I am a conservative evangelical who has a few questions about praying for the dead, as in the case of Justice Antonin Scalia. I realty admired Justice Scalia and thought he was a fine man and a great justice of the Supreme Court.
I watched his funeral mass last Saturday and was fascinated by it. I tried to take it all in and understand as much as I could. At one point his son, Father Scalia, who officiated, humbly asked everyone to pray for his father who had passed away a week before the funeral.
I’m trying to better understand why he did that.
Is he presuming that Justice Scalia went to Purgatory and needs prayers to lessen his time there?
If number 1 above is not correct, I am wondering why he would ask that. In my faith tradition, when a person dies, they are believed to go straight to the judgment seat of Christ. By the time of the funeral a week later, presumably the Lord would’ve already made up His mind about the fate of Justice Scalia. I personally hope he is now in heaven with the Lord enjoying his heavenly reward. .
Using a courtroom analogy, it’s not like Jesus calls a recess and waits to hear how many prayers are made on behalf of Judge Scalia before He pronounces judgment, right? I am just trying to better understand why prayers are being asked for Justice Scalia a week after his passing, unless he is presumed to be in Purgatory.
If indeed he was received into heaven, I would assume that a devout Catholic would be asking for the prayers of Justice Scalia now and not the other way around. Please forgive my lack of understanding on this subject. Much appreciated. :tiphat: