Return to Transcripts main page

CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Scalia Funeral Coverage; Talking about Scalia's Career. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired February 20, 2016 - 12:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PRIEST: God the almighty Father raised Christ his son from the dead. With confidence we asks him to save all his people living and dead.

For Antonin, when baptism was given the pledge of eternal life, that he may now be admitted to the company of the saints. We pray to the Lord.

ALL: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: For our brother Antonin, who ate the body of Christ, the bread of life, that he may be raised up on the last day. We pray to the Lord.

ALL: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: For our deceased relatives and friends, and for all who have helped us that they may have the reward of their goodness. We pray to the Lord.

ALL: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: For those who have fallen asleep in the hope of rising again, that they may see God face to face. We pray to the Lord.

ALL: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: For the family and friends of our brother Antonin that the lord who wept at the death of his friend Lazarus may now console them in their grief. We pray to the Lord.

ALL: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: For all of us assembled here to worship in faith, that we may be gathered together again in God's kingdom, we pray to the Lord.

ALL: Lord, hear our prayer.

PRIEST: God our shelter and our strength, you listen in love to the cry of your people, hear the prayers we offer for Antonin, cleanse him of his sins and grant him the fullness of redemption, through Christ our Lord.

ALL: Amen.

(CHOIR SINGING)

[12:08:53]

PRIEST: Pray brethren that my sacrifice and yours maybe acceptable to God, the Almighty Father.

ALL: May the Lord accept this sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy church.

PRIEST: As we humbly present these sacrificial offerings, O Lord, for the salvation of your servant, Antonin, we beseech your mercy that he who did not doubt your son to be a loving savior may find in him a merciful judge who lives and reigns forever and ever.

ALL: Amen.

PRIEST: The Lord be with you.

ALL: And with your spirit.

PRIEST: Lift up your hearts.

ALL: We lift them up to the Lord.

PRIEST: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

ALL: It is right and just.

PRIEST: It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation always and everywhere to give you thanks. Lord holy father almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.

[12:10:12]In him the hope of blessed resurrection has dawned, that those saddened by the certainty of dying might be consoled by the promise of immortality to come.

Indeed for your faithful Lord life is changed not ended and when this earthly dwelling turns to dust and eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven.

And so with angels and arch angels, with rooms and dominions, with all the host and powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory as without end we pray.

(CHOIR SINGING)

PRIEST: To you, therefore, most merciful Father, we make humble prayer and petition through Jesus Christ your son, our Lord, that you accept and bless these gifts, these offerings. These holy unblemished sacrifices for the holy Catholic Church.

Be please to grant her peace to guard, unite and govern her throughout the whole world, together with your servant, Francis, our pope, Donald our bishop, all those that hold him to the truth on the Catholic and apostolic faith. Remember, Lord, your servants. And all gathered here whose faith and devotion are known to you, for them we offer you the sacrifice of praise or they offer it for themselves and all those dear to them for the redemption of their souls and hope of health and well-being, paying their homage to you the eternal God, living and true.

In communion with those whose memory we venerate, especially the glorious ever Virgin Mary. Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ, and blessed Joseph, apostles and martyrs, Peter, Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon Jude, Cornelius, John and Paul, Damien and all your saints.

We ask that through their merits and prayers and all things we may be defended by your protecting help. Therefore, Lord, we pray graciously accept this of our service and family, order our days of peace and command that we be delivered from eternal damnation, counted among the flock of those that have chosen.

Be pleased, O God, we pray to bless, acknowledge, and approve this offering in every respect. Make it spiritual and acceptable so that it may become for us the body and blood of your most beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

On the day before he was to suffer, he took bread in his holy and venerable hands, with eyes raised to heaven to you, oh God, his almighty Father, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples saying take this all of you and eat of it. For this is my body which will be given up for you.

In a similar way when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice in his holy, venerable hands, and once again said the blessing, gave the chalice to the disciples saying take this all of you and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant which will be poured out for you and many for the forgiveness of sins.

[12:15:14]Do this in memory of me.

(CHOIR SINGING)

PRIEST: Therefore, o Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of the blessed passion, the resurrection from the dead, and the glorious ascension into heaven of Christ your son, our Lord, we your servants and your holy people offer to your glorious majesty from the gifts you have given us this pure victim, this holy victim, this thoughtless victim, the holy bread of eternal life and the chalice of everlasting salvation.

Be pleased to look upon these offerings with the serene, kindly countenance and accept them as once you are pleased to accept the gifts of your servant, able and just, sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and offering of your high priest (inaudible), a holy sacrifice.

