Justice tells seminary grads religious liberty under threat

Written by The Associated Press | May 17, 2017 3:19 PM

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, right, receives an honorary degree from Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput during a graduation ceremony in Saint Martin of Tours Chapel at the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., Wednesday, May 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Wynnewood) -- Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has told graduates at a historic Roman Catholic seminary near Philadelphia freedom of religion and freedom of speech are essential to a democracy and are under threat in the United States.

Alito made the remarks during Wednesday's ceremony at the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary near Wynnewood.

He warns of what he sees as an increasing impulse to ban speech some people might find offensive. He says religious liberty is being tested.

Alito quoted his own dissent in the Supreme Court's landmark same-sex marriage case and cited reactions to other cases he says show hostility toward people with traditional moral beliefs.

He urged the graduates to "keep the flame" of those freedoms in "the hearts of our fellow Americans."

Alito was awarded an honorary degree.

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