As the nation mourns the passing of a judicial giant in Justice Scalia, Catholics take heart from his inspiring public witness to the Catholic faith.  Even as a young man, Scalia spoke in his valedictorian speech at Georgetown of having heard the “Word of Christ whispered to the soul” and of the responsibility of those “trained in reason and in faith” to follow a pathway of truth in the intellectual life.  A father of nine, and grandfather of 28, Scalia told his biographer, “Being a devout Catholic means you have children when God gives them to you.”  On the bench, however, his only allegiance was to the truth and to the Constitution.  In a 2010 interview, he said, “I don’t think there’s any such thing as a Catholic judge. The only article in faith that plays any part in my judging is the commandment, ‘Thou Shalt Not Lie.'”  May he rest in peace.

Maureen Ferguson
Senior Policy Advisor with The Catholic Association


It is impossible to overstate the impact that Justice Antonin Scalia had on American Catholics. His admonishment to be “fools for Christ” stirred an entire generation of young Catholics to be fearless in our defense of our values in public life. Antonin Scalia gave us a model of how to live a full and excellent life as lay people. Scalia made his arguments in the middle of the ring, with the perfect combination of zeal and wit. But he was so much more than a jurist. He was a father and husband who challenged the society’s assumptions about family size and professional success; he was a living reminder that one can wholeheartedly embrace both family and career in a world that so often subverts the former for the latter. Scalia gave all Catholics a permanent gift in modeling to all of us a life of virtue and excellence in service of God and country, marked with a happy and humorous vitality that should be a part of every Christian witness. He will be remembered and revered by Catholics forever.

Ashley McGuire
Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association