In humble prayer, we ask you almighty God, command these gifts born from your holy angel in the sight of divine majesty, so all of us through this participation at the altar receive the most holy body and blood of your son, may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing.

Remember your servants that have gone before us with a sign of faith and rest in the sleep of peace. Grant them and all who sleep in Christ refreshment of light and peace.

To us also your servants, sinners hope in your abundant mercies, graciously grant some share and fellowship with holy apostles and martyrs, John the Baptist, Barnabus, Ignatius, Alexander, Peter, Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia and all your saints.

Admit us we beseech you into their company not weighing our merits, but granting our pardon through Christ our Lord, through whom you continue to make all these good things, o Lord. You sanctify them, fill them with life, bless them, and bestow them upon us.

Through him and with him and in him, O God, Almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours forever and ever.

ALL: Amen, amen, amen.

PRIEST: At the savior's command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say, our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Deliver us Lord we pray from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days that by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ.

[12:20:12]ALL: For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

PRIEST: Lord Jesus Christ, you said to the apostles, peace I leave you, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your church and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will, who live and reign forever and ever.

ALL: Amen.

PRIEST: The peace of the lord be with you always.

ALL: And with your spirit.

(CHOIR SINGING)

PRIEST: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world, blessed are those called to the supper of the lamb.

ALL: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter unto my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall leave.

(CHOIR SINGING)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The reception of communion now getting under way here at the service. I want to bring in Father Edward Beck, CNN religion commentator, to explain what's going on right now as we watch this process unfold. Father Beck?

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Wolf, we are having all of the celebrating priests, of which you see are many, receiving communion. Then they'll take their positions and start to administer Holy Communion to the faithful gathered for the funeral.

It was interesting to me that in Cardinal Whirl's opening comments, he said that he would be briefed because the family preferred a simple parish mass and he laughed because this is anything but a simple parish mass. It has been a highly reverential, very traditional, very solemn funeral mass.

I think what we see the full pageantry and display of the Catholic Church, which of course Justice Scalia very much revered. I was touched in the homily of his son. It was a very theological homily.

He allowed some anecdote especially when he said that his father got in his confession line by mistake, when he found out that his son was sitting in the confession box got off that line and scolded him later that evening and said like hell if I'm going to confess to you, or said heck, excuse me.

And I thought it was nice that there was some personal anecdote in there because, of course, it is not easy to preach the homily at the funeral mass of your father and he did keep it very theological and yet, it was nice to see a personal touch in that homily as well.

BLITZER: Certainly it was, Jake Tapper. Father Paul Scalia, he spoke beautifully, very stoically, and clearly was choking back a bit, but it was really powerful.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "THE LEAD": Very powerful, very suitable for this moment. Let's take a step back and reflect on what we've seen here today as we bid adieu to Justice Antonin Scalia, who has been revered and celebrated even by people who even disagreed with his views very strongly.

A giant in the American justice system, somebody who has been on the Supreme Court for three decades, revered not just for his legal mind, but also the traditions he revered, and traditions he shaped on the Supreme Court as well as the gift of friendship he bestowed on so many people in Washington, D.C. and beyond.

Let's bring in Joan Biskupic. Joan, one of the things Father Beck was talking about, how difficult this must have been for Justice Scalia's son, Father Paul Scalia, to have presided over as celebrant and the homily. Tell us about that.

JOAN BISKUPIC: Yes, Jake, the son certainly rose to the occasion, didn't he? I was struck by he has a resemblance to him a bit. I know Justice Scalia's eldest son, Gene the best. And he has a little dark Italian in him. There is something about the face of Father Paul as he was standing up there, very much recalled the justice.

I thought his approach recalled the justice a bit, too, was obviously laced with humor, but he wasn't going to let anyone off the hook, including his father when he referred to the fact that he was always practicing his Catholicism, practicing to get better. And in death he urged congregants to pray for his father at this moment.

And I thought that was quite striking. I thought his measured tones were like Justice Scalia when he was at his most solemn. We talk so much during the course of the day about his wise cracks, fiery approach to the law, but he could be so serious. And, just seeing that son there with the big square face and wire rim glasses as I said reminded me of the man himself.

The other thing I wanted to mention, Justice Scalia loved the religious services and he was once a chorister himself. He sang with the Rockefeller treble choir when he was at University of Chicago teaching. And I couldn't help but be reminded as I listened to the choir singing today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, the very moving service, and the fact that it was presided over by Father Paul, Scalia's son, made it more so. Jeffrey Toobin, this is not just a big moment for obviously the Scalia family, this is a big moment for the American family as people bid adieu to this giant of a justice.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know Antonin Scalia was, I think, the only larger than life figure on the Supreme Court. He just was someone who exuded a kind of charisma and importance that, frankly that the don't. And it seems to me very suitable that he is getting a sendoff on this scale.

