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Who can have a Catholic funeral?
Deacon's Bench ^ | August 27, 2009 | DEACON GREG KANDRA

Posted on 08/27/2009 5:30:19 AM PDT by NYer

Some people might be wondering -- especially in light of the death of Ted Kennedy.

My understanding has always been that every baptized Catholic, with few exceptions, has the right to a Catholic burial. But, of course, there are nuances and gray areas. And exceptions can often be a matter of personal opinion or prudential judgment.

Zenit, as fate would have it, posted this primer from Canon Law just a few days ago:

The Church is usually generous toward the deceased, within limits.

First, we must distinguish between offering a funeral Mass and celebrating a Mass whose intention is the eternal repose of a particular soul.

Since the latter is basically the private intention of the priest, albeit offered at the request of a particular person, and since there are practically no limitations as to whom we may pray for, almost any intention can be admitted. In cases that might cause scandal, especially if the person were denied a funeral Mass, it would not be prudent to make this intention public.

A funeral Mass on the other hand is basically a public act in which the Church intercedes for the deceased by name. A funeral Mass is one which uses the formulas found in the Roman Missal and the ritual for funerals. Some of these formulas may be used even if the deceased's body is not present.

Because of its public nature the Church's public intercession for a departed soul is more limited. A funeral Mass can be celebrated for most Catholics, but there are some specific cases in which canon law requires the denial of a funeral Mass.

Canons 1184-1185 say:
"Canon 1184 §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals:
1/ notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics;
2/ those who chose the cremation of their bodies for reasons contrary to Christian faith;
3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.

"§2. If any doubt occurs, the local ordinary is to be consulted, and his judgment must be followed.

"Canon 1185. Any funeral Mass must also be denied a person who is excluded from ecclesiastical funerals."
In fact, these strictures are rarely applied. In part, this is because many sinners do show signs of repentance before death.

Likewise, the canons are open to some interpretation. In No. 1184 §1 notorious would mean publicly known. Therefore someone who had abandoned the faith and joined some other group would be denied a funeral; someone who harbored private doubts or disagreements would not.

Cases of those who choose cremation for reasons contrary to the faith are extremely rare and are hard to prove (see the follow-up in our column of Nov. 29, 2005).

The most delicate cases are those in No. 1184 §1.3. Many canonists say that for denial of a funeral the person must be both widely known to be living in a state of grave sin and that holding a Church funeral would cause scandal.

About a year ago in Italy the Church denied an ecclesiastical funeral for a nationally known campaigner for euthanasia who requested and obtained the removal of his life-support system. In this case the request for a funeral for someone who was only nominally Catholic was in itself a publicity stunt for the organization behind the campaign. Likewise, someone subject to excommunication or interdict (for example, a Catholic abortionist) would be denied a funeral.

Given the severity of the requirements for denial of an ecclesiastical funeral, people in irregular marriages and suicides should not usually be denied a funeral. In such cases denial of the funeral is more likely than not to be counterproductive and cause unnecessary misunderstanding and bitterness. The Church intercedes for the soul and leaves final judgment to God.
I'm sure that doesn't cover everything. But it's a very good start for those curious about this sort of thing.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; funeral; kennedy

1 posted on 08/27/2009 5:30:19 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...
The Church intercedes for the soul and leaves final judgment to God.
2 posted on 08/27/2009 5:30:49 AM PDT by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer
I would enjoy watching another Yasser Arafat style funeral...

Fly the body in, shoot up the helicopter blades, fire into the air while dragging the body through the streets, watching people keel over wounded from the bullets raining back down and conclude by throwing the body into a hole in the street and covering it up as quickly as possible.

3 posted on 08/27/2009 5:40:13 AM PDT by Deaf Smith
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To: NYer

It is my understanding that you can have a Catholic burial as long as you haven’t been formally excommunicated by the Church and didn’t have the excommunication revoked. As in Post #2, the priest performs a Mass of Catholic burial because no one knows what reparations the deceased made before dying except God or his/her confessor.


