A stunning example of anti-Catholicism

One of the worst piece of anti-Catholic bigotry I have ever seen in the legal profession.

From TwinCities.com:

Religious slurs in lawyer’s memo have court up in arms
By David Hanners
Updated: 11/30/2011 10:37:03 PM CST

In the sedate and sober world of bankruptcy law, one lawyer’s memorandum sticks out like a sore loser.”Across the country the court systems and particularly the Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota, are composed of a bunch of ignoramus, bigoted Catholic beasts that carry the sword of the church,” the Nov. 25 filing said.

It went on to call one bankruptcy judge “a Catholic Knight Witch Hunter,” said one trustee was “a priest’s boy” and claimed another trustee is a “Jesuitess.”

It got worse from there.

Hastings lawyer Rebekah Nett also called U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Nancy Dreher and other court personnel “dirty Catholics.” Then she expressed concerns over what might transpire at a hearing docketed for next week, writing, “Catholic deeds throughout the history have been bloody and murderous.”

People who spend their time writing and reading legal documents were stunned.

“I’ve never seen anything in 30 years of practicing law like this,” said Brian Leonard, a bankruptcy trustee. “This is so far over the line, it’s in another world.”


There is a lot more.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. PatrickV says:

    Gee, sort of sounds like some of the vituperation one hears in some of the less than accepting southern sectarians anti Catholic diatribes. In Minnesota?
    I have never met a Catholic Knight Witch Hunter, sounds like a cool gig if you can get it. There must be a surfeit of Wiccans in Minnesota to be dealt with.

    Well, at least we know of one attorney that needs some urgent prayers.

  2. Theodore says:

    Wow, just wow.

    1. Motion to strike.
    2. Motion for sanctions under Rule 11.
    3. Complaint to bar association.

  3. Legisperitus says:

    Prayers to St. Dymphna may be in order, I think.

  4. Margaret says:

    Oooh oooh ooooh! Forget the Opus Dei albino monk assassin gig– I so want to be a Catholic Knight Witch Hunter. With a side serving of Jesuitess, if you please.

  5. UbiCaritas says:

    Father, the TwinCities.com page link is directing to a “page not found” page on WDTPRS. :)

    However, just having read this snippet…say, can a woman be a Catholic Knight Witch Hunter? Or would it be a Catholic Dame Witch Hunter? And if so, do we get cool hats? Or cloaks? I WANT A CLOAK! Something snazzy in red velvet, methinks. I mean, you simply *can’t* be a Catholic Dame Witch Hunter without a sense of style.

    Egads and little fishes, the woman needs help.

  6. pkinsale says:

    She does not look like a very happy person.


  7. Consilio et Impetu says:

    May I refer all of you to “An Ugly Little Secret: Anti-Catholicism in North America” [Hardcover]
    Andrew M. Greeley (Author). The only acceptable bigotry in the USA is Anti-Catholicism.

  8. torch621 says:

    Forget the fundamentalists, I suspect this person to be a religion-hating atheist (which comprises at least a good chunk of the majority of them; I wonder why even use the title “atheist” when “anti-theist” might be a better choice).

  9. Having read the article, I think she wasn’t lying about her motives. She went along with exactly what her loony client wanted to say, probably in the hope that the court would be amused and/or slap down her client. Given the date, she was probably in a slap-happy holiday mood and angry to have to deal with the client right before vacation. But the article points out that, even if a client is a loon and insists on pushing his looniness, a lawyer is an officer of the court and is responsible for not filing total client lunacy unless the lawyer also believes it.

  10. ScholaLady says:

    “Catholic Knight Witch Hunters” sounds like a great band name. Or maybe a video game.

  11. PostCatholic says:

    What a great way to end your career. Prejudice of that sort isn’t acceptable, no matter how you tag this post.

  12. Titus says:

    “My client wrote it.” For real? What sort of two-bit hack files a brief written by a client? Theodore has it right: those papers write themselves.

    The oddest part is how the Catholic references come completely out of left field: it’s an oil company’s bankruptcy, not having (based just on the article and not on having pulled up the actual case filings) an iota of relation to religion or any religious organization.

  13. Jack Hughes says:

    The Most Reverend X
    Cathedral House
    Diocese of X

    Dear Holy Father

    I am writing to you to apply for the vacant post of Diocesan Witch Hunter, I am a very devout Catholic and would love the opportunity to apply my skills in blade swinging, pyromania and general gore splattering techniques in the eradication of witches from this diocese.

    yours sincerely

  14. CharlesG says:

    Sounds like someone has been reading a few too many Jack Chick tracts. 21st Century Know-Nothingism…

  15. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Witch Hunter (with cape and special hat) title: Dame of Shelelegh and Pounding

  16. Fr. Frank says:

    @Margaret — I’m a Traddie and I’m afraid if we start letting girls be Catholic Knight Witch Hunters, next thing you know they’ll be wanting to be Samurai Priests and we just can’t have that! Same with Opus Dei albino monk assassins. Maybe you’d like to be a nice Poor Clare albino nun assassin. Wouldn’t that be nice, and your parents would be so proud!!