This is an enormous funeral. It is in keeping with the moment for the court he loved so much. This is a turning point in the history of the court. It is by no means clear what direction it will go, from a purely practical, political point of view, there are four liberals on the court, four conservatives, and some president, whether this one or the next one, will pick Justice Scalia's replacement and his legacy may be enhanced by a conservative justice, if a new president picks one, or may be frankly overturned by five liberals.

And that's a big moment in American history. We rarely see a pivot that is obviously turned on one man's a departure from the court. And this grand funeral, I think is symbolic how important he was.

A huge role, huge role in American judicial life, huge role in American public life, Wolf Blitzer.

BLITZER: You know it's really amazing when you think of about the enormity of what will unfold, this is not four years or six years or eight. For 30 years there could be enormous change on the U.S.in the Supreme Court.

And this is symbolic of that change, the power of this service.

Pamela Brown, you covered the Supreme Court for us. I suspect this is precisely the kind of service, this mass that Justice Scalia himself would have adore.

BROWN: Absolutely, not only that, the fact that it is led by his son Paul, he was so proud that his son was a priest, that they grew up, this was a Roman Catholic family.

Every Sunday they went to mass. One of his sons wrote an article about that in "The Washington Post" about how Justice Scalia when he was at mass, he took it very seriously and also true to form he would sometimes look at his wife Maureen if he didn't agree with what the priest said and shake his head.

But one time he said, you know, our son Paul took one for the team, talking about becoming a priest. You have to imagine he would have been so proud and also to give his son so much credit here, how emotional this must have been to read the homily, but also he was a grieving son. But I also think, you know, people that knew Justice Scalia would say he was just as comfortable in the church as he was on the bench, and I can't imagine a more appropriate ceremony for him today.

BLITZER: It is an amazing family, John, you wrote the biography of Justice Scalia, nine children, 36 grandchildren, a very warm, loving family. That certainly came through with Father Paul Scalia at this who delivered this amazing, wonderful homily.

(JOHN): It did. I loved the line how sometimes the dead would forget the names of the kids, you know, shout out, to one, he John, over here, oh, I meant Gene. But you know, every time I would visit I would say what number grandchild are you up to. And the last time I say, he said, you know, we have a nice even three dozen. And frankly I wouldn't be surprised if upcoming months it moved up to 37 because he did -- the family did go forth and multiply.

[12:35:00] And he was -- one thing he said about his marriage to Maureen whom he met some 55, 56 years ago when they were both students in Cambridge, Massachusetts, him at Harvard, her at Radcliffe, was how they were bound by their Catholicism.

They made it a mission in life to have all these children together and you can see how close they are. I never doubted that they were a close family from how I understood them over the years, but as Father Paul Scalia spoke and talked about it in this moment they are especially close. You could really feel it. It certainly resonated there in the Basilica.

BLITZER: Yeah, let's go back to the service at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us pray. Lord God whose son left us in the sacrament of His body, food for the

journey. Mercifully grant that strengthened by yours, our brother Antonin may come to the Eternal table of Christ. Who lives and reigns forever, and ever.

CHORUS: Amen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With faith in Jesus Christ, we must reverently bury the body of our brother. Let us pray with confidence to God in whose sight all creation lives, that he will raise up in holiness and power, the mortal body of our brother, and command his soul to be numbered among the blessed.

May God grant him merciful judgment, deliverance from death and pardon for sin. May Christ the good shepherd carry him home to be at peace with the Father. May he rejoice forever in the presence of the Eternal King and in the company of all the saints.

(SINGING)

[12:41:19] Into your hands, father of mercies, we commend our Brother Antonin in the sure and certain hope that together with all who have died in Christ he will rise with him on the last day.

We give you thanks for the blessings which are bestowed on Antonin in his life. They're signs to us of your goodness and of our fellowship with the saints in Christ.

Merciful Lord, turn toward us and listen to our prayers. Open the gates of paradise to your servant and help us who remain to comfort one another with assurances of faith until we all meet in Christ and are with you and with our brother forever. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In peace let us take our brother to his place of rest.

(SINGING)

[12:45:00] (ORGAN PLAYING)

[12:50:00] (ORGAN PLAYING)

[12:55:00] (SINGING)