Who can have a Catholic Funeral & more

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.

Ҥ2. 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

Unemployment is actually at 16%? Oy, let’s read more hopeful stuff!

Your kids
doing the Census as homework?

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!

Swine Flu: Bookie is skeptical of the hysteria. But then again, Bookie is a conservative and as we see here, again, conservatives are all craaaaazy!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Ellen

    16% unemployment?! No wonder the university where I work has a record enrollement this year.

  • Momma K

    I am so distressed that Obama is giving the eulogy—another time the Catholic Church is giving the microphone to this man.

  • Jim

    The hagiography of Teddy is getting worse than I thought it would be. MSNBC going way overboard as usual.

    He was not particularly courageous, and this bunk about him being a defender of the “most vulnerable” in society is at best only half true. It is severely undercut by his cowardly flip flop on legalized abortion on demand in the mid-seventies. JPII said that the blood of millions and millions of unborn human beings was “crying out from the ground,” and this guy never lifted a finger for the last 40 years to protect them.

    The hierarchy should be very careful about holding him up at his funeral as a model Christian. A far greater man, Thomas More, went out with his head cut off, isolated, reviled, ignored, while TK is now being treated like he was Mother Theresa.

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    Does anyone heart Waxman? I used to live in his District and routinely would be willing to vote for that Spongebob Squarepants if he was running against Waxman.

    As to Teddy Kennedy – Was his first marriage annulled by the Church? I’m under the impression that it was not. Ergo, a Catholic funeral would seem to be contraindicated. However, this is a Kennedy we’re talking about and for all his faults, the Church would probably err on the side of kindness to his family. The state of his soul is now a matter of discussion between Teddy and God.

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    I prefer to believe that the Holy Spirit is at work here in the matter of our vile President giving the eulogy for Senator Kennedy.

  • Myssi

    Totally not Kennedy related:

    As a person who works in healthcare, I really hope the H1N1 concern turns out to be hysteria. Historically, flus that show up in the spring and kill a few hundred people, kill in the tens and even hundreds of thousands during the regular flu season. (Think Spanish Flu.)
    Now, some would say that was before vaccines and modern healthcare and that’s true, but it was also before almost any Tom, Dick and Harry could afford to get a on plane with 100 other people and take the family to Disney. H1N1 is contagious for at least 24 hours before onset of symptoms, as far as CDC has been to determine,so that Tom, Dick and Harry wouldn’t know that they shouldn’t get on the plane and expose everyone else to it. (Yes, I just took our flu education course – it’s mandatory if I want to keep my job.) So, please people, get your flu shots this year. PLEASE!!!! I’d really love this to look like hysteria come March or April 2010.

  • http://chrysologus.blogspot.com Adam Rasmussen

    Since Kennedy did show a sign of repentance by confessing, we shouldn’t be upset that he’s getting a Catholic funeral. It is a bit disturbing to have Obama speak at the funeral, but giving a eulogy is not an official part of the funeral Mass, so it’s not nearly as scandalous as him receiving an award and giving a commencement address at a Catholic university.

  • Jacki


    The LORD is kind and merciful – we have to hope always in His mercy

  • DaveW

    I think the Church keeps annulments confidential, and it is certainly none of my business. Let’s just pray for Sen. Kennedy’s soul and hope others are doing the same for us.

  • Jim

    Obama again? He is so over exposed. Why can’t a cardinal do it? Dear Lord.

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    Because our President is like bird droppings – EVERYWHERE!

  • dry valleys
  • dry valleys

    BTW- your timer system doesn’t work!

  • http://deachbench.blogspot.com Deacon Greg Kandra

    According to Adam Clymer, Kennedy’s biographer, he had his marriage annulled shortly before his mother died, and was thus able to receive communion at her funeral.

  • Gerry

    Geez, am I the only one who gets it?
    All this talk about he “repented” … if so (and I don’t believe it ), he probably “repented” of being pro-life up to 1971!

  • Pingback: Day 2: Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy Around The Catholic World « The American Catholic

  • Bobfan

    I think it quite likely that Kennedy never repented of his abortion views because he never saw them as sinful, and I suspect that most of us are likewise guilty of sins we never recognize as such. It’s clear that the man worked very hard for “the least of these,” and that his faith was real.

    Listening to the testimonies of his friends and family I was moved by his kindness and, worst moments notwithstanding, essential decency, But tomorrow, when I return the phone call of my very conservative friend in Massachusetts, I expect to hear a different perspective!