    Of course, you could be a damsel in distress — but where’s the fun in that? No garroting, lopping off heads, poisoning, or setting people and places on fire. Meh!

  17. Frances M says:

    This is a continuation of the weirdness of Attorney Nett’s client: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/24409/no-charges-in-bizarre-injuries-at-cult-heads-home

  18. I laughed, this is really funny.

    It is so loony and shocking that only the most vehement Catholic-haters would not find anything wrong with it. What concerns me far more are the subtler attacks.

  19. anilwang says:

    Fr. Frank,

    She likely wouldn’t be able to become a Poor Clare albino nun assassin unless she’s albino. They’re very particular.

    Fortunately Catholic Knight Witch Huntering is open to women too. I know of at least one Catholic Knight who was accused of Witchcraft and I’m sure she hunted most knights did:

  20. Fr. Frank says:

    MEDIEVAL MODERNISM! Those French Catholics were always libs!!

  21. randomcatholic says:

    Just want to say that these comments are AWESOME. Nice work!

    @Margret: ROFL!

    I agree with Fr. Frank. This poor soul is disturbed, and no one reading this memo will find it “compelling.” Only the most stupid or hateful would support these sorts of statements. This poor woman needs prayers. And lots of them.

    It is the more subtle, ,more pervasive, and therefore and more dangerous, anti-Catholicism that scares me.

  22. ghp95134 says:

    UbiCaritas: I WANT A CLOAK! Something snazzy in red velvet, methinks. I mean, you simply *can’t* be a Catholic Dame Witch Hunter without a sense of style.

    CLOAK?? I’ve got mine:

    And yes, you (as a woman) would be a Catholic Dame Witch Hunter.


  23. SonofMonica says:

    Ahem… Fr. Z, I would buy a “Catholic Knight Witch Hunter” mug…

  24. benedetta says:

    OK. The lady lawyer got me. I am a Dirty Catholic Jesuitess. Guilty as charged. I’ll be recusing myself now so another religious adherent may take a turn…

  25. Fr. Frank says:

    It would have taken a pretty brave (or dumb) guy to call St. Joan of Arc a dame to her face, though!

    “Joan, even though you’re kind of a tomboy you’re a really swell dame! . . . Oh, is that my liver on your pike?”

  26. Margaret says:

    @Fr. Frank– I’m a good nine children too “matronly” for the Poor Clares, I suspect… BUT I have had to acquire serious ninja skills raising all the kiddos. Brute force stuff for dealing with the boys, near-Byzantine levels of chess-like maneuvering with the girls… ;)

  27. Fr. Frank says:

    Awesome! Then maybe you could be on the faculty of my Super Secret Samurai Sacerdos Training Academy once I get it up and running. Today’s December 1 — Zombie Apocalypse Day is only 1 year and 20 days away!! Please bring your hand missal, your rosary, and 1 box of those cool ninja throwing stars, ok? I’ve got plenty of numchucks for you and all the guys, so you don’t have to bring yours.

  28. Fr. Frank says:

    . . . Oh, and bring all your children!!! There is nothing that sends zombies and liberal Protestants running in terror and confusion faster than large Catholic families!

  29. Tony Layne says:

    “Joan, even though you’re kind of a tomboy you’re a really swell dame! . . . Oh, is that my liver on your pike?”

    Thanks, Fr. Frank … now I gotta clean the lemonade off my screen. By the way, it also seems to work well as a decongestant.

    I too would like to be a Catholic Knight Witch Hunter or a Super Secret Samurai Sacerdos — but only if it comes with a really cool sword. Or a liturgical Beretta.

    This comment thread is about the most fun I’ve read since that godawful stage for the Pope’s trip to England was revealed.

  30. Mariana says:

    “Please bring your hand missal, your rosary, and 1 box of those cool ninja throwing stars, ok?”

    A good thing I put my teacup down before I started reading this : ) !

  31. Fr. Frank says:

    Thanks, Tony. Lemonade = Mother Nature’s Nasonex! But it’s a bummer when the sugar crystalizes way up in your sinuses.

    For my money, nothing says “intentional Faith Community” quite like a good, old-timey Sunday afternoon parish auto de fe. We furnish chicken, potato salad, kerosene, and wood. You bring the witches and obstinate or relapsed heretics. Good times! Good times!

    The Grand Knight of our KC Council thinks we can save ourselves some work this year if he and the boys get the heretics and witches to come to us. Maybe go over to the Episcopalian church and the tattoo/piercing parlor and just put flyers under all the windshields advertising “Free Stake and Baked Potatoes!” Why work hard when you can work smart?

  32. AnAmericanMother says:

    Crazy lawyers and crazy clients. They find each other.
    This isn’t stunning, or even actual anti-Catholicism. It could as easily have been about the CIA or illuminized Freemasons or fluoride in the drinking water.
    The court will tend to her and her client in due course, with a stiff order probably imposing Rule 11 penalties and including a referral to the State Bar for discipline. And the clerks will have a good laugh drafting the order.
    And I already have a really cool Father Alexander Anderson costume (complete with silver bayonets), so can I wear that? When it comes to off-center interpretations of Catholicism, manga are really hard to beat.

  33. Consilio et Impetu says:

    More on Anti-Catholicism in the USA from CatholicCulture.org:

    Anti-Catholic bias by Obama administration debated at House hearing
    December 01, 2011

    From Our Store: Liturgical Year 2011-2012: Advent and Christmas (eBook)
    Republican members of the US House of Representative charged the Obama administration with anti-Catholic bias, while Democrats dismissed the charge, during a contentious December 1 hearing before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    The key issue in dispute during the hearing was the decision by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to terminate a grant for a program run by the US bishops’ conference (USCCB) for victims of human trafficking. HHS officials conceded that on their own internal rating standards, the USCCB program scored higher than the programs that were eventually awarded the government contract.

    George Sheldon, an assistant secretary of HHS, explained that the USCCB program was downgraded because it did not provide for conception and abortion referrals. He told the committee that “trafficking victims, many of whom are sex trafficking victims or have been sexually assaulted, can have a heightened interest in and need for such referrals.” Sheldon did not address the point previously made by the former director of the USCCB program, who argued that the provision and abortion and contraception can often help criminals engaged in sex-trafficking to continue exploiting women.

    In the ensuing debate among legislators, Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey charged: “The Obama administration’s bias against Catholics is an affront to religions freedom.” Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, a Catholic and former seminarian, said that the charge of anti-Catholic bias is a “libel” that was “pretty much put to rest” by the day’s testimony.

    Additional sources for this story
    Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

    Testimony of Assistant HHS Secretary George Sheldon (US House)
    Obama Administration Puts Politics Before Trafficking Victims? (Heritage Foundation)
    At grant hearing, Republicans accuse Obama administration of bias against Catholics (Washington Post)
    HHS decision on bishops’ program will harm victims of human trafficking: former director (CWN, 11/29)

  34. AnAmericanMother says:

    Connolly’s not very Catholic. His website makes no mention of any religious affiliation. You also have to dig deep even to find out he’s a Democrat. His district is Virginia 11, very liberal Fairfax/Prince William.
    Moreover, he was a Maryknoller. Nuf sed.

  35. DisturbedMary says:

    She gives new meaning to the term “personal bankruptcy.”

  36. Traductora says:

    It’s bizarre that she would have been dumb enough to actually commit this to writing, but the attitude, least in the South and some parts of the West, is not surprising. I grew up in New York and moved to the South, and I am stunned at the things that people will say about Catholics (who, incidentally, are a growing group while the Protestant churches are shrinking). I think this also has a lot to do with the “anti-immigrant” (meaning anti-Hispanic) feeling. I have actually heard people here say that Latin American immigration is a plot by Catholics to boost their presence.

    I hope this attorney gets penalized. It won’t stop this mindset, but at least it might help to delegitimize it.

  37. CatholicCaliGirl says:


  38. Johnno says:

    Is there a Vampire Hunting division?

    I want to be just like Van Helsing! With Holy Water Bombs and stake crossbows!

    Also a nice magnum with silver bullets in case of werewolves!

  39. AnAmericanMother says:

    If you’re Van Helsing, and I’m Alexander Abraham, we got us an ecumenical problem!
    Just sayin’.

  40. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Sick! Sick! Sick! However, I can’t add another thing. I’m laughing too hard at the comments!

  41. Mariana says:

    I’ve got a hot glue gun. I could glue Miraculous medals on to the ninja throwing stars!

  42. AnAmericanMother says:

    Glueing something on the shuriken will unbalance them.
    But we could have them engraved –

  43. Fr. Frank says:

    Glueing something on the shuriken will unbalance them.
    But we could have them engraved –

    Don’t you think engraving is kind of Anglican? I dunno. Besides — the medals aren’t called miraculous for nothing! I’m thinking if you glue a Miraculous Medal to a throwing star with the intention of using it to zap a witch, a heretic, (or a zombie!) it’ll prolly stay balanced — miraculously.

    I really like the vampire angle. I do. Really. But for my money the ones to keep your eyes on (after witches and heretics) is zombies.

    Question: When was the last time you saw a zombie?
    My guess is it’s probably been awhile, right?
    Sooo, just where ARE they? Hmmmm?

    Organizing — they’re organizing.

    Medal up, folks, and keep your eye on the ball!

    Cheez, I’m glad I had all those years of philosophy to help me think this stuff through!

  44. AnAmericanMother says:

    Fr. Frank,

    I plead guilty to former Anglicanism . . . but I’ve seen some lovely medieval and Renaissance engraved chalices — and of course everybody was Catholic then .
    For zombis, I think if we can’t get hold of the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, a good 12 gauge pump with No. 2 or No. 1 buck is indicated.
    We can have it blessed . . . . or even get our buddy at the gun shop to inlay Miraculous Medals on the sides of the receiver. Pretty cool and more unique than the usual flushing pheasants . . . .

  45. Fr. Frank says:

    AAM, you are inspired! It must all go down like you said. About whether hot-gluing Miraculous Medals to throwing stars would unbalance them — maybe we could sidestep the whole issue if we just take the Miraculous Medal Throwing Stars (TM) and shoot them out of my potato gun at the witches and relapsed heretics. I’d never want to be lumped in with modernists, but potato guns are so cool and I hardly ever get to shoot anyone with mine anymore since I got ordained.

  46. AnAmericanMother says:

    Fr. Frank,
    I like the way you think!
    I am very sorry to admit, though hubby and I were for years members of Pyrotechnics Guild International, and he used to help Zambelli fire the homecoming displays at GA Tech, we have never owned OR fired a potato gun.
    Would the heretics, etc. get a free potato along with the MMTSs? Can we chalk the potatoes with appropriate messages? In Latin?

  47. Fr. Frank says:

    Oh, and I’m a former Anglican, too, AAM! My only lapses into pre-Catholic behavior are occasionally giving in to a wild flurry of Earl Grey tea-drinking — but never out of Royal Doulton cups, which I renounce with a firm heart as irremediably Anglican. I try to make reparation for the above by eating my entire dinner with my salad fork, which a real Anglican would never do.

    What a blessing it is to be home. What an honor it is to be a Catholic and a priest! Thanks for all the laughs. I needed them!

  48. Fr. Frank says:

    This is awesome, AAM! You and your husband have the fullness of the Faith AND you both know how to make stuff explode!! It just doesn’t get any better. Re: Latin inscriptions on potatoes — that’s cool with me as long as you do the writing. I can’t even write legibly on paper, much less on potatoes. It’ll only take a few minutes to get you and your husband broken in on the potato gun, so don’t sweat it. Where I am here in the Deep South we’re swimming in good but deluded Baptists and Bible Churchers who would probably be helped by a good Papist Potato upside the head. They’ll prolly even thank us later, huh! Anyway, I say we save the Miraculous Medal Throwing Stars (TM) for Unitarians and such. Still, I’m not stuck on that. We’ll shoot whatever you bring. I’m just glad to be getting the potato gun out of mothballs and back on the church lawn, where it belongs!

  49. jaykay says:

    Fr. Frank: any chance you could move to Ireland with our new Nuncio? We sooo need some genuine U.S. cool and street-savvy. O.k. we don’t have probs with the zombies so much, but we do have a particularly nasty strain of leprechaun. It’s called a Celtic liturgist. They all have really untidy 70s beards and wild curly hair, so it’s easy to spot them. Believe me, they get really scared of Latin, chant and incense – almost like rabbits in the headlights – so you can corral them easily (maybe using those large Rosaries the Dominicans wear? Or large Brown Scapulars?) and then finish them off with those Miraculous Medal ninja stars.

  50. AnAmericanMother says:

    Hurrah! a kindred spirit in the South!
    The very best Labrador Retrievers in the known universe come from a kennel in Mississippi, btw. Which reminds me, why not train the dogs to sniff out heretics, zombis, and whatever?
    Even if the Queen drinks Earl Grey (and I understand she does) we just can’t give it up . . . never had any Royal Doulton but do have my grandmother’s Wedgwood tea set (the latter is of course firmly in the china cabinet, never to be touched except when dusted, or I guess if we have one of the priests to tea.)

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