Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s affiliation with the Christian community People of Praise is drawing scrutiny because of what former members and observers describe as its ultraconservative views on women. Her defenders say scrutinizing her beliefs and relationship to the mostly Catholic organization is akin to anti-religious bigotry.
But in interviews with a dozen former members of the organization and graduates of the schools it runs, most told The Associated Press that Barrett’s association with the group should be examined when the Senate takes up her nomination beginning Monday.
Some were proud and excited that one of their own could soon be on the high court, in a position to roll back abortion rights.
Others were deeply concerned about that threat, and also about the community’s teachings on gender, gay rights, and other social issues. They also raised flags about what they describe as the organization’s authoritarian structure.
Some wondered why Barrett has not disclosed or even acknowledged her connection to People of Praise and why the group appeared to try to hide her affiliation by from its website.
“I don’t think membership in the group is disqualifying,” said Rachel Coleman, who left the community in 2010. “I think that she needs to be open about it and transparent about it.”
The AP Barrett and her family have to the community, including that listed her as being one of the organization’s “handmaids,” now called a “woman leader.” She was a trustee of the group’s Trinity Schools, and , lived in a house .
People of Praise is not a church, but a faith community. It grew out of the Catholic charismatic movement rooted in Pentecostalism that began in the late 1960s. The movement emphasizes a personal relationship with Jesus and can include baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in