4 posted on 08/27/2009 5:43:48 AM PDT by murron (Proud Marine Mom)
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To: NYer
Of course if a person is a pro-abortion "Catholic",
they are given a Catholic burial anyway.
5 posted on 08/27/2009 5:47:08 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: NYer

“Cases of those who choose cremation for reasons contrary to the faith “

Wonder what that is. The Catholic Church allows cremations now, so how does this fit in?


6 posted on 08/27/2009 6:26:35 AM PDT by cowtowney
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To: cowtowney

“Cases of those who choose cremation for reasons contrary to the faith “

“Wonder what that is. The Catholic Church allows cremations now, so how does this fit in?”

Pouring gasoline on yourself and lighting a match...


7 posted on 08/27/2009 6:29:38 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: kellynla
I suspect the real reason Ted Kennedy's funeral Mass is being help in Massachusetts is that the Bishop of DC may have insisted on a low-key funeral Mass that had no Obama eulogy.
8 posted on 08/27/2009 6:43:21 AM PDT by utahagen
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To: NYer
If New Jersey mobsters get Catholic funerals, I'm sure Teddy is right there in the mix. Besides, all the “catholics” in Mass vote for Bwarney Fwank and Kerry every time their tickets need punched. They overwhelmingly voted for Obama even knowing the only bill he ever got passed was to kill babies after their birth if mommy didn't want them.

The world we live in now allows Pelosi to challenge the pope that abortion isn't settled theology. I'm still wondering why she wasn't put on the rack to explain catholic dogma to her.

9 posted on 08/27/2009 6:43:51 AM PDT by chuckles
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To: NYer
Who can have a Catholic funeral? = Answer:

History has proven that in RC it doesn't matter how corrupt or evil you are, or what you have done just so long as you or your relatives have the money to pay up and grease the skids and palms of those in power within the RC church. This also holds true for marriage annulments; just ask Teddy, or Al Capone... oh you can't, they are is still dead.

This also holds true for taking communion, you can be a powerful RC politician and kill (Teddy boy) or support the murder of unborn MILLIONS for years and "the church" will perpetually give you a pass and let you partake... just so long as they continue to get their cut and their influence. Just ask Kerry, Dean, Pelosi, etc...

10 posted on 08/27/2009 7:06:38 AM PDT by Jmouse007 (hank you)
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To: Jmouse007
Um, I don't think Al Capone had a Catholic funeral. Mobsters, nowadays, aren't really allowed. The NY mob actually has its own cemetery, St.John the Baptist, which isn't consecrated. Being buried in an unconsecrated cemetery is just as big an issue to Catholics as not having a Catholic funeral.

I certainly hope Teddy reconciled with God before his death and had a true general confession. That's between him and God. May God have mercy on his soul.

11 posted on 08/27/2009 7:14:18 AM PDT by Desdemona (True Christianity requires open hearts and open minds - not blind hatred.)
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To: Desdemona
"The memory of the righteous is blessed,

But the name of the wicked will rot." (Proverbs 10:7)

12 posted on 08/27/2009 7:20:31 AM PDT by Jmouse007 (hank you)
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To: NYer
The Church intercedes for the soul and leaves final judgment to God.

*******************

Amen.

13 posted on 08/27/2009 7:24:13 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: murron
the priest performs a Mass of Catholic burial because no one knows what reparations the deceased made before dying except God or his/her confessor.

You're correct. In the case of Ted Kennedy, we do know the name of his confessor.

14 posted on 08/27/2009 7:41:25 AM PDT by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: cowtowney
Wonder what that is. The Catholic Church allows cremations now, so how does this fit in?

Actually the Catholic Church dissuades cremation. However, in those instances where the individual has chosen cremation, the funeral mass is to take place before the cremation, not afterwards.

When is cremation allowed?

