The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Seeing Red: annual mass celebrated in Washington

posted by jmcgee

Before the First Monday in October, there’s the First Sunday, and what has become a long-running tradition in the nation’s capital.

From the Washington Post:

r4068765455.jpgOn the eve of a Supreme Court session that will feature six Catholic justices for only the second year in its history, five members of the court joined Vice President Biden at a traditional kickoff Mass Sunday at a downtown cathedral.

The so-called Red Mass, a service dedicated to jurists and lawyers, dates to the 13th century in Europe and has been a first-Sunday-in-October custom in Washington for 57 years. Led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the justices lined two front pews in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle as judges, lawyers and law school students filled the church. The dean of the Georgetown University Law Center led a prayer, and a federal judge served as an usher.

“Your presence here is witness to the importance our nation places on the rule of law,” Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl said from the pulpit. The service began with a flag procession by purple-plumed members of the Knights of Columbus and ended with the singing of “America the Beautiful.”

In a homily by an American cleric serving in the Vatican, justices heard that the tradition began at time of civic strife similar to the current judicial mood.

“The Church understands the nearly overwhelming complexity of the climate which envelops the practice of law and the administration of justice today,” said Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia. “Our enactment of this ancient ritual of the Red Mass joins us to the generations of judges and lawyers who pursued their professions conscious of their need for divine grace and guidance.”

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posted October 4, 2010 at 8:53 am

The Red Mass is a great tradition here in Washington. My late husband was a member of the John Carroll Society that sponsors the Mass. The Society has a luncheon afterwards that is always a great chance for fellowship. I was not able to go this year, but it was quite an attendence with Vice-President Biden, 5 justices, and various judges, law professors, elected official and members of the Bar.

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posted October 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Unfortuantely, we once again have a scandal facing the Archdiocese with this Mass — a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage politician receiving Holy Communion: Vice President Joe Biden.
Once again, our Archbishop once again allows this scandal to take place. It not only sends the wrong message to those who do not follow the Church’s teaching, but sends the wrong message to those who are faithful to the Church.
It is disheartening to see this take place over and over again in this Archdiocese, especially when the Archbishop talks about a New Evangelization.

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posted October 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm

“…to see this take place over and over again in this Archdiocese…”
As you say, “over and over again.” Agree or disagree, it would seem clear where Archbishop Wuerl stands.

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Mike L

posted October 4, 2010 at 5:06 pm

It would also seem that awashingtoncatholic believes that his ability to judge is greater than the archbishops. Isn’t second guessing your archbishop a way of being a “Cafeteria Catholic?\”?

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