Six Supreme Court justices, Vice President Joe Biden, and two Cabinet members were among the dozens of other judges and Washington public officials at yesterday’s Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington.
“They are poor and wealthy, confused and lucid, polite and impolited,” said Cardinal DiNardo. “In some cases, the clients are voiceless, for they lack influence; in others they are literally voiceless, not yet with tongues and even without names, and require our most careful attention and radical support.”
Among the attendees were Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s newest member, Sonia Sotomayor. The two Cabinet members attending were Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Pro-life advocates stood outside the cathedral protesting. Among them was Randall Terry who asked, “How dare you present yourself for Communion with the blood of babies on your hands?” through a bullhorn. Terry said he was directing his comments to Vice President Biden and members of Congress and the judiciary who had, in their official duties, lent any kind of policy or legal support to abortion.
Concelebrating along with Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl were Archbishop of the Military Services Tim Broglio, Arlington, Va., Bishop Paul Loverde and others.
Held the first Sunday before the court’s term begins on the first Monday in October, the Red Mass has been held since 1953 by the John Carroll Society, an organization of Washington professionals who are Catholic. The name of the service dates to the 13th century and comes from the red vestments worn by the celebrants. The Mass is conducted to ask for divine guidance for those who seek justice.
Cardinals wear red, it should be noted, because the color represents blood and it demonstrates their willingness to shed their blood in defense of the faith.