While the Church still prefers full body burial or entombment, after the manner of Christ's own burial, out of respect for the human body and belief in the Resurrection, cremation may be chosen in exceptional circumstances for "sufficient reason." Here are some general considerations to keep in mind when facing the question of cremation:


15 posted on 08/27/2009 7:48:42 AM PDT by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: utahagen

“I suspect the real reason Ted Kennedy’s funeral Mass is being help in Massachusetts is that the Bishop of DC may have insisted on a low-key funeral Mass that had no Obama eulogy.”

don’t know and don’t care...

for Kennedy’s sake, I hope he made a good Confession before he “checked out”...


16 posted on 08/27/2009 8:01:08 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: NYer

Maybe I missed it. Who is his confessor?


17 posted on 08/27/2009 8:10:10 AM PDT by murron (Proud Marine Mom)
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To: Desdemona
Um, I don't think Al Capone had a Catholic funeral. Mobsters, nowadays, aren't really allowed. The NY mob actually has its own cemetery, St.John the Baptist, which isn't consecrated. Being buried in an unconsecrated cemetery is just as big an issue to Catholics as not having a Catholic funeral.

So if I get cremated and sprinkled over the library and the college and the river....that's gonna put a kink in my "E ticket" to Heaven? Oh well, I'm positive I'll have plenty of years in Purgatory to get over it! I'll stop and say Hi and a few other things (which will of course add more Purgatory time) to Teddy when (if) I see him.

18 posted on 08/27/2009 8:16:42 AM PDT by blu (Graffiti the world, I've seen the writing on the wall...)
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To: murron; NYer
In addition to sacramental confessions, of which I know nothing -- and I doubt that anyone knows much -- we know that Obama hand-delivered a personal letter from Ted to the Pope.

We don't know if it expressed any contrition, and of course it falls short of a public repentance simply because it is private.

But, since Ted was not excommunicated, the question of a funeral Mass should not even arise.

We should pray for his soul.

19 posted on 08/27/2009 8:54:55 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: blu

In short, any attempt to use cremation as an expression of a disbelieve or even denial of the resurrection of the body is discouraged. That includes scattering the remains, or any other gestures of disrespect to the deceased or to God.

Historically, cremation was promoted often with such atheistic overtones, so the Church at the time was more strongly opposed to cremation than she is now, when cremation is typically chosen for economic reasons.


20 posted on 08/27/2009 9:01:05 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: NYer

The only people I know who qualify for a Catholic funeral are sinners.


21 posted on 08/27/2009 9:36:08 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (Wer glaubt ist nie allein. Who believes is never alone.)
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To: NYer
While the Church still prefers full body burial or entombment, after the manner of Christ's own burial, out of respect for the human body and belief in the Resurrection, cremation may be chosen in exceptional circumstances for "sufficient reason

What does thathave to do with Resurrection and respect for the human body? The biblical imagery of bodies being given up at the Judgment Day by the earth and the sea (cf Rev 20:13) seems to ignore some physical realities that happen to the bodies of the deceased.

FACTS tell us that the body will fall apart regardless, and turn into dust, in some cases with nothing remaining, not even the skeleton.

Why, then, would anyone prefer to rot away slowly, instead of being turned into ashes quickly and cleanly?

22 posted on 08/27/2009 9:50:59 AM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: kosta50
Why, then, would anyone prefer to rot away slowly, instead of being turned into ashes quickly and cleanly?

Perhaps ...


Saint Bernadette Soubirous

or the 250+ other saints whose bodies are incorrupt.

23 posted on 08/27/2009 10:02:11 AM PDT by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: annalex

If I choose to be “sprinkled”, that is not a sign of disrespect to God. I’m pretty sure God won’t need my ashes to resurrect me. He is all-powerful, after all. My sprinkles will be in places that I want my grandchildren to visit and remember me. Reading, studying, fishing...all good reasons to visit Mimi!


