Justice Antonin Scalia was known as a devout Catholic who was never shy about his Christian faith.
He attended Xavier High School in New York City and Georgetown University, both Jesuit institutions. His son Paul is a Catholic priest in Virginia.
Catholic New Service reports how in 1992 Scalia spoke to students at Washington’s Georgetown Visitation High School about his devout upbringing and what it meant to him.
“When I was the age of you young ladies, the church provided obtrusive reminders that we were different,” he said. He said meatless Fridays and Sunday morning fasts before receiving Communion “were not just to toughen us up” but to “require us to be out of step.”
More recently, Scalia told Catholic school children in Louisiana in January that America has been blessed because it honors God.
“I think one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done Him honor. Unlike the other countries of the world that do not even invoke His name we do Him honor,” he said.
“In presidential addresses, in Thanksgiving proclamations and in many other ways. There is nothing wrong with that and do not let anybody tell you that there is anything wrong with that,” he said.
In a 1999 article from Bangor Daily News, Scalia is quoted in a speech to a Catholic lawyers and judges as saying, “It is my hope that I have imparted, to those already wise in Christ, the courage to have their wisdom regarded as stupidity. Are we thought to be fools? No doubt. But as St. Paul wrote in Corinthians, we are fools for Christ’s sake.”
“Are we thought to be easily led and childish? Didn’t Christ constantly describe us as his sheep and say we would not get to heaven unless we became like little children?” he asked.
Scalia urged them to demonstrate “the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world for these seeming failings of ours.”
“We lawyers and intellectuals who do not like to be regarded as unsophisticated can have no greater model than the patron saint of lawyers, the urbane, foolish, childish St. Thomas More. St. Thomas, pray for us,” he said.
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