Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal Vincent Invites Legal Professionals to Be 'Missionaries of Mercy'

Cardinal Vincent delivered the homily at the annual Red Mass to call upon the Holy Spirit to guide the work of the judiciary and legal profession which took place at Westminster Cathedral on the first day of the law year, 1 October 2015.

In his homily, Cardinal Vincent invited those present to ‘reflect on the place of mercy in every aspect of the administration of justice’ and to be ‘missionaries of mercy’ who ‘live out the relationship between mercy and justice that our faith reveals to us’.

Taking as his starting point the sending of the Holy Spirit, the Cardinal explained that the Holy Spirit ‘manifests God’s justice’ and ‘also testifies to God’s mercy, and continues to make present that mercy in our lives’.

He went on to say, ‘No one exists as a matter of justice. Rather, our very existence is an act of God’s mercy, made all the more clear by the fact that our existence has a real purpose, an eternal future in the joyful presence of God.’

Looking at how those who administer justice might live out this relationship, Cardinal Vincent invited them ‘to let the Holy Spirit fire your imaginations, so to discover and create ways in which you can rightly season justice with mercy, no matter your field of law.

‘Mercy is not reserved just for those who commit crime. Mercy must also extend to their victims. And to every person.’

He enjoined them to ‘seek, too, the place of mercy in the way you treat everyone you meet in your courts, your chambers, your offices’.

Finally he called them to ‘welcome into your hearts the Holy Spirit who keeps us ever sensitive to the suffering and weakness of others, respecting always whatever human dignity demands as their due’.

The principal celebrant of the Red Mass this year was Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Papal Nuncio.

Arrangements for the Mass are made each year by the Thomas More Society, whose membership comprises mainly Roman Catholic members of the Judiciary and Bar as well as solicitors.

The full text of the Cardinal's homily is available here.

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