Massachusetts Executive Councilor Eileen Duff recently announced her candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination for Auditor of the Commonwealth. Duff is notorious for a 2016 incident in which she signaled a willingness to violate both civil rights laws and longstanding constitutional guarantees by questioning a judicial nominee about his Catholic Faith. 

In response to a request for comment from Mr. Matt McDonald, Publisher and Editor of the New Boston Post, Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle issued the following statement:

“‘Are you a Roman Catholic?’ was the question posed by Massachusetts Governor’s Councilor Eileen Duff at the judicial confirmation hearing of Attorney Gavin Reardon in 2016. It was, in all probability, a question never asked before of an appointee to public office in the then 240 year history of the United States of America. It was the sort of question one might expect from a judge of the King’s Bench or Castle Chamber in Ireland in penal times.”

“On four occasions during the confirmation hearing, Duff asserted that the Catholic Church engages in discrimination. On two occasions, she either stated or implied that Catholic judges could not be trusted to abide by their oath of office.” 

“On one occasion, she went so far as to imply that a Catholic judicial nominee could be disqualified, ipso facto, by belonging to an organization which practises discrimination, contrary to the disavowals expected of candidates in the Judicial Nominating Commission questionnaire.”

“Eileen Duff’s bigoted and malevolent intention was to exclude faithful Catholics from judicial office in the Commonwealth by castigating, indeed criminalizing, Catholicism as an incorrigible civil rights offender. In a sordid revival of the old dual loyalty canard, fidelity to the Catholic Church would, necessarily, render a citizen unfit for public service.”

“It was Duff, in her interrogation of Reardon, who sought to discriminate unlawfully, based upon creed, contrary to the explicit prohibitions contained in both federal and state civil rights statutes. Duff’s conduct during the Reardon hearing was another demonstration of the totalitarian instincts, the bitter anti-Catholic animus, and the sociopathic disregard for the rights and beliefs of others that has long characterized the public behavior of homosexual and lesbian activists in Massachusetts.”

“According to the reasoning of Eileen Duff, since the Catholic Religion is intrinsically discriminatory, Catholics, as Catholics, are ineligible to hold judicial, and presumably, any public office.”

“The only way around this is for Catholics to engage in a kind of ritual self abasement, and deny the moral teachings of their Faith—a 21st century version of the oath against transubstantiation.”

The story was published in the New Boston Post on June 1st.

As the Catholic Action League pointed out in an October 12, 2016 News Release:

“If a private employer in the Bay State examined an applicant about his religious faith, he would expose himself to civil liabilities, enforcement proceedings before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and, potentially, criminal penalties in a court of law.”

Article VI of the U. S. Constitution mandates unequivocally, ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.’ There has been no religious test for state, county or municipal office in Massachusetts since the ratification of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth in 1821.”

“Since the passage of the Fair Employment Practice Law in 1946, Chapter 151B of the General Laws has prohibited ‘unlawful discrimination because of race, color, religious creed, national origin, ancestry or sex,’ in employment in Massachusetts, while Title VII of the U. S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids employers from discriminating in hiring based upon religion.”

“No one in living memory can recall a judicial nominee being asked to identify his religion.”

“The presumption behind the question by Duff is that Catholicism is suspect, and Catholics cannot be trusted to impartially administer justice. Duff is dredging up from the sewer of bigotry the same accusation of dual loyalty raised by sectarian extremists, nativists and Klansmen against Al Smith in 1928 and John F. Kennedy in 1960.”

“The double standard is both predictable and appalling. She would not dare ask if a nominee were Muslim, and if she asked ‘Are you Jewish,’ she would, rightfully, be the object of national media attention. No Unitarian or mainline Protestant has ever been queried about their denominations’ support for abortion.”

The League called Duff’s line of questioning “outrageous, unconscionable, unheard of, and implicitly unlawful and unconstitutional.”

Since the 1961 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Torcaso v. Watkins, the protections of Article VI of the U.S. Constitution apply to all fifty states.a


  1. It seems that despite being a huge percent of our state, Catholic ethnics have ceded political power over to a vocal minority of leftist elitists. Is it that they are turned off by politics? Is it apathy or assimilation to
    unawareness? Is it a lack of leadership or inspiration from ethnic or Catholic clubs or organizations that has relegated a huge Catholic ethnic population in this state to being non factors in elections? With Catholic and ethnic organizations caring more about the annual golf outing than having influence in state politics., the decline of Catholic influence on Beacon Hill will continue.

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