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Thousands attend Justice Scalia’s funeral Mass

Fr Paul Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, speaks during the funeral Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington (AP)

A funeral Mass has taken place for US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last weekend.

Thousands attended the service for Justice Scalia, a Catholic who was 79 when he died, which was held at Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic church in the United States, on Saturday, ahead of a private burial.

The service was celebrated by Fr Paul Scalia, one of Justice Scalia’s nine children. “We are gathered here because of one man. A man known personally to many of us, known only by reputation to even more, a man loved by many, scorned by others, a man known for great controversy, and for great compassion. That man, of course, is Jesus of Nazareth,” he said.

The eight remaining Supreme Court justices attended the service, with one of them, Clarence Thomas, giving a Bible reading.

On Friday, Justice Scalia’s body lay in repose in the Supreme Court’s Great Hall with President Barack Obama among 6,000 people who paid their respects.