Catholic Cardinal Asks Supreme Court to Reject Abortion During Red Mass

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 5, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Cardinal Asks Supreme Court to Reject Abortion During Red Mass

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 5
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Top government officials were exposed to a call from a Catholic cardinal to reject abortions and uphold the sanctity of life during the Red Mass on Sunday. The mass is a traditional event that takes place before the Supreme Court starts the first day of its next term, which takes place the first Monday in October.

Six Supreme Court justices, Vice President Joe Biden, and two members of pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s administration were present for the event.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston, Texas gave a homily and presented the pro-life message to the top officials. He calls on attorneys to be a voice for all clients, including those who have not been born.

“They are poor and wealthy, confused and lucid, polite and impolited,” he said. “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."

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts attended the event along with the high court’s newest member, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is expected to uphold abortion.

Ironically, the cardinals who participate wear red because the color represents a willingness to shed blood in the defense of their faith. In this case, the red could easily have stood for the bloodshed at the hands of the Supreme Court, Biden, and the Obama administration.

"It was no doubt merely a coincidence, but it was an intriguing one nonetheless," says Dave Andrusko, a writer for the National Right to Life Committee who also noted the color and the content of the homily.

"With the confirmation of Justice Sotomayor, there are now an unprecedented number of Catholic on the Supreme Court–six: Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Sonia Sotomayor," he also noted.

All but Thomas, who was at a pre-scheduled wedding, attended the event.

Andrusko also noticed the different ways the mainstream media treated the homily.

"Some accounts that mentioned DiNardo’s unmistakably pro-life comment in his homily treated it as almost an afterthought," he writes. "By contrast the Associated Press headlined its story, ‘Cardinal makes plea for rights of unborn at Red Mass before Supreme Court opening.’"

Andrusko said the homily was "was a quiet but unmistakable admonition to the legal profession against the sort of specialization that produces ‘wondrous formal knowledge’ but at the cost of ‘frequently becom[ing] semi-mechanical and distancing’ towards the very people it is supposed to serve."

Cardinal DiNardo said, "Yet the Holy Spirit rarely works at the surface of things but probes more deeply into the heart. On the same day of Pentecost, the Church sings a poem, a sequence as it is called, that salutes the Holy Spirit for ‘bending the stubborn heart and will, melting the frozen and warming the chill.’"

"When I read this section, I instantly thought of how apt a description this also is of what we are trying to do," Andrusko responded. "Pro-lifers gently seek to (1) awaken our nation from a kind of spiritual amnesia while (2) subtly ‘bending the stubborn heart and will’ and ‘melting the frozen and warming the chill.’"

"None of this, ultimately, can be successful if we are foolish enough to think it can be done by our own strength," he added.

"But if we understand the rightness of our cause and who it is who has called us to defend the defenseless, we can rest assured that one day the littlest Americans will once again be welcomed in life and protected in law," he concludes.

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