Sunday, December 15, 2013


It was reported to me this morning that a local pastor is refusing to allow a funeral Mass for a person who was murdered in the mainland and whose cremated remains were returned home to Guam for burial. 

According to the family member, Fr. Jason, the pastor of the Agat parish, has told them that because the body isn't present, the family could not ask for a Funeral Mass but only a Memorial Mass. The family member also reported that they are being given only 30 minutes for "viewing" because there is no body (just the cremated remains). 

The family member shared that they are of course already having a difficult time dealing with the horrible reality of a murdered loved one, but now are doubly suffering because their loved one will be denied a Christian funeral. The funeral, or at least the burial and memorial, is scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, December 16. 

Fr. Jason is welcome to correct this post as a comment if there is more to the story or if this account is not correct. However, the decision to allow a Funeral Mass or not may not be up to him. 

In 1997, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments decreed that the celebration of the funeral rite may be conducted in the presence of the cremated remains of the deceased and approved the English text for the funeral rite for this eventuality.

However, it appears that the Congregation ultimately left its usage up to the individual conferences of bishops since the decree is called "an indult to permit the diocesan bishop to allow the presence of the cremated remains of a body at the Funeral Liturgy in the dioceses of the United States."

The Archdiocese of Agana is not a diocese of the United States, but a diocese of CEPAC, the conference for Oceania. It is not known if CEPAC has requested or procured the indult. Perhaps someone from the chancery can clarify. There is a family in Agat waiting to know if they can have a Funeral Mass for their dead relative.

The chancery or Fr. Jason is welcome to post a reply as a comment to this post so that everyone can be clear about the position of the Archdiocese of Agana on the indult for Funerals in the presence of cremated remains. 


Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2301: "The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body."

Canon Law: Can.  1176 §3. The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.


  1. This is rather odd. A few weeks ago, I was at a funeral where the deceased had already been cremated. The viewing was more than 30 minutes. Then there was a funeral mass followed by the blessing over the urn just like the one that is presided over a coffin.

  2. The funeral Mass with cremated remains IS permitted in the Archdiocese of Agana.....either someone wasn't paying attention in class or it was never taught....tisk, tisk.

  3. Must have not registered for CR101 (cremation 101) at the seminary. Must have instead taken the all the courses for CF (community first)

  4. Maybe because Fr. Jason is a NEO Priest they do not do cremation masses in their community. Maybe the family should have requested a capuchin or a diocesan priest who is not a NEO priest.

    Should we start requesting for capuchin or diocesan priests who are not in "The Way" when it comes to church/liturgical functions even though they are not from that parish?

    Or should we start attending capuchin and diocesan non neo parishes because they are well educated in the catechism of the catholic faith?

    I'm all for leaving my neo parish for much greener and wiser pastures. I'm sorry, but I no longer wish to have my catholic faith torn to pieces in all this NEO CONFUSION!!!

  5. Tell me this non-neo priest is wrong.

    1. Did you see the post script at the bottom of the entry:

      N.B. After this article was written (1995), an Appendix ("On Cremation, no. 412) was added (1997) to the Order of Christian Funerals, permitting the presence of cremated remains for the full course of funeral rites.

  6. So the laws of the church keep changing correct? They can change at any time? Is this to accommodate the people and their personal beliefs or is it the true belief? You have a follower that states she follows what is taught for thousands of years yet the laws of church have change over time many time in the Catholic Church.

  7. Laws can and do change, thus the updated 1983 Code of Canon Law vs the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code, and the many modifications. This is part of the pastoral work of the Church. But while "laws" or disciplines can change, doctrine, or "what is taught", does not.

  8. I have been to several funeral masses with cremains present, and at varying parishes. It never seemed to be a problem before. Why is Fr Jason free to choose what he wants, and not what the family wants? Will Fr Adrian prepare another decree for the Puppet Anthony to sign?

    The Archbishop proudly proclaimed, just as was the case with every priest from the RMS Seminary, that Fr Jason earned his precious Lateran degree and achieved "Highest Honors". Why doesn't this smart priest know what can be done with cremation?

    Regardless of the finer points of Church laws/norms (which I am not completely familiar with) only allowing 30 minutes for viewing is unconscionable. Even with closed caskets viewing is the norm. Perhaps Fr Jason forgets that viewing is as much about paying respect to the family, and praying for the deceased. Does he not agree that the victim should have a rosary said, and the family consoled by relatives and friends. Shame on you Fr Jason for being so horribly cold and un-Christian like. Boy - where are your manners?

    Maybe the Archbishop should send Fr Jason to Asia, and keep a smarter priest here...or will most Neo priests eventually be sent to some other location? Do all Neo priests believe that they can limit funerals in such a way?

    Anthony...this is just getting to be too much. You better do something fast because your reign is quickly crumbling, and we the people are the innocent victims of your incompetence.

    To the family in Agat...God bless your loved one, and do not lose faith. I am praying for you and that someone in the Chancery stand up and quickly do the right thing. Where is the Vicar General in all this mess?

    Janet B - Mangilao

    1. Dear Janet B:

      The Vicar General has been in Saipan with his Neo family for some kind of Neo thing. He was even absent for the December 8th procession. If it does not involves the Neo, the Vicar General is nowhere to be found or seen. Archbishop Adrian is now running the show on the hill. I mean, did you see his latest decree on the use of the Roman Collar by deacons? A masterpiece...of nothingness and triviality! They must have worked on that decree for months before issuing it, and even publishing it in the Umatuna! In the meantime, they are destroying the good name of a local priest, .....

  9. I love how we judge and point fingers!

    It's all on the Archbishop. Down with Apuron!