Congrats to Amy Coney Barrett! Notre Dame Law Professor & Faithful Catholic Confirmed as U.S. Court of Appeals Judge

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Congrats to Notre Dame Law professor Amy Coney Barrett, an accomplished academic, attorney, mother of seven, and devout Catholic who was nominated by President Donald Trump to be a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge and received confirmation Tuesday from the Senate in a 55-43 vote.

Professor Barrett’s confirmation hearing was infected by controversy, as she was interrogated by prominent Democrats for her Catholic faith and beliefs, to the point that her attackers have been characterized as expressing “[anti]Catholic bigotry” during the hearings. The presidents of the University of Notre Dame and Princeton University have criticized how a nominee’s religious beliefs were used against her during her hearing.

U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein attacked the validity of Professor Barrett’s nomination on the basis of Professor Barrett’s Catholic faith, explaining:  “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein said, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. “And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.”

The Rev. John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, wrote an open letter responding to the attacks against Professor Barrett’s faith as a means to disqualify her from serving as a federal judge. “It is chilling to hear from a United States senator that this might now disqualify someone from service as a federal judge. I ask you and your colleagues to respect those in whom ‘dogma lives loudly’ which is a condition we call faith,” he wrote. “For the attempt to live such faith while one upholds the law should command respect, not evoke concern.”

For more coverage on the anti-religious controversy that surrounded Professor Barrett’s nomination click on the following pieces from the Chicago Tribune and LifeNews.

Notre Dame Medjugorje Conference 2013: Speakers Announced

Queen of Peace Ministries, which organizes the annual Medjugorje Conference at theOurLadyofMedjugorje3 University of Notre Dame, recently released the list of its 2013 speakers for the upcoming event in May. Here is the list. I am very humbled and honored to be one of the speakers this year, and was happy to see that others whose work on Medjugorje I recognize and have followed will be there. The Lord has been good to me in abundant ways; and I was asked to share my testimony at the conference this year and to speak about the scientific studies performed on the visionaries throughout the years, a subject of my doctoral dissertation.

From the list of speakers, the mystery that remains is Fr. Petar Ljubicic, OFM, the Franciscan priest who was chosen by visionary Mirjana to reveal the Medjugorje secrets to the world (once the time comes). It would be great to encounter Fr. Petar at the conference — the man has been given such a significant mission in God’s plan for salvation — but it looks like Fr. Petar will not be able to make a decision on his availability until later in March. Updates to follow!