Bishop invokes More in Red Mass homily

Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:21 PM
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ST. LOUIS, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- An Illinois Catholic bishop encouraged members of Congress to put religious beliefs before political ones in the image of Sir Thomas More.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, offered the homily at the Red Mass Sunday, a Catholic ceremony that dates to the Middle Ages focused on those seeking justice, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Paprocki -- a driving force behind the Catholic objections to an Obama administration rule requiring private employers to provide free birth control to employees with health insurance -- invoked More, who eschewed King Henry VII's split with Rome and was eventually executed for it.

"Thomas More summarizes the call of Christian discipleship and the proper perspective we must all bring to our daily work," Paprocki told the crowd in St. Louis.

Six of nine Supreme Court justices attended a similar Red Mass celebrated last month in Washington, as did many members of Congress.

Paprocki drew criticism in September for telling Catholics a vote for a pro-choice politician "places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy."

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