Supreme Court Justices in Church? We Can’t Have That

Monday, October 8, AD 2012

At the Bench Memos blog at National Review, Mathew Franck linked to a rather hysterical screed written by Marie Griffith. The object of Griffith’s scorn: the annual Red Mass that takes place at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, DC before the opening of the Supreme Court term. Griffith is not at all pleased that two-thirds of the Supreme Court attended the latest Red Mass a couple of weeks ago.

Last Sunday, September 30, witnessed one of the most vivid and, to many (emphasis mine), disturbing examples of this religion/politics paradox.

Right out of the gate we get some good old-fashioned intellectual dishonesty. Who are the “many” that are disturbed by this visual? I would wager that the overwhelming majority of people have no idea that this Mass even exists, and that a scant few who are aware of its existence are very bothered by it. Rather than taking ownership of an opinion and writing that she is offended by the Red Mass, Griffith assigns a feeling to a mythical many. It’s a passive aggressive trick employed when a writer either lacks the guts to openly state their feelings, or when they want to conjure up support for an opinion that is not wildly shared by actual open beings.

She continues:

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11 Responses to Supreme Court Justices in Church? We Can’t Have That

  • “… I’m a little embarrassed that a Supreme Court Justice used an apostrophe to form a plural, but that’s beside the point…”

    LOL! It’s the editor in me, but that was the first thing I thought upon reading that quote.

  • We invoke the only JUST one that He might inspire all that you do….

    So perfectly said, however the heights of the bench seem to tower over heaven in the case of a few Justices.

    Humility anyone?

  • For the record, Justice Breyer, also Jewish, was in attendance. So, 4 Catholics and 2 Jews. There were 2 Catholics that were not there: Justices Alito and “Wise Latina”.

  • It’s too bad these special people are “disturbed” by liberties that our forefathers won with so much blood, sweat, and tears.

    We need to ensure these special people can never act toward such paradoxes as did their heroes: Che, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin, . . .

  • If the Klan of the 1920s (and their lawyer, Mr. Hugo Black) could only see the Supreme Court of today: 6 Catholics, 3 Jews, and nary a Protestant (and the only Southerner a black Catholic man).

  • Which isn’t to say I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more Southerners on the Supreme Court – starting with a certain bowtie-bedecked Catholic currently sitting on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

    (Imagine the field day the libs on the Judiciary Committee would have with “Stare decisis is fo suckas!”)


  • In France, the equivalent of the “Red Mass” is held up and down the country on the feast of St Ives, the patron saint of lawyers (and abandoned children) on 19 May. Magistrates and advocates attend in their robes, as do members of the law faculties of universities.

    In Paris, it is held in the Sainte-Chapelle (arguably the most beautiful small building in the world) which is part of the courts complex (the Palais de Justice) and state property.

    Every year one hears some criticism, not to the fact of the mass (for laïcité guarantees freedom of worship) but to the wearing of official dress, which opponents argue gives it the appearance of a state occasion.

    By the by, there is a daily mass in the Sainte-Chapelle on weekday mornings at 8.30 am, for those working in the courts or having business there – even though the Sainte-Chapelle is only about 300 m from Notre Dame cathedral.

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  • Writers, without any known exception, are assumption peddlers; they assume, you read then ignore or make it your own–they could care less all the way to the bank. This humorous piece has but one answer; the justices who attended the Red Mass did so because they wanted to for their own personal reasons as big boys and girls often do and, oh yes, responding to God’s ever-present grace may have been a factor. I pray so.

  • “… I’m a little embarrassed that a Supreme Court Justice used an apostrophe to form a plural, but that’s beside the point…”

    You’re incorrect. It is impossible for an apostrophe to form a plural. A Supreme Court justice may claim that it does, but it’s outside the nature of an apostrophe to do such a thing. An S performs its natural function when it is applied to a word without putting a barrier between it and a word. That’s how plurals are formed. Liberals may object to that, saying that people are free to form plurals any way they want to, but you can’t alter the nature of the plural without serious consequences. In fact, trying to perform a pluralization with an apostrophe turns the act into an artifical form of contraction.

