US President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, said he does not think his Catholic faith is an impediment to leading the Department of Justice. Source: CNA.
Mr Barr, a practicing Catholic and a member of the Knights of Columbus, was asked by senator Joe Kennedy if he were Catholic and what this meant.
“You’re a Roman Catholic, are you not?” asked Senator Kennedy. After Mr Barr confirmed that he was, Senator Kennedy then asked him if he thought that this “disqualified” him from having a position in the US government.
“Some of my colleagues think it might,” Senator Kennedy added. Mr Barr replied that if he were the attorney general, he would “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.”
Senator Kennedy’s question appeared to reference the recent controversy that erupted following two senators questioning judicial nominee Brian Buescher about his membership in the Knights of Columbus, which they described as an organisation with “extreme views” that are “opposed to marriage equality” and “women’s reproductive rights.”
If confirmed, Mr Barr will replace Matthew Whitaker, who has served in the role on an acting basis since the resignation of Jeff Sessions in early November.
Mr Barr previously held the post of attorney general under President George H.W. Bush from November 1991 until January 1993. After leaving the White House, Mr Barr worked in private practice.
The Knights of Columbus are a Catholic fraternal organisation with about two million members. Last year, the members carried out more than 75 million hours of volunteer work and raised more than $US185 million for charitable purposes. As a Catholic organisation, it holds views that are in line with Church teaching.