TRENTON, N.J. — State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) is hopping made at Democrat U.S. Senators Kamala Harris (D-California) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) for anti-Catholic comments.
“Religious intolerance and bigotry of any kind has no place in the halls of government,” Senator Pennacchio (R-26) said. “I have yet to hear either of our U.S. Senate representatives condemn these remarks. Their silence is deafening. No one should be excluded from serving in the judiciary because of their faith.
“Roman Catholicism is the second largest religion in the United States, and the Knights of Columbus is an honorable service organization that has given back to millions of people. This is not a cause for concern and insinuating otherwise is irresponsible and misleading. Make no mistake – the attack on the Knights of Columbus was an attack on the Church itself,” said Pennacchio. “The U.S. Senate should formerly condemn Senators Harris and Hirono immediately and their colleagues in Congress should speak out against their conduct. As a Catholic and an American, I am absolutely appalled. It seems that being anti-Catholic or anti-Semitic has become politically-chic, and we should all be alarmed.”
New Jersey is home to approximately 3.7 million Catholics, making it one of America’s most Catholic states by percentage.
During the judicial nomination of hearing at issue concerning Brian Buescher, a nominee for the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, Senators Harris and Hirono reportedly insinuated that Buescher’s affiliation with the Knights of Columbus impeded his ability to rule impartially.
Anti-Catholic bigotry during judicial hearings isn’t new. Back in 2017, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) who serves with Harris made similarly anti-Catholic comments aimed at then-judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
“We should all be concerned about the rise of bias in this country. The hateful rhetoric must come to an end and we should shed light on anyone who is spewing hate, regardless of their party affiliation or the faith they are attacking. It is no more acceptable to attack someone for being Catholic, than it is to attack someone for any other religious belief,” added Pennacchio.