Supreme Court Justice: I Am ‘Unapologetically Catholic’

by Alexander Slavsky  •  •  May 15, 2018

FRONT ROYAL, Va. ( – A Supreme Court justice is boldly proclaiming his Catholic faith.

On Saturday, Justice Clarence Thomas told the 39th graduating class of Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia that the school “is a decidedly Catholic college, and I am decidedly and unapologetically Catholic.”

“I have no doubt that this faith will do the same for each of you if you let it and perhaps even if you don’t; it is not a tether,” he continued. “But rather it is a guide, the way, the truth and the life.”

Christendom honored the Supreme Court justice with the Pro Deo et Patria Medal for Distinguished Service to God and Country before he addressed the graduates.

“I spent 25 years of my life in the wilderness away from the Church, and yet the clarion call of Sunday church bells never went away,” he explained to the students. “Something restrained me in those days of the 1960s and 1970s. This inner restraint was called a ‘hang-up’ or an inhibition. In fact, it was a conscience — a Catholic conscience that had been formed in a world much like this wonderful college.”

Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creatures.

He also recounted his relationship with late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, a close friend and also a devout Catholic:

Justice Scalia and I were from very different backgrounds, but we agreed on so much and trusted each other. Implicity we saw so much the same way before I arrived at the court in 1991. I had never met him, so we had no prior relationship. He provided what should have been obvious all along. Your Catholic formation was your bond. He said there it was our mutual formation of moral character since that day. I’ve thought often about it.

He ended his speech and offered advice to the graduates, saying, “Do not forget your purpose and destiny as God’s creatures. What you are in God’s sight is what you are and nothing more.”

“May God continue to bless and guide each of you throughout your life,” he said. “And I pray that you know, love and serve Him in this life so that you could be happy with him in the next. God bless you.”

Thomas is also a Natural Law jurist, who believes the Constitution is based on transcendent principles that come from God, which find their highest civic expression in the Declaration of Independence, with its language about inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” bestowed on creatures by “their Creator.”