During the weeks and months leading up to the confirmation, Sotomayor met with confirmation teachers at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington D.C. to review the Catholic Catechism. She studied such cases as David v. Goliath, Jonah v. Whale and, the civil suit, Jesus Christ v. Judas Iscariot.
Sotomayor’s confirmation classes did not transpire without controversy. When studying a passage in the bible about the trial of Jesus Christ, Sotomayor remarked that she would have judged him differently. She added, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a Roman male who hasn’t lived that life.”
Conservative Catholics criticized Sotomayor’s credentials and temperament. Thomas Sanderson, a spokesman for the Knights of Columbus, argued that Sotomayor should not be confirmed. He added, “She may have gone to a Catholic high school, but she’s hardly Catholic. She got divorced, she attends Mass only on Christmas and Easter, she does not tithe, and we do not know her views on abortion or gay marriage.”
Nevertheless, Sotomayor was still confirmed. During the confirmation Mass, Bishop Patrick O’Callaghan (R-VA) asked Sotomayor several difficult questions about her faith such as “do you believe in God, the Creator?” and “do you believe in the Holy Ghost and in the Catholic Church?” Dressed in her own judge robe, Sotomayor showed no emotion as she responded “I believe” to each question. When asked if she renounced Satan and all his scandal in the world, she quickly responded positively.
Following the affirmation of her faith, Sotomayor — who chose Maria as her saint name in honor of her Latina roots — was blessed with chrism (a holy oil) by Bishop O’Callaghan. After she was blessed, her sponsor, Vice President Joe Biden, whispered an unknown comment in her ear.
Celina Baez, Sotomayor’s mother wiped away tears as she praised her daughter’s accomplishments, “I never thought I’d see this day. She’s an example to all Latinas. Her father, Juan, would be so proud. May he rest in peace.”
The Sotomayor and Biden family celebration the confirmation with a dinner of lechón asado con arroz y gandules.
Article written for Puro Pedo Magazine