Paul Scalia, son of Justice Antonin Scalia, led part of his father’s funeral mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. (See photos of the funeral here.) Scalia is one of Antonin and Maureen Scalia’s nine children. He was also present at the lying in repose service on Friday, helping and saying a prayer for his father. Paul Scalia’s tribute and words about his father were beautiful and many people admired his strength and composure while leading his father’s funeral during what must be a time of intense grief. (If you missed the funeral, you can watch Paul Scalia’s touching homily at this link.)
Here’s what you need to know about Justice Scalia’s priest son.
1. Paul Scalia’s Composure and Grace During His Father’s Repose Ceremony and Funeral Mass Were Admired By Many
Father Paul Scalia led a prayer over his father as Justice Antonin Scalia was lying in repose on Friday in the Supreme Court Great Hall. It could not have been easy for the priest as he prayed during the family’s private ceremony. Those who heard the prayer said it was a beautiful and touching moment.
He also led Justice Scalia’s funeral on Saturday as the main celebrant and homilist. The service was a funeral mass and not a traditional Latin requiem. Scalia is active in the Latin mass movement, according to Crux Now.
People on social media took to asking friends to pray for Paul before such a difficult but honorable time. After the funeral, they commended Paul Scalia for his composure and for leading such a touching tribute to his dad:
Here are some of the words that Scalia said about his dad:
2. Scalia Is a Native Virginian Who Studied in Rome and Now Serves as the Bishop’s Delegate for Clergy
Paul Scalia serves as the Delegate for Priests in the Diocese of Arlington, according to the Institute of Catholic Culture. He obtained this position after working for three years as pastor of Saint John the Beloved Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia. Scalia is a native Virginian who got his Master of Arts degree in Rome, at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum, in 1996. He was also ordained as a priest in 1996.
When Paul Scalia began the homily for his father, he said these words:
3. He Often Writes Thoughtful Commentaries About His Faith for Catholic Publications
Scalia is a writer, much like some of his other siblings and Justice Scalia himself. Paul Scalia has published many articles for periodicals such as This Rock, First Things, Adoremus Bulletin, and Human Life Review. He also contributes regularly to the Arlington Catholic Herald and the website Encourage and Teach.
His writings are thoughtful, always encouraging his readers to deepen their faith. On January 20, he wrote an article for The Catholic Thing website titled, “Redeeming the Time” in which he exhorted his readers to not chase after time, but to redeem it for a higher purpose. In an article he wrote for Encourage and Teach, he talked about waiting on the Lord and how that time of waiting can teach and form us.
In another article he wrote for The Catholic Thing, he talked about the joy a child feels as his father tosses him into the air and catches him. He wrote that the fear we often feel is required in order to experience joy, that they can’t be separated:
“There is fear of being in the air, without support, helpless and not in control,” he wrote. “There is fear of being so dependent on this big man. But then there is the joy of being received back into his arms and brought close to him again.”
4. He Came Under Fire For His Views on Homosexuality and Abstinence
Paul Scalia made headlines for working with Courage, a Catholic organization that promotes abstinence for people with same-sex attractions. Paul founded Arlington’s Courage chapter. He was criticized by many media publications for statements that people with same-sex attractions can deny their attraction and should not label themselves gay or lesbian or homosexual, Slate reported.
5. Friends Are Supporting Paul Scalia and Speaking of the Impact He Had on Their Faith
Paul Scalia is a beloved priest that many say made a big difference in their lives and their faith. Others have taken to social media to say that they admire him for his strength and composure in the midst of grief. Here are just a few statements made in support of him: