The Supreme Court begins its 2014-15 term today. The 2013-14 session was a disaster for separation of church and state, and there’s a general sense among defenders of that principle that it would be best if the high court simply avoided such cases.
Yesterday was the Red Mass, an annual event for members of the legal profession sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and the John Carroll Society. The archdiocese and the Society always hold the event on the Sunday before the first Monday in October, which is when the Supreme Court goes back in session.
The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court tied a record last week but that’s not something they should be proud of.
On Sept. 30, six members of the high court attended the annual “Red Mass,” a special church service for the legal profession held by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
In attendance at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle were Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justices Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Anthony M. Kennedy and Elena Kagan. Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy and Thomas are Catholic; Breyer and Kagan are Jewish.
Yesterday morning, I attended the Red Mass here in Washington along with five Supreme Court justices and Vice President Joe Biden. Okay, we weren’t in the same pew – they were in the front rows; I wasn’t.
But all of us heard Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, an American who now works at the Vatican, give a homily that instructed those in attendance on how they should feel about same-sex marriage, abortion and the dire threat of “humanism.”
The U.S. Supreme Court is back in session today, which means Justice Sonia Sotomayor has taken her seat on the bench for the first time.
Yesterday morning was another first for the junior justice. She attended the Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle as a VIP guest.
[caption id="attachment_1027" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Archbishop Wuerl and Cardinal Foley after the Red Mass at St. Matthew's Cathedral, Washington, D.C., October 5, 2008. Photo taken from Flickr Creative Commons by II Primo Uomo"][/caption]
Today is the first Monday in October—the day when the U.S. Supreme Court is back in session for a new term.