Thousands Attend Traditional Catholic Funeral Mass For Justice Antonin Scalia

Thousands Attend Traditional Catholic Funeral Mass For Justice Antonin Scalia

Thousands of mourners attended Antonin Scalia's funeral mass on Saturday a week after the Supreme Court justice died suddenly at 79.

The devoutly religous jurist's Catholic ceremony had all the traditional pageantry he was known to love--as well as some humor thrown in--and was led by his son Paul, who is a priest.

"Sure he forgot our names at times or mixed them up, but there are nine of us," Scalia joked. "He loved us and sought to show that love and sought to share the blessing of the faith he treasured."

Rev. Scalia even joked about a time when his father accidentally stood in line to give confessional to his own son.

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"He quickly departed it. As he put it later, 'Like heck if I'm confessing to you,'" Rev. Scalia said. "The feeling was mutual."

Among the mourners were Vice President Joe Biden and former Vice President Dick Cheney, members of Congress and all eight sitting justices of the Supreme Court, according to the Associated Press.

Senator Ted Cruz was also in attendance. The Republican presidential hopeful suspended his campaigning to attend the funeral just as voters in South Carolina lined up at their polling places to decide their choice in the Republican primary.

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Also of note was at least one statesman who was not in attendance, the president himself. Despite criticism fron both the left and the right, Obama chose not to attend the mass. 

Instead, the president chose to pay his respects as Scalia's body lay in repose inside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on Friday.

Appointed by Reagan in 1986, Scalia was seen as the high court's loudest and proudest conservative voice. He gave opinions that were often derisive in the face of such controversial topics as same-sex marriage and Obamacare.

He died last weekend on a Texas ranch during a quail hunting trip.

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