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"Outrageously" Pro-Life

National political happenings seem like hometown news when you live in the Washington DC suburbs like I do. This past Monday, the Diocese of Washington celebrated the annual Red Mass to mark the beginning of the Supreme Court’s session. Justices in attendance included Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., and Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, and Samuel Alito, Jr. One justice who was definitely not in attendance was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She described her feelings about the Red Mass with these words:

Before every session [of the court], there's a Red Mass. 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

Justice Ginsberg, you knew you were going to a Catholic Mass. You had to know the Catholic position on abortion. Were you really surprised by what you heard? Are you really so arrogant as to think that Catholic teaching will be modified to accommodate your liberal sensibilities?

This year’s Red Mass featured a homily by Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan. Do read the whole thing. It is probably best that Justice Ginsberg stayed away since she would have been offended by these words:

Yes, "ideas have consequences," and perhaps a way to view our participation in this annual Red Mass in our nation's capital is as our humble prayer for the red-hot fire of the Holy Spirit, bringing the jurists, legislators, and executives of our government the wisdom to recognize that we are indeed made in God's image, that deep in our being is the life of God, and then to give them the courage to judge, legislate, and administer based on the consequences of that conviction: the innate dignity and inviolability of every human life, and the cultivation of a society of virtue to support that belief.

As I say to young people being confirmed, think how differently you would treat yourselves -- always with dignity and respect -- if you believed you were a vessel of the divine, and think how you would treat others if you held that they were, too.

… Maybe we're here because we realistically acknowledge that, in a world where we're tempted to act like animals instead of like God's icon, in a culture where life itself can be treated as a commodity, seen as a means to an end, or as an inconvenience when tiny or infirm, in a society where rights are reduced to whatever we have the urge to do instead of what we ought to do in a civil society, we need all the wisdom and fortitude God can give us, as civic leaders, magistrates, as ordinary citizens, to achieve, as Cardinal James Gibbons exhorted, "liberty without license, authority without despotism."

Be sure to keep our justices and legislators in your prayers. Perhaps we should offer a special prayer for Justice Ginsberg. We should pray that the hardness of her heart will be softened by the Holy Spirit and she will recognize the Divine dignity of all human life from conception to natural death. Perhaps she will one day find herself “outrageously” pro-life.


Jim said…
I find it both amusing and rather telling that Justice Ginsburg, when first nominated to the Supreme Court, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she would not discuss her own personal views on subjects like abortion and other issues because she feared that in expressing a personal opinion, her objectivity might be called into question should a case involving those issues ever come before the Supreme Court. Now that she has been confirmed and holds lifetime tenure, she apparently has no problem whatsoever discussing her personal opinions on a host of issues that might come before the SCOTUS.

Incidentally, I would be willing to lay odds that Justice Scalia and his wife, Maureen, the proud Catholic parents of nine children including one great priest, were not at all ashamed that they heard a Cardinal deliver a pro-life homily, Justice Ginsburg's words to the contrary notwithstanding.
Jennifer F. said…
Wow, thank you for sharing this. We went to our local Red Mass last night. It was so beautiful.

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