CNA Staff, Sep 28, 2020 / 19:41 pm
Much has been made of the Catholic faith of Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s most recent nominee to the United States Supreme Court.
The judge’s Catholicism has taken center stage in her political career thus far: from “the dogma lives loudly within you” comments made during her 7th Circuit Court of Appeals nomination hearing in 2017 to recent articles debating - and debunking - whether People of Praise, the charismatic movement to which Barrett belongs, was the inspiration behind the dystopian novel and T.V. series, The Handmaid’s Tale.
Like many Catholics, Barrett inherited her faith from her family. Her parents are Catholic, with seven children - Barrett being the eldest - and are also members of People of Praise. Her father, Mike Coney, has also been a permanent deacon for 38 years.
In a personal testimony of faith written in February 2018 for his home parish, St. Catherine of Siena in a suburb of New Orleans, Deacon Coney shared how “pivotal moments” of his life - both decisions and experiences - came to shape his life and his relationship with God.
“They are not random,” Coney said of the pivotal moments in his life. “I firmly believe the Lord is close at hand drawing us through human events closer to him.”
One of the first moments that shaped Coney’s faith was the death of his mother.
“In August 1962, the day before my 17th birthday, I came home from a summer job and found my mother dead,” he wrote. “At first I was filled with grief and anger at God.”
But then Coney remembered the story of Job, a man in the Old Testament who is tested by Satan, who kills off all of Job’s livestock, herdsmen, shepherds and children. Instead of blaspheming God, as Satan had wanted, Job rends his garments, cuts his hair, and prays: “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”