BIDEN, SOTOMAYOR, JOIN WITH BISHOPS
CELEBRATING RED MASS
He is our country's first Catholic Vice President, but Joe Biden joined thousands of others as a humble communicant at Sunday's Red Mass, the annual votive Mass said for the opening of the Supreme Court session. Presiding at the Mass was Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston served as the homilist. Also attending the Mass was the newest Catholic Justice, Sonia Sotomayor as well as Obama cabinet secretaries Ken Salazar and Ray LaHood.
Concelebrating at St. Matthew's Cathedral alongside Archbishop Wuerl were the Archbishop of the Military Services Tim Broglio, Bishop Paul Loverde of Arlington and Washington's three auxiliaries. The Red Mass is held annually on the first Sunday of October, the eve of a new Supreme Court term. It was begun in 1954 and is sponsored by the John Carroll Society. However, its roots date from the 14th century when a Mass was held in Paris and other European capitals for the judiciary. The name comes from the red vestments worn for the votive Mass of the Holy Spirit as well as the red robes of judges at the time (with the Protestant Reformation, black replaced red for judges).
Right wing extremists called the Mass "a mockery" and led a protest against the Cathedral. The same group recently picketed the Bishops' Conference, objecting to their support for national health care.