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Paul Scalia: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Father Paul Scalia leads a prayer during a private ceremony for his father Justice Antonin Scalia. (Getty)

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:

Justice Antonin Scalia’s Funeral: Photos of the Mass

Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral mass is today. See photos of the beautiful ceremony and family and friends who attended.

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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:

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Justice Antonin Scalia had nine children and scores of grandchildren. These are photos of his family and tributes from his grandchildren and children.

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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.”

Justice Antonin Scalia’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Justice Antonin Scalia had nine children and scores of grandchildren. Find out what they are up to now, see photos, and read what they've said to honor him.

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4. He Came Under Fire For His Views on Homosexuality and Abstinence

paul scalia

Paul Scalia stands at the door as his mother, Maureen Scalia, widow of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, is escorted by family members out of the court building to receive her husband’s casket. (Getty)

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.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s Children: Photos of His Family

Justice Scalia and Maureen had nine children. These are photos and bios of Scalia's accomplished children, from lawyers to a priest leading his funeral.

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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:

Justice Scalia’s Funeral: Videos From the Ceremony

Here are videos from Justice Scalia's funeral, including the touching homily delivered by his son, Paul Scalia. Find out how to watch the entire service here.

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Why Isn’t Obama Going to Scalia’s Funeral?

President Barack Obama will not be attending Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral. Find out why and what happened at other Supreme Court Justices' funerals.

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Justice Antonin Scalia: Photos of the Lying in Repose Ceremony

Today is the lying in repose ceremony to honor Justice Antonin Scalia. These are photos of the ceremony and the people who attended.

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7 comments

  1. In point #2 above, you leave out the most important line of the quote which began the homily, the last line: “That man, is Jesus of Nazareth.” To miss that is to miss the power of this beautiful homily. Fr. Scalia preached the Gospel simply and clearly. The Gospel that his father believed. And the Gospel that is centered in the person and work of Jesus Christ for each of us.

  2. It is admirable that Fr Scalia was able to get a chapter of Courage, the Catholic apostolate for people with same-sex attraction, started. However the part in this article about that is a little inaccurate. Courage is FOR people who are same-sex attracted, they do not deny they are same-sex attracted. They just don’t claim that that experience is a fundamental identity, or that it compels them to actively engage in same-sex sexual activity or actively engage in sexual fantasy or pornography, and they want to live chastely and in keeping with God’s plan. Often they’re deeply grateful God has forgiven them of past sexual sins and set them free from a lifestyle and subculture that was harming them, often in really obvious ways. It would be a slander against people attracted to the same sex to say they are incapable of the virtue of chastity. They’re as much able to live a holy and faithful life as any of the rest of us. There are so many people today who seem to think people are incapable of living without sexual gratification, but they betray a very low opinion of humanity and an incredibly impoverished idea of what is human fulfillment. A good priest like Father Scalia is the opposite of that pessimism.