Most revealingly, she co-wrote a law review article suggesting that Catholic judges are not able to fairly decide death penalty cases that conflict with their religious beliefs and should therefore recuse themselves in some cases -- which raises a number of troubling questions (that were not satisfactorily addressed by her during her confirmation) about potential cases involving abortion, contraception or LGBTQ rights, which are all also issues the Catholic Church takes a strong stance on.
The Pope's recent comments about the dignity of LGBTQ people and the Catholic obligation to treat all people as children of God aligns with how a great many Catholics actually live -- and, according to a recent report from the Associated Press that elicited a strong defensive response from Senate Republicans, stands in sharp contrast to Barrett's own choice of school for her children and of organizations she joined.
In all but one of the religious groups polled in the 2020 survey, a majority of members said they supported same-sex marriage.That includes Protestants, Catholics, other Christians and non-Christians of all races.
Robert Jones, founder and CEO of PRRI and one of its leads on the 2020 American Values Survey, said trends in public opinion around same-sex marriage play out in a series of plateaus and jumps.
Between 2008 and 2010, he said, PRRI surveys showed that support for same-sex marriage jumped nearly 10 percentage points, from 40% to 48%, among respondents.
A historic look at public opinion toward same-sex marriage shows that support has continued to rise over time, said Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of "iGen," a nonfiction work that outlines the differences between Gen Z and older generations.
According to the Catholic News Agency, Pope Francis, in an interview for a documentary released in Rome on Wednesday, said that civil unions should be the law of the land for same-sex couples.
Francis's public softening on LGBTQ protections comes as the Catholic church faces record abandonment by new generations of people coming of age who no longer cling to organized religion as a guidepost or community building resource.
Meanwhile, much of organized religion, and the Catholic Church in particular, have long served as the biggest moral finger-pointers and impediments to the evolution of LGBTQ social and political equality.
As our long-fought rights hang in the balance with threats of our family's protections being yanked from under us -- with religion so often the attempted justification -- the Pope's comments are more than just refreshing; if heeded by Catholics across the world, they may indeed be life-saving.