24 posted on 08/27/2009 10:03:23 AM PDT by blu (Graffiti the world, I've seen the writing on the wall...)
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To: murron
Maybe I missed it. Who is his confessor?

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy died in peace with his whole family praying around him, the clan's priest said Wednesday morning as the world mourned Massachusetts' senior senator, who died from brain cancer at the age of 77.

"It was a total surprise to me to see another world he was involved in -- the spiritual world," said Rev. Patrick Tarrant of Our Lady of Victory Church.

Tarrant, who was called to Kennedy's bedside late Tuesday as the senator was dying, said it was clear that Kennedy was ready for the journey that awaited him. He described the senator as "a man of quiet prayer" in his last hours. Full Text

25 posted on 08/27/2009 10:06:57 AM PDT by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer

I’m still ticked about him being buried in Arlington National Cemetery, where American heroes are buried. He certainly did a lot to undermine our fighting men and women over the year. I expect the day he is buried here will be a Federal holiday and the whole nine yards. Maybe he indeed made true contrition and reconciliation with the God he so often mocked before he passed. But I don’t think he deserves to buried in the cemetery where genuine American heroes are laid to rest. It just doesn’t seem fitting.


26 posted on 08/27/2009 10:29:04 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies - C.S. Lewis)
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To: NYer
or the 250+ other saints whose bodies are incorrupt

There are incorrupt bodies of Indian gurus as well (their nails haven't been painted however, nor have their faces been so made up and muscles tightened they don't even look dead). But, be it as it may, then there is little hope for the rest of us.

27 posted on 08/27/2009 10:46:58 AM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: NYer

Thanks. That info on cremations was helpful.


28 posted on 08/27/2009 10:54:29 AM PDT by cowtowney
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To: NYer
Perhaps ...Saint Bernadette Soubirous or the 250+ other saints whose bodies are incorrupt.

This is what Wikpedia has to say about picture-perfect Bernadette

I think your argument with the picture is rather misleading, don't you think?

29 posted on 08/27/2009 11:06:47 AM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: blu

I would still consult your local priest, inform him of this decision and the motives, and listen to his advice.


30 posted on 08/27/2009 11:10:19 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: kosta50
I think your argument with the picture is rather misleading, don't you think?

Have you looked into the other 249 ;-)?

As Catholics we have a choice - the preference being for burial vs cremation. I believe there is a community of monks now offering burial in earth friendly boxes in fields without markers. "Dust thou art and until dust thou shalt return", be it sooner or later.

31 posted on 08/27/2009 12:30:47 PM PDT by NYer ( "One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone"- Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer
Have you looked into the other 249 ;-)?

There are more than 249, NYer, and many of them are not even Christians. As I said, you have Indian gurus who are sitting in tropical heat and not decomposing. It has nothing to do with devotion or purity of heart.

My point was that St. Bernadette was exhumed, a wax mask placed over her head to make her look like someone who is just sleeping, which is pure deception because that's not what she looks like. Why does the Church find it necessary to deceive poeple with such nonsense?

32 posted on 08/27/2009 5:07:41 PM PDT by kosta50 (Don't look up, the truth is all around you)
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To: murron
Agree with your post.

We have no idea if Senator Kennedy had a deathbed re-conversion. We cannot judge.

Beginning Catholic: The Anointing of the Sick: Comfort and Healing [Ecumenical]

33 posted on 08/27/2009 5:53:54 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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To: NYer

The Church intercedes for the soul and leaves final judgment to God. >>>

And we are very thankful for this.


For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


34 posted on 08/27/2009 7:38:53 PM PDT by Coleus (Abortion, Euthanasia & FOCA - - don't Obama and the Democrats just kill ya!)
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To: chuckles

“I’m still wondering why she wasn’t put on the rack to explain catholic dogma to her.”

That old hag couldn’t possibly be stretched any further, could she?!;)


35 posted on 08/27/2009 8:18:09 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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