Outrageously Anti-Abortion

Tuesday, October 6, AD 2009

Sometimes it’s all in the phrasing. The other day I read a mention of the annual Red Mass celebrated in Washington DC which quoted Justice Ginsburg’s explanation of why she no longer attends (though Justice Breyer, also Jewish, attends). The quote in full:

“Before every session, there’s a Red Mass,” Ginsburg said. “And the justices get invitations from the cardinal to attend that. And a good number of the justices show up every year. I went one year, and I will never go again, because this sermon was outrageously anti-abortion.”

Outrageously anti-abortion. Well.

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13 Responses to Outrageously Anti-Abortion

  • And I thought Cardinal DiNardo was being a bit too subtle. If only more Bps were outrageously anti-abortion.

  • I’d just consider that to be a compliment. 🙂

  • Justice Ginsburg is a joke. Her politics are 19th century racism combined with 20th century eugenics a la Margaret Sanger.

    For her to be upset about the Mass means about zero to me.

  • Aside from my feelings towards that particular confused justice, I’m left wondering what causes some people to become outrageously pro-abortion. Something ugly must happen early in life to turn their heart so black.

  • I am wondering the same thing myself about Justice Ginsburg.

  • I should be clear: I like that we’re called “outrageously anti-abortion”. What shocking thing will she discover Catholics to be next? “appaulingly religious”? “ridiculously devout”?

  • “Exremely loving”, “fundementally aware of our own failings”, “severely respectful of legitimate authority”, “outrageously seeking Justice”, “radically forgiving”, etc. etc.

    Wow, those Catholics are just too extreme. We should become more lukewarm and mediocre so that we’ll appeal to more people.

    A little murder is OK. Rape-rape is bad, but plain old rape, hey that’s just a choice. A mild amount of sodomy isn’t really homosexual. Racism is bad especially against ‘health-care reform’, but eugenics is just.

    Poor soul. She is obviously not Catholic, but can she even be considered Jewish? If I am not mistaken the Ten Commandments are the same in both Testaments, well, except they are more ‘extremely’ applied by that ‘radical’ Jesus of Nazareth.

  • I’d suspect that Ginsburg has herself had one or more abortions sometime in the past . . . this kind of highly defensive overreaction is usually the sign of someone who is trying to rationalize their own behavior.

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  • Particularly distressing about Justice Ginsberg’s various comments is this one:

    “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them”.

    What amazes me is to hear from the mouth of Jewish women. She seems not to know which group was the special target of the German government in the 1930s. [I love the “we”. Who is the “we”?

  • Gabriel,

    That’s the statement that most sticks out in my mind.

    It’s interesting how the mainstream media never even mentioned this incident.

  • Gabriel: that was the first thing I thought of when I heard her use the word “outrageous.”

  • Tito Edwards writes Tuesday, October 6, 2009 A.D. at 3:33
    “That’s the statement that most sticks out in my mind.
    “It’s interesting how the mainstream media never even mentioned this incident”.

    Now, now, mustn’t blame the mainstream muddle. The comment appeared in the NYTimes.

    Floating in the back of my mind is the Jewish question. Reading the Bible, reading the history of the Jews through the ages, it seems to me that the Jews are falling into the same error. From a highly religious small core, they relax into cooperation with the secular powers,

The Red Mass and Cardinal DiNardos Pro-Life Homily

Monday, October 5, AD 2009

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, was the chief celebrant at the annual Red Mass Cardinal DiNardo Sotomayoryesterday at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle.

The Red Mass is celebrated annually at the Washington, D.C. Cathedral and hosted by the John Carroll Society, a group of Washington area legal professionals.  The Mass is normally for for judges, attorneys, law school professors, students, and government officials.  The Mass requests guidance from the Holy Ghost for all who seek justice, and offers the opportunity to reflect on what Catholics believe is the God-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession.

The Red Mass is so-called from the red vestments traditionally worn in symbolism of the tongues of fire that descended on the Apostles.  The most significant difference between the Red Mass and a traditional Mass is that the focuses of prayer and blessings concentrate on the leadership roles of those present.  Guidance from the Holy Ghost is asked to be bestowed on the congregants. Other blessings that are commonly requested to prevail in the minds, offices, and court rooms are Divine strength, wisdom, truth, and justice.

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