Thursday, January 22, 2015

QUESTIONS ABOUT CREMATION

There have been fights over the cremation issue with some neo-pastors. Apparently, some, if not all neo-pastors (sad that we even have to distinguish like this) have been said to refuse a Funeral Mass in the presence of cremated remains, forcing grieving families to call around to find a parish and a pastor who will celebrate the Funeral Mass for their deceased and cremated loved one. This has added to the division in our diocese.

In the face of such diverse practices and opinions - varying from pastor to pastor, and in the absence of clear instruction from the chancery, we should be aware of the following:

• The old Code of Canon Law (1917) prohibited cremation and required the bodies of the faithful to be buried. An exception was given in times of mass death and the threat of disease.

• The new Code of Canon Law (1983) permitted cremation as follows:
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.
• As you can see, the code lacks detail, especially in regards to the treatment of cremated remains relative to the funeral rites.

• This was addressed by the U.S. National Council of Catholic Bishops (NCCB - predecessor to the USCCB), in the revised Order of Christian Funerals (1985), which "contains provisions for the cremation of the body of the deceased following the Final Commendation that concludes the funeral liturgy and before the Rite of Committal.  Such an arrangement presumes that presence of the body at the funeral liturgy."

However:
"In April 1997, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments granted an indult for the United States to allow the diocesan bishop to permit the presence of the cremated remains of a body at a Funeral Mass. Later that year, the Congregation confirmed the special texts and ritual directives (Prot. n. 1589/96/L for both indult and texts), which were then published as an appendix to the Order of Christian Funerals."
• So in the United States, the diocesan bishop may permit the presence of cremated remains at a Funeral Mass.

• Our problem in Guam is that Guam (since 1984) is not part of the U.S. conference of bishops but belongs to the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific (CEPAC). Thus the indult granted to the U.S. would not apply.

Unless there is a more recent document, the most recent instruction for the Archdiocese of Agana regarding cremation is found in the Handbook of Faculties for the Archdiocese of Agana (1996).


As you can see, the instruction does not specifically permit the presence of cremated remains at a Funeral Mass, but then this instruction dates from 1996 which is one year prior to the indult given to the U.S.

The Catholics of Guam have a right to know what we can and cannot do when it comes to cremation so that we are not bounced from parish to parish depending on the whim of the pastor or even lay staff.

Thus, if there is a more recent instruction, all pastors and parishes should have it and the families of the deceased should ask to see a copy. If there is not a more recent instruction, then there is an absolute need for one.

12 comments:

  1. We attended a funeral at the Asan parish at the beginning of Jan. The remains were cremeated and Fr. Antonini refused to come to the entrance of the church to pray over the remains and escort it into the church. So Sister Mary Gertrude RSM lead us in prayer while we escorted our loved one to the front of the church where father stood waiting. Asan as we all know is a Neo parish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just like the incident in Agat!!!! I think I just developed constipation!

      Delete
  2. stop going to places you know the neos squat. Today I passed by San Roke/San Vicente to pray and once i saw the neo billboard, had to just pull away and drove to mangilao.
    regardless the remains are cremated or a whole body casket was presented, the soul of the person should be presented to God.
    Getting pretty petty and pathetic these neo cultists can dance on the sacristy and sing their whacky songs but not pay for the utilities in the church but they won't respect the dead.
    DAMN NEO DOUBLE STANDARDS.

    Saints of God, come to his/her aid..come to greet him angels of the Lord
    Receive his soul and present him to God, present his soul to God most high.

    Thank God for the sense Sister Gertrude.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember reading about a neo priest in the philippines who got into hot water for refusing to perform a funeral for cremated remains. I'll try to locate the story and post here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A N N N N N N N N N N D WHAT would His Holiness the Pope have to say about that may I ask? Refusing to pray and bless the dead seems so unlike CHRIST and unchristian.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This reminds me of the Veterans issues. Did archie ever respond to the Governor's letter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I have been told that indigent veterans will be able to have their fees waived at their parish.

      Delete
  6. And yeah, here it is: Neocatechumenal Cremation !!

    Or, if you like, "please compress the dead kikos' bodies, because that small niches [columbariums] are quite small"...

    Read more here: http://cruxsancta.blogspot.com/2013/10/la-incineracion-en-el-camino.html

    ReplyDelete
  7. I believe that the preferable pastoral response in this matter is to gauge the sensibility of the deceased person's family. Closure such as church rites act as an anchor in time of grief. It is for this reason that they come to commend the soul of the deceased to God. To impose one's idiosyncratic belief contrary to Church law is simply disgusting. Why would neonuts shortcircuit the process of healing with their own inhuman beliefs? Reaching out to the suffering in time of need is the primary consideration not their smug kiko belief. Would they do that crucial deprivation to members of their family who may not be in the neo? Ohhh, The answer just flashed in front of my eyes: they would throw ANYONE under the bus who disobey their Catechist. Silly me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this issue best exposes what is really going on here. For most us, the neonut theology just appears to be that: nuts. However, it is thoroughly comprehendible when seen in light of Kiko's theology which makes Judaism, and a bastardized version of it at that, the center of his belief system. The aversion to cremation is not a harkening back to the old Pio-Benedictine 1917 code of canon law, but a harkening back to the practice of the biblical judaism, or, again, rather Kiko's skewed personal version of it. This is true for everything they do from their dancing around the altar to their eucharists which are an attempt to pseudo-replicate the passover meal to their aversion to cremation. Bottom line, they are a different church, with a different belief system and a different hierarchy.

      Delete
  8. No shame and no respect for the deceased. They have no remorse in there actions. With all the corrupt people in our church we should all remember " as humans we are all flawed but God is not." Glad these corrupt church leaders are being exposed

    ReplyDelete
  9. “The Catholics of Guam have a right to know what we can and cannot do when it comes to cremation so that we are not bounced from parish to parish depending on the whim of the pastor or even lay staff.” I will agree with that statement, but you might want to wait for clarification on cremation until the puppet Archbishop is replaced. Right now, clarification would be in accordance with his Responsible’s wishes and you can pretty much guess what that would be based upon the Neo pastors, so what is the point?

    ReplyDelete

Recommendations by JungleWatch