In June 2021, four victims of alleged sexual or physical abuse in the People of Praise published an open letter in the South Bend Tribune calling for reforms within the faith group. The suggested reforms included public acknowledgment that there had been a “systemic failure to protect People of Praise children from abuse”, public naming of all individuals who have been “credibly accused of abuse” or “concealing abuse within People of Praise or its schools”, and placing an equal number of women in the highest leadership positions in the group, and giving them an “equal vote in all of the group’s decisions”. The letter noted that the Catholic church has publicly named individuals who have credibly been accused of abuse.
Barrett, who is Catholic, has never publicly been asked about her membership in People of Praise, which first came to light in a New York Times article in 2017, after Barrett, a former law professor at Notre Dame, was nominated by Donald Trump to serve as a judge on the US court of appeal for the seventh circuit. She was confirmed and then later, in 2020, was nominated and confirmed to serve on the supreme court after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Growing up in the People of Praise, I knew that they held beliefs that would be extremist to the vast majority of practicing Catholics, including on gay rights and women’s rights. I looked at the number of people living in those states covered by the seventh circuit court, and then projected those numbers over a lifetime appointment. It was well into the tens of millions. That’s when I brought the story to the New York Times in 2017. As a supreme court justice now, her extreme views may affect upwards of half a billion Americans in her lifetime,” he told the Guardian.Legal claims shed light on founder of faith group tied to Amy Coney Barrett | Religion | The Guardian