That seems to be the question of the hour in my email, and thankfully, Deacon Greg has a helpful post on the subject:
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.
There’s lots more, if you want it, here.
In other links, Fr. James Martin excerpts Dave Gibson who ruminates on Kennedys and “Camelot Catholicism.”
A thought on Kennedy, but not really about him. About all of us:
Did our long, slow slide into mediocrity begin with a car plunging off a bridge on a dark Massachusetts night? Did it begin with that first shrug – that first public “tolerance” of grave human failing in one assigned a position of leadership? That willingness to accept a story that seemed so palpably untrue – to MAKE it true, simply because some wished it so? Is that when “truthiness” began?
I think Boomers like to hear the lie; they know that as long as the lie is predominant, it is, essentially, the truth. They…I probably should say “we” have made it our “tolerant” habit to excuse deviant, dishonorable behavior with a shrug and a “we all make mistakes,” as long as the dishonor is perpetrated by the right sort of person. Thus, Al Gore’s son can drive drunk – George W. Bush’s daughters may not drink at all. Absolution, it seems, is no longer granted or denied through the Right Hand of God, but from the Left.
In Non-Kennedy Catholic News, a patient suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) went to Lourdes, visited the baths and then got out of her wheelchair and walked:
A woman who suffered from a severe nerve disease now no longer uses her wheelchair and has even gone for a run, after she visited to Lourdes earlier in August. The woman credits the baths at Lourdes for the ‘gift’ of her improved health.
Antonia Raco, 50, had been in a wheelchair for four years because of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She made a trip to the shrine at Lourdes on August 5.
”Ever since I came back I have been walking, doing everything normally, and I’ve even run,” Raco told ANSA.
Raco, who is from a village near the southern Italian city of Potenza, said she would rather talk about the change as “a gift, an act of mercy, rather than a miracle.”
She reported…that when she was in the healing bath at Lourdes, “I felt a voice encouraging me and a strong pain in my legs.”
On Tuesday, Raco will be examined by a specialist at the prestigious Molinette Hospital in Turin. The hospital’s specialist, Adriano Chiro, has been treating her since 2006, according to Italian news reports.
There now, isn’t that a better morning read than the funeral stuff and canon law? This series about seminarians is also very well done, and worth reading
Obama’s Health Care Rationer-in-Chief?
Hmmmm…none of that’s looking to hopeful!
Oh, this is good: CBS and Mary Mapes knew all along that Bush volunteered for Vietnam while in the TANG and wasn’t a slacker, after all. Poor Bush can’t catch a break, so this story (and this one, which he might find helpful) gets lost in Kennedy news.
And this you might like, too: Why Baptism Matters
I don’t think Mark Tapscott hearts Henry Waxman
Tort reform: the answer to healthcare reform?. Setting limits on punitive damages might help, but what would really open up health insurance for everyone, lower premiums and make things more competitive would be to allow health insurers to cross state lines. Won’t solve all the problems, but those two things would make a big start in correcting things. Then again, lowering taxes like Angela Merkel did in Germany might help pull us out of recession, and we know that’s not going to happen!