Rorate Caeli

A Vatican II moment:
Church up in smoke

What message does the Church send the world when a successor to the Apostles is cremated? (source; tip: Fr. Blake). 

We really are speechless: may he rest in peace; there is nothing else to add.


  1. He is not planning to provide any relics for future veneration then?


  2. Anonymous2:14 PM

    The pagan restoration proceeds apace.

  3. Anonymous2:15 PM

    Diabolical disorientation is all I can say about practices now allowed in the Church that were heretofore condemned. May God have Mercy on his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed.


  4. Joe B2:33 PM

    From the comments:

    "I'm afraid that cremation has never struck me as being an appropriate way of laying a Christian body to rest. It seems too violent." There's a lot to that statement.

    It rarely happens in nature, you know. Fires that turn bones into ashes are much hotter than normally found in nature.

    But it is cheaper. So how come parishes don't have a free burial plot for the faithful and a contract with some good man to build plain, inexpensive caskets (pine?) to end that dilemma for the many families that have little choice but the least expensive? You can always drape the casket with an attractive cloth for public viewing so the casket doesn't even show. Besides, I think a church without a cemetery is missing something quite Catholic.

    There is no shame in an inexpensive but respectful burial. Queen Isabella of Spain even outlawed lavish expenses for "transitory" things like this. As for me, I'll trade the expensive casket for a donation to holy monks for 30 Gregorian requiem masses, and they can keep the extra money.

  5. Anonymous2:57 PM

    Is not cremation with burial of ashes permitted by present canon law?


  6. Anonymous3:17 PM

    The post-Conciliar church surely allows this banal pagan nuisance. Her identity is compromise at any cost.

  7. "Is not cremation with burial of ashes permitted by present canon law?"

    What might be permitted is not necessarily right, just or recommended.

    The spirit of Vatican II forever raises what is grudgingly permitted by way of exception, such as altar girls or cremation, into a new standard of behavior. Often, as in the case of altar girls, a mandatory standard of behavior.

    Conservative Catholics appear to me to mostly worship Canon Law, rather than God. That might seem harsh,but their analysis generally begins with Canon Law, with little or no discernment of the Church's history, practice, tradition, or least of all, God's will.

    "If's it's "legal," let's get on with it!" is their cry.

  8. Yes, Dan. It is a Vatican II moment, after all...

  9. Dan is like many innocent Catholics, even members of my own family, who, when they see things like this, ask if the Church now "allows" these things .

    As one of our priests recently said from the pulpit regarding this issue: "You burn garbage. You don't burn something created by God."

    From one Dan to another Dan: do what is right, not what is merely permitted.

  10. Lee Lovelock-Jemmott4:20 PM

    Nice reply @ The Last Dan.

  11. Anonymous4:24 PM

    I think it is a pagan and horrendous practice cremation is.

    I believe that the Church is in grave crisis and Vatican II was a horribly destructive Council.

    I was just asking if the Church now permits cremation.


  12. Bernonensis4:55 PM

    About Bishop Evans I know nothing, but it's a rare bishop who isn't bound for the flames anyway. So let them have their Viking funerals with the blazing shipwreck of their faith.

  13. Anonymous5:01 PM

    Vatican II sucks!

  14. Anonymous5:19 PM

    The Bishops have done nothing about allowing Funeral parlor directors from charging outrageous prices, so you see more Catholics opting for cremation which is cheaper. We need the dioceses to get back to simple box caskets and put more effort into the requiem mass and praying for the dead. Cremation was banned because pagans were dishonoering the body, and like all the nonsense since Vatican 2 an exception has become a rule. Cremation over Actual Burial and General Absolution over Individual Confession were usually just for soldiers in war.

  15. If I may just add this to Dan: yes, I did assume that was your position. You are perfectly right: pagan it is.

    And Bernonensis: great comment!!!

  16. Anonymous5:57 PM

    In Louisiana there are a group of monks (St. Joseph Abbey) who make plain cypress caskets to fund their monastery and have done so for 100 years. They are an inexpensive, and I think much better option than the extravagant and pricey caskets sold at the funeral home.

    The funeral home industry in the state is trying to use licensing rules to run them out of business. The case is still in the courts.

    There is plenty business amongst the pagans and faithless for expensive caskets intended only to glorify the deceased.

    I can think of nothing better than to be buried in a simple wooden box hand built by Catholic monks.

    Cremation should never have been allowed.


  17. Anonymous6:18 PM

    Do you cremate The Temple of The Holy Spirit?, I worship God the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I do not know the Canon law and do not worship any other god, if My Saviour, Jesus Christ was buried, so I will be.
    This is not a blame game, this is just a common sense, if a person no longer believe in following Our Saviour Jesus Christ than all other thing become possible, to the point of cremation of the Temple of the Holy Spirit.


  18. Anonymous6:44 PM

    I can not speak for Roman Catholics but as an Orthodox Christian it is my understanding that at the Incarnation of Christ matter was sanctified, deified; that at our Baptism, Chrismation and reception of the Holy Eucharist our bodies are sanctified and become Temples of God that must not be defiled or disrespected. Cremation is equivalent to burning a church, a pagan custom for pagans. Garbage is burned. Intentionally burning the body of a Christian by Christians forbodes damnable things to come for that individual which I would rather not contemplate.

  19. Anonymous7:30 PM

    "In Louisiana there are a group of monks (St. Joseph Abbey) who make plain cypress caskets to fund their monastery and have done so for 100 years. They are an inexpensive, and I think much better option than the extravagant and pricey caskets sold at the funeral home.'

    My parents have bought two of these monks great coffins in readiness for the fearful day.

    They have bought the property in the Catholic Cemetary and will have a Requiem Mass and I will bury them myself avoiding the funeral home.


  20. David7:36 PM

    There was a recent editorial on this very subject in Christian Order.


    "Meanwhile, the search for ever cheaper ways to dispose of bodies is giving rise to increasingly creepy methods. Eco-friendly freeze-drying of corpses in liquid nitrogen, known as "promession," is already under serious consideration by many councils. It involves dipping the body in -196C liquid nitrogen until it is brittle, and then placing it on a vibrating mat so it disintegrates into powder. A magnetic field then removes metal objects like fillings and artificial limbs from the remains. The Church of England says it has no