Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Washington, D.C. Red Mass Continues in 2016

The Washington, D.C. 'Red Mass' is an event held by prominent Roman Catholic Church officials to host the members of the U.S. Supreme Court, held annually just before the start of that court's fall term.

The D.C. Red Mass is but only one of such events held regularly.  According to one Roman Catholic site:

The Red Mass is the popular name for the Mass of the Holy Spirit offered to invoke God’s guidance and strength on those working in the areas of law and justice.  Its origins go back to 13th-century Europe; its name is derived from the color of the vestments customarily worn by the celebrants. Today, the Mass is widely celebrated in dioceses throughout the U.S. and beyond.
As with past such events, the event was hosted by D.C. Chief Bishop Werhl.

Catholic News Service reports that this year's event was addressed by Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and was attended by five of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices, a number of other government officials, plus figures within the Roman Catholic Church.

These  Supreme Court justices were: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Stephen G. Breyer and Samuel A. Alito Jr.

The government officials so reported in attendance included U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch; U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.; and Denis McDonough, President Barack Obama's chief of staff.

The church officials included Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States; Archbishop Hebda; Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington, Virginia; Auxiliary Bishop Richard B. Higgins of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services; and Washington Auxiliary Bishops Barry C. Knestout and Mario E. Dorsonville. Twenty-one priests also concelebrated the Mass.

 Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda's address included the following statements:
"Those involved in the administration of law should seek justice and mercy in their work ... Those two virtues must intersect in our lives and actions,"

"Men and women of goodwill throughout this nation depend on you to protect their liberties,"

"Gathering together to pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance in the administration of justice is an appropriate response to facing difficult challenges".
That such a Church can so speak about justice, mercy and the protection of liberties in an atmosphere of a near universial judicial rejection of the right of freedom of medicine and diet - asides from perhaps the issue of abortion - should speak volumes about their influence over such a judiciary.

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