Each November, members of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Colorado gather for a "Red Mass" commemorating the martyrdom of St. Thomas More, a lawyer who was beheaded in 1535 after refusing to renounce his faith to the king of England.
Next year, the fraternal organization probably will need to find a new venue and a new celebrant.
The Denver Roman Catholic Archdiocese is distancing itself from the group after its board of directors, in an emotional meeting Nov. 30, decided not to give Archbishop Charles Chaput final say on who receives its two annual awards.
Chaput made it clear to the group that he was upset that Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar was chosen in 2003 for an award named for More, said Laura Tighe, the guild’s incoming president.
Salazar, a Democrat and Catholic who will become a U.S. senator next month, supports abortion rights, in conflict with church teaching.
In the end, a consensus of board members voted to seek Chaput’s guidance in future award-selection processes but the group would ultimately select the winners.
"Our group felt we wanted independence," Tighe said.
"We are obviously very distinctively Catholic, but there’s a great difference on how we exercise our Catholicism. We understand the ramifications of our decision, and we will go on."
Michael Carrigan, a guild board member and former president who was recently elected to the University of Colorado Board of Regents, said the group does not look at someone’s abortion position in handing out awards, and he hopes that continues.
…"As a lifelong Catholic, I have come to recognize that the Catholic Church’s calls for social justice encompass more than one or two issues," said Carrigan, who supports abortion rights and enthusiastically introduced Salazar at the 2003 awards. [Source]
In other parts of the article lawyers worried about adopting decisions against abortion and other issues consistent with church teaching since they don’t want to hurt their chances of becoming judges. While it is true that consistent Catholics are more and more facing an unconstitutional religion test it is also true that it will only get worse if they knuckle under to society. I wonder if any of these lawyers have actually read the life of Thomas More? They have inverted St. Thomas More’s last words from " “I am the Kings good servant but Gods first” to "I am Gods good servant, but political correctness first." Again kudos to Archbishop Charles Chaput for consistently being a true shepherd of his flock.