Such an effort, he said, "is at the heart of what it means to be a lay Catholic," but is also "the very first thing a new justice promises to uphold when she or he takes the oath of office."
Barrett's comments, Wood told CNA, speak to the power of God's grace in human affairs--and to the tragedy of Catholics in public life who do not bring their faith into the public square.
Grace, he said, "presupposes, perfects, and empowers what we do as individuals and a society, by healing all of our cultural and political endeavors from sins that make them less than human, less than fair, and less than just, and restoring them to the basic goodness that God intended for them from the beginning."
Many Catholics, however, overlook this and are "abdicating" their vocation to holiness.
For those who do bring their faith into the public square, he said, "politics and culture have nothing to fear from faith, and everything to gain," as grace would empower a judge to serve "with a justice and fairness which is more powerful than ideology or political party."
"Our nation desperately needs that justice and the peace it brings right now," he said.
Incoming Supreme Court justices take an oath to uphold the Constitution as well as a second oath-or a combination of the two. In their oath, justices must swear to "administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich."
This pledge to uphold justice, Wood said, is also part of the call of Catholics working for the common good.
Furthermore, Wood said, those who argue that Barrett might promote some kind of theocracy or would proselytize from the bench "are often trying to distract us from the real issue at hand."
This issue, he said, is the imposition "by judicial fiat of beliefs about human life, gender, and marriage upon our nation that are contrary to the natural moral law which is present in the heart of every person."
"That is why some people are worried about a faithful Catholic judge like Amy Barrett: not because she would impose her religious beliefs on our nation, but because they know that she would stand up against the political pressure to impose theirs," he said.
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Matt Hadro was the political editor at Catholic News Agency through October 2021. He previously worked as CNA senior D.C. correspondent and as a press secretary for U.S. Congressman Chris Smith.