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Six U.S. Supreme Court Justices Present at Annual Red Mass in Washington DC

By Junno Arocho
October 3rd, 2012
Zenit News Agency (www.zenit.org)

St. Thomas More said that he died the good servant of the King, but the faithful servant of God first. We, too, are faithful citizens only when we embrace the fullness of the principles of our faith and allow them to enliven and fortify our contributions to the life of the Nation.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Zenit.org) - On Sunday, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services in the United States delivered the homily at a Red Mass in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, presided over the celebration.

The Mass is celebrated annually for attorneys, law school professors and students, government officials and judges. Among the participants of the Mass were six U.S. Supreme Court Justices: Chief Justice John Roberts; Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan. Also present at the Mass were U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and several Congressmen and high-ranking government officials.

Archbishop Broglio called on the congregants to be open to the spirit of God and strive to be instruments of a new evangelization. Citing the passage from the first reading from the Book of Numbers, which recounted the election of seventy elders to guide the people of Israel, the archbishop explained that the divine gift to govern was not "limited by place, but attached to the person."

"The sovereign liberty of God determines how He will act and that obliges the believer of all times to question the temptation to close God within the narrow spaces of a justice which assigns itself the task of protecting the presumed rights of God while trampling upon those of his or her brothers and sisters," he said.

The archbishop also invoked God's blessing on those working in the legal and judiciary profession, while calling on them to seek justice in their work.  "For that reason we are here primarily to pray with you and for you as you execute the daunting task assigned to you at various levels. We beg a blessing for all of you and for all of those who assist you in this important ministry. We invoke the only Just One so that He might inspire all that you do," he said.

Justice and the New Evangelization

Archbishop Broglio called on those present to be instruments of the new evangelization, saying that the faith held in one's heart must motivate their everyday words, commitments, and decisions. The prelate made specific reference to St. Thomas More who, in the year 2000, was declared by Pope John Paul II as the patron saint of statesmen and politicians.

"St. Thomas More said that he died the good servant of the King, but the faithful servant of God first," Archbishop Broglio said.  "We, too, are faithful citizens only when we embrace the fullness of the principles of our faith and allow them to enliven and fortify our contributions to the life of the Nation."

Concluding his homily, the Archbishop of Military services quoted Pope Benedict XVI's message to the bishops of that region during their Ad Limina visit earlier this year, reminding them that nature of reality and moral good are in the heart of every culture.

"In America, that consensus, as enshrined in your nation's founding documents, was grounded in a worldview shaped not only by faith but a commitment to certain ethical principles deriving from nature and nature's God." (Benedict XVI, Address to Bishops of Region IV, 19.I.12.)

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