From Works of Mercy to Voter Fraud

Burying the dead is a work of mercy. So, too, is voting for them, according to Sister Marguerite Kloos. Or at least that’s what she thought last year until Ohio investigators nabbed her for an act of voter fraud. This week she plead guilty to the charge of voting twice, acknowledging that she forged the signature of a deceased nun, Sister Rose Marie Hewitt, on an absentee ballot.

“When the absentee ballot was received at Ms. Hewitt’s address, (Kloos) opened the envelope, forged Ms. Hewitt’s signature, voted Ms. Hewitt’s ballot, and mailed the ballot back to the Board of Elections,”  according to the prosecution’s case.

To those wondering why the Vatican is trying to reform the leadership of U.S. nuns, such stories provide ample explanation. That nuns have gone from burying the dead to voting for them is yet another illustration of their descent into left-wing politics.

Kloos hails from the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, an order that branched off from the congregation founded by St. Elizabeth Seton.  Could Mother Seton have imagined the headlines about her order’s nuns these days?

What began as works of charity has degenerated into dissent, radical feminism, and raw politics. Charity has become “social justice,” which is nothing more than a euphemism for the platform of the Democratic Party.

If the Vatican is engaged in a “crackdown” on U.S. nuns, as the media likes to say, it is probably four decades too late. Saul Alinsky would have been amused to see that his subversion of female religious orders—he made a deliberate point of recruiting nuns for his causes—has culminated in sisters committing voter fraud. As Thomas Pauken wrote in The Thirty Years War, “the radicalization of elements of the Catholic clergy turned out to be one of Saul Alinsky’s most significant accomplishments.”

Presumably, Sister Kloos wasn’t stealing votes for Mitt Romney in Ohio. Press accounts leave out which candidate she cast Sister Hewitt’s absentee ballot for, but a glance at her resume allows one to hazard a reliable guess.

Kohnen and KloosSister Kloos has said that left-wing politics inspired her vocation:  “Working with those who worked with a purpose on behalf of a better world felt good, and women religious were very active in such things as anti-nuclear marches, third-world poverty, education and health care. All the women religious I met (in many communities) were among my favorite people, so the decision to enter was really an easy one.”

Sister Kloos has also been described in press accounts as a professor of “feminist theology” and  “eco theology.”  Until last month, she belonged to the elite of Catholic higher education, serving as “dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati.” She resigned that post, but will continue to teach in the school’s religious and pastoral studies department, where her official biography touts her interest in “environmental studies” and “research in feminist methodologies for cross-cultural spiritual care.”

Her order has told the press that she remains in good standing. On the order’s web site, one can still see pictures of the George Soros-subsidized “nuns on the bus” campaign in Ohio. Sister Kloos is no doubt a hero to her confreres.

To the casual observer, the story would seem beyond parody: a nun and dean of a Catholic college risking (but not getting) jail time to steal a vote for the advance of her left-wing politics. But it is all too real and predictable, capturing a snapshot of the ethos within certain orders. In the past, nuns risked prison to defend the Church; now they defy authority to help the most anti-Catholic president ever tear her down.

Obama won the Catholic vote in 2008 and 2012 thanks in large part to a contingent of these nuns. His “Catholic advisory committee” numbered among other clergy  Sister Jamie Phelps, O.P., professor of theology at Xavier University, and Sister Catherine Pinkerton with the Congregation of St. Joseph. Sister Simone Campbell famously turned up at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, where she extolled Obama’s policies while sharing the stage with Sandra Fluke and abortion lobbyists. Sister Carol Keehan, the Daughter of Charity who makes around a million dollars a year as the head of the Catholic Health Association, helped the president pass his health care bill and then served as an apologist for his “revised” contraceptive mandate.

It is no coincidence that Obama received his Alinskyite training in the 1980s at Mount St. Mary’s, a college run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet that had a cozy relationship with Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation. The archdiocese of Chicago helped pay for Obama’s trip to Mount St. Mary’s, where at IAF training sessions the young community organizer got to mingle with the very priests and nuns who would later work for his election and then seal the unholy alliance with an honorary degree from Notre Dame.

Alinsky hammered into his Catholic acolytes the idea that the ends justify the means. It wouldn’t have surprised him in the least to find the nuns on the bus taking a detour to an Ohio courthouse for an arraignment on voter fraud.

Editor’s note: The photo above depicts Sr. Marguerite Kloos (r) with her defense attorney Ralph Kohnen.

George Neumayr


George Neumayr is a contributing editor to The American Spectator, and a weekly columnist for Crisis Magazine. He is also co-author (with Phyllis Schlafly) of No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.

  • Patricia Gilmore

    Feminist nuns probably didn’t think about the fact that a vote for a liberal is a vote against life and a vote to tear off the limbs and kill or behead innocent babies in the womb or during birth.

    • Susan Quinn

      I wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if they DID think about that.

    • lifeknight

      Seriously, they know EXACTLY what their votes mean.

  • That it was left-wing politics that inspired her vocation and not her faith and love of God and willingness to give her life to Him and in service to others explains alot.

  • lifeknight

    As a teenager in an all girls “Catholic” high school, I recall the nuns removing their habits and taking to the streets hailing the election bids of various pro abort politicians. Somehow George Mc Govern made a stop at the high school where he received standing ovations from the ignorant students and liberal nuns there. Abortion was on the verge of decriminalization and most of the nuns were all for it.

    Thank the Lord the errant nun orders are dying off. Sadly, the old nun whose name was forged would probably have voted for Obama!

  • John O’Neill

    This is the reason why Catholic parents should seriously reconsider any notion that they send their children to “catholic’ schools; the majority of “catholic ” schools in the New American World State are run by people like this nun. The religious orders have passed from an era where courageous women lived the rules of their orders and served the poor in a Christ like fashion to the modern nun, an Americanized Left wing operative who uses her vast financial resources to propagandize for the Leftwing. On a personal note I taught in a “catholic’ school in the 1980s where the nuns appointed an out of the closet homosexual male to teach Christian marriage to young girls in their school. He later died of AIDS and they wanted to canonize him. American nuns have left their religious beliefs a long time ago.

    • hombre111

      Oh, please. You clearly do not know the nuns that I know. This calumny, pure and simple minded.

      • John O’Neill

        No I do not know the nuns you know. Yes, the events I describe did happen in an all girls catholic high school in Philadelphia and I witnessed them.

      • And you obviously don’t know some of the ones we know…The barrel is tainted and these women ( they are NOT religious, nor nuns) and they should be tossed from their orders to avoid any further disease to those who are there to serve Christ and the Church.

      • patricia

        So you’re saying that what I read above is false? Pls state the truth then.

      • john_koenig

        You are a naive, sheltered child in that case.

    • Susan Kaness

      Sadly, you are so right, John!

    • Bob Crawford

      Clearly you are wrong John. The majority are not this way, but you do have to investigate to make sure the Catholic school you choose is not Catholic-in-name-only.

  • AcceptingReality

    These are sisters of the secular religion masquerading as Catholics. The Lord told us the chaff would grow alongside the wheat. The are not in the business of helping effect the salvation of sinners. They are in the business of institutionalizing sin.

  • MarkRutledge

    Thank you for quoting Mr. Pauken, an acquaintance of mine. In fact, he will be speaking to a small group of us tonight to talk about his upcoming run for Texas governor. We need more believing, practicing Catholics in government. But that’s a bit of an aside. Nuns like these bolster the Catholic-in-name-only elected officials whose belief is secularism, though they display the veneer of faith.

  • Alecto

    And yet, where were the bishops? The cardinals? The popes? It isn’t as though these women operate in a vacuum, is it? Say what you want about JPII, he never did a THING to stop any of this. Not to worry, I’m sure his second “miracle” will be uncovered and he and Dorothy Day can both enjoy the knowledge of having Catholic sainthood conferred upon two of least deserving people in the history of the Church!

    • Alecto, yes, he, JPII, did do something very specific – Please, do not fault him for those who protested or ignored the application of these guidelines.

    • Agnes Goh

      Could it be that JPII was simply obeying Jesus not to pull up the weeds amongst the wheat, in case some of the wheat gets pulled up too? Scripture says that The Lord of the Harvest will do the pulling. A hard saying for us who want quick action. We have a very patient God. Thank God.

    • irishsmile

      Jp II probably was personally holy but did not crack down on the hetrodox weirdness within the clergy.

  • Rev. Alan B. Maria Wharton

    Is no one in the upper echelons of the American hierarchy able or willing to address, in an open way, the de facto schism within the Church, of liberal leftist religious and clergy, who operate outside of any meaningful spiritual communion with the orthodox Roman Catholic Church? Doesn’t the USCCB see the need to reform the Church in the US?

    To my knowledge, as far as I can recall, if the issue of widespread heterodoxy has been addressed at all in the past, it has been to effectively downplay the fact that the “religion” of the liberal left “Catholics” is ANTITHETICAL to the spirit of Christ (obedient unto death) — and to simply excuse dissent and allow it to continue. To be fair, there have been occasional corrections, but the systemic infidelity continues. It appears that the corruption of doctrine, as it is lived and breathed, and taught, across the American Catholic universe is so pervasive – the subject of so many articles and stories in the conservative Catholic media – that one gets the impression that there is no collective will to address the problem head on, but rather to simply wait out the dying generation and hope that the new one will be more faithful.

    The lack of unity – the unity of faith – within the Church is the number one impediment to evangelization today, as far as I can tell. I pray that this Year of Faith may bear fruits of conversion for every Catholic who holds beliefs that are incompatible with the Magisterium and Tradition of the Church.

    • asa2222

      Well, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did investigate the Leadership Conference of Woman Religious. But you’re right that little action was really taken. I can certainly sympathize with those who are growing impatient. It’s really decades in the making. I suppose Rome may be giving them enough rope to hang themselves with.

  • CoastRanger

    I don’t worry too much about these non-Catholic religious sisters anymore. They and their corrupt orders are being swept away by time.

    • patricia

      It’s a good thing that all men die, and it’s even a better thing that those nuns are dying without acolytes…

  • Scott Waddell

    Deserves double punishment. One for the voter fraud, two for stupidity. One extra vote isn’t going to swing an election, so you gotta wonder why the heck she would risk it.

  • Pingback: From Works of Mercy to Voter Fraud | Jonah in the Heart of Nineveh()

  • None of these women have a problem with abortion, I take it. Wonder if they support Kermit Gosnell.

  • Pingback: Ohio nun pleads guilty to vote fraud - Christian Forums()

  • Sylvia

    It is an outrage that these “sisters” have been allowed to destroy so much in the church and gravely distort the face of Christ and Mary through their heinous actions.
    i am profoundly ashamed of them, even as a catholic living in Europe.
    THIS WILL HAVE TO COME TO AN END! thank God that ope Francis is reaffirming the investigation of the renegate “sisters”, promising to continue in the same way as during the pontificate of Benedict XVI.

  • GMScan

    Hey folks, this is just basic Leftist ideology. If the law gets in the way of “justice” (as they see it), it is perfectly fine to break it. These Leftists have found shelter in religious orders — free food and rent and all the time in the world to advocate. Sweet deal. Pity it has nothing to do with Jesus.

  • Dantes

    If you think nuns are dishonest about voting, you have no idea. The Catholic hospitals are the most corrupt organizations in the USA…swimming in money, and lying to get more.