By Mark Abrams

WYNNEWOOD , Pa. (CBS) — Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito received an honorary degree from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary on Wednesday and addressed graduates of the Schools of Philosophy and Theology.

Supreme Court rules prohibited the recording of Justice Alito’s remarks, but we can give you a snapshot of his key topics – the First Amendment and religious freedom.

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Alito, a South Jersey native, spoke candidly about what he perceives as persistent attacks on free-speech rights and religious liberty.

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A Roman Catholic himself, Alito says he believes a shifting morality in American society has put individuals and institutions in the crosshairs of future legal challenges. And, Alito says, while the high court has a clear record of landing on the side of the First Amendment, there are a growing number of Americans who are pressing to silence the message of those with whom they disagree.

Bishop Timothy Senior, the seminary rector, says having Alito come to the concursus was as great blessing.

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“To have someone of national prominence, a national leader here, the men are honored,” Senior said. “He’s clearly a man of great conviction and commitment to principles.”