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.
Mark and Ryan-Marie Houck and Children
On September 23, the Houck family awoke to a nightmare. At least 20 FBI agents entered their home with weapons drawn and handcuffed Mark in front of his wife and seven children. He later pleaded “not guilty” to felony charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act when he shoved a “patient escort” who was heckling his young son outside of a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood clinic nearly a year before the dramatic arrest.
The family deserves recognition not simply because they have suffered a grievous and deeply traumatic injustice. They should also be honored for their dedication to living the Catholic faith, praying and working for mothers and their unborn children, and running the apostolate The King’s Men.
Did the Houcks’ devotion paint a target on their backs? If so, it is a badge of honor.
On September 20, Matt Walsh posted breaking news confirming that Vanderbilt, the largest hospital system in Tennessee, “drugs, castrates, and performs double mastectomies on minors.” He posted a series of videos on Twitter in which people connected to the hospital talk about “top” and “bottom” surgeries being big “moneymakers,” religious conscientious objectors being “problematic,” and “trans buddies” who police how healthcare workers interact with gender dysphoric children. In one 2020 video, the hospital’s psychiatry department states it has prescribed irreversible hormone therapy drugs to children as young as 13.
The story went viral on social media, and led Tennessee Republicans, including Gov. Bill Lee, to call for an investigation into the Vanderbilt Pediatric Transgender Clinic.
As a result of his exposé, Matt Walsh has suffered death threats and public slander. He’s been accused of inciting violence and terrorism. But he’s not backing down. He’s willing to speak the truth for the sake of the thousands of children at risk of permanent disfigurement and emotional and spiritual trauma.
That’s the kind of hero the American media desperately needs.
Our first international heroine award goes to Italy’s new nominee for prime minister, Catholic mother and outspoken family advocate Giorgia Meloni. While she’s not prime minister yet (Italy has a second-tier nomination process), her platform is staunchly pro-life, pro-woman, and pro-family. She campaigned as an unapologetic Catholic, expressing her admiration for Pope St. John Paul II’s maxim, “There is no Europe without Christianity.” For her center-right rhetoric, she has been maligned in the mainstream media as “fascistic” and “far-right,” labels she unequivocally rejects.
She speaks boldly about the sanctity of life, the centrality of the family, and the dangers of consumerism. This isn’t fascism. It’s Catholic social teaching. Congratulations to Giorgia Meloni and to the Italian people!
Joe Biden, President of the United States
We really didn’t want to highlight our “devout Catholic” president again. But this month, he took “zero” to new lows.
At a Democratic fundraiser this month, President Biden claimed that the Catholic Church allows “exceptions” on abortion in cases of rape and incest. Speaking of Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham’s proposed federal 15-week limit on abortion, Biden said: “Talk about, what, no exceptions. Rape, incest, no exceptions… I happen to be a practicing Roman Catholic, my Church doesn’t even make that argument.”
First of all, it was a simple factual falsehood that Graham’s proposal makes “no exceptions.” The legislation includes exceptions for rape, incest, and cases in which a mother’s life is at risk.
But most importantly, the Church is very clear where it stands on “that argument.” The Catechism states,
Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion… This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed as an ends or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.(No. 2271)
In cases of rape or incest, abortion does not heal the violence, but further violates the mother by entering her womb with tools or deadly chemicals and murdering the child growing inside her body.
A mother whose child was conceived in rape needs help and support, as does the other innocent victim of the crime… the baby.
Governor Gavin Newsom, D-CA
In a blasphemous political stunt, Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-CA, used his reelection fund to buy billboard space in seven red states, including Indiana, Texas, and Mississippi. The billboards invite women to visit California for abortions, with lines like “South Dakota Doesn’t Own Your Body. You Do.” One billboard message, featured in Ohio and Indiana, reads, “Need an Abortion? California is Ready to Help.” The message then quotes Jesus’ words in Mark 12:31: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these [sic].”
Using Scripture to promote the dismemberment and murder of unborn children is the ultimate degeneracy. The depraved hubris on display from Gov. Newsom should earn him the censure of his bishop, his fellow Catholics, and his constituents.
Newsom finished off September by signing 13 new abortion bills into law in California.
Senator Patty Murray, D-WA
This month, self-described Catholic Sen. Patty Murray told EWTN News Nightly reporter Erik Rosales that she and her fellow Senate Democrats will support no limits on the extermination of unborn babies. In fact, she wants a federal mandate signed into law that would allow mothers to abort their unborn children up until the moment of birth for any reason.
She also took to the Senate floor this month to decry state laws such as Texas’ heartbeat legislation that set limits on abortion, equating abortion with “healthcare,” “treatment,” and even “freedom.”
As abortion activists go, Sen. Murray is about as radical as they come. And she’s banking on the bodies of millions of unborn children to carry her to reelection this November.