1 Year Later: Fr. Paul Scalia’s funeral sermon

Thanks to Father Z for highlighting this outstanding homily given by Father Paul Scalia during the Requiem Mass for his father, Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on 13th February 2016.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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6 Responses to 1 Year Later: Fr. Paul Scalia’s funeral sermon

  1. J. P. says:

    Justice Antonin Scalia favoured capital punishment and when in Ireland at a public meeting in Trinity College, Dublin said so. The Encyclical Evangelium Vitae from Saint Pope John Paul II disapproved of capital punishment.

  2. The Raven says:

    Evangelium Vitae affirmed the teaching in CCC 2266, John. His appeal for a consensus to end capital punishment came later in 1999.

    From recollection, Pope Benedict, as prefect of the CDF, stated that this was a matter on which Catholics may legitimately differ.

  3. J.P. says:

    The Raven@16.16. The affirmation in Evangelium Vitae (1995), contained in paragraph 56, is tentative and not the enthusiastic support given to capital punishment articulated by Justice Scalia when he addressed students at Trinity College Dublin as late as 2011 at which time Saint Pope John Paul’s disapproval of such life-taking was well known. It sits uncomfortably with the pro life sentiments I understand that Justice Scalia had.
    I am not aware of what Pope Benedict may have said on this matter. I should indeed be surprised if he supported Justice Scalia’s stand.

  4. The Raven says:

    The document that I had in mind was “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles,” 3:

    Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father (John Paul II) on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

    Even using the formulation given by Pope St John Paul II, capital punishment can be carried out justly against a murderer who has been justly convicted. Abortion, however, is always and in every situation grave sin and can never be justified in any sense. For that reason one cannot dismiss someone as not being ‘pro-life’ simply because they believe that the conditions for justly imposing a sentence of death can be met.

    For my own part, I am inclined to doubt that we can ever have sufficient confidence in the justness of verdict to justly impose a sentence of death under peacetime conditions. I specifically recall the case of the late Stefan Kiszko, who should have been acquitted, but would have been hanged had the death penalty still been in force at the time (even given the primitive state of forensic science at the time of his conviction, the police case was entirely unjustified).

  5. Jude Punch says:

    The Raven,The Stefan Kiszko case which you cite is one good reason for the abolition of capital punishment. The danger of punishing an innocent man. Paragraph 56,subparagraph 2 of Evangelium Vitae states,inter alia,’… punishment ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity… in other words when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society….. such cases are very rare if not practically non existent’.That is a long way from Justice Scalia’s stand on capital punishment which shocked some people listening to him here in Dublin in 2011 since it was abolished by statute in the Republic of Ireland in 1964 I understand that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have long since expressed disapproval of capital punishment.

  6. The Raven says:

    This is always an issue on which there have been strong opposing views and there are some cases, Levi Bellfield being one in point, where the guilt of the offender is established without doubt, the chances of rehabilitation are minimal and the risks to his fellow inmates and prison staff would, in my view, come within the limits set by CCC 2266.

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