based opposition despite being met with mockery and harassment. The two rising juniors had petitioned for the show to be canceled, saying its mockery of femininity was contrary to Loyola’s Catholic values, but were refused by school administrators. 

The pair then stood outside the event in peaceful protest, holding signs that read “Loyola pays drag queens to blaspheme” and “Drag shows drag down female dignity.” They were soon surrounded by student counter-protesters, who tore up their signs and shouted “I hate Catholic people.” Both Emily and Matthew also received threats on social media after their protest. One post encouraged students to “start throwing bricks at them.”

The two told the Catholic News Agency afterwards that the experience has only strengthened their resolve. They’ll be back to protest again next year, they said. Bravo and brava!

Governor Jim Pillen, Nebraska

Governor Pillen wins hero status for a double-move to protect vulnerable children in Nebraska. In signing the “Let Them Grow Act,” Pillen officially made Nebraska the 18th state to protect children from sexual surgeries while also protecting unborn babies from abortions after 12 weeks.

“Today is a historic day in the State of Nebraska,” said Pillen. “It is a day where we are standing up and protecting our kids so that they can have a better and brighter future. LB574 is the most significant win for social conservatives in a generation.” 

Pillen had previously attempted to protect babies from abortions by passing a heartbeat bill. While that bill sadly failed to advance, the new 12-week law is the first major pro-life legislation in Nebraska since 2010.

Honorable Mention:
Archbishop Paul Coakley 

Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley issued a heartfelt pastoral letter on the final day of April on how to minister to those struggling with gender dysphoria and the influence of the transgender movement.

The Archbishop clearly outlined how any Catholic outreach to such people must align with the truth of the faith: “Accompaniment requires us ‘to love and accept all people in a way that invites each person to a deeper relationship with Christ and a greater alignment of their lives with his teachings,’” he wrote.

Coakley listed a number of resources at the end of the letter for mental health professionals and anyone struggling with sexual confusion. 


Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken

The Los Angeles Dodgers elicited outrage after inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI), an anti-Catholic hate group, to their LGBTQ+ Pride night. The Dodgers initially disinvited the group after receiving backlash from CatholicVote readers and other Catholics, but ended up caving in to pressure from the LGBT movement and reinviting SPI.   

That’s where our zero comes in. Mayor Ashleigh Aitken of Anaheim, CA, gave the SPI a personal invite to attend the Los Angeles Angels’ Pride Night with her. Aitken is a self-professed Catholic and mentions her past parish involvement on her mayoral website alongside a picture of her First Communion. 

Given that the SPI’s main focus is to make profane mockeries of Catholic themes and Sacraments, Aitken’s support is irreconcilable with her proclaimed religious beliefs.   

University of St. Thomas – Minnesota

Zoe Chang, associate director of housing at the Catholic University of St. Thomas, told undercover reporters that a male student who claims to be female would be allowed to share a dorm room with female students.

O’Keefe Media Group released the undercover footage, in which a citizen journalist asks if Chang hypothetical “trans sister” could room in the women’s dorm. Chang told her that the Catholic private school would not only allow it, but would even conceal that the male was “trans” from the prospective female roommate. 

Chang also nodded her head “yes” when asked if the school had hidden the identity of other “trans” students before. Chang added that parents would “get upset” if they knew their daughters were rooming with males. 

Along with essentially agreeing to blackmail biological female students, Chang also said the school could offer a discounted boarding rate as an “accommodation” and that they prioritize LGBT students. How’s that for equality of the sexes? 

Loyola University Chicago

This university gets a huge “0” for failing to uphold its Catholic identity and worse… abandoning its own students who actually uphold the faith, May heroes Emily Torres and Matthew McKenna.

Loyola has hosted annual drag queen shows since 2018, one of which included a man dancing provocatively while dressed as a nun with a pride flag. Not only that, but the school’s associate dean, Samantha Maher Sheahan, told Torres and McKenna that the school couldn’t cancel the show because Loyola would lose federal funding and that “this university does not teach the Catholic faith is true.”

Loyola refused to directly condemn or discipline the behavior of students who had threatened Torres and McKenna in person and on social media, but issued a general statement that “Loyola University Chicago is a diverse community that promotes mutual respect, student safety, and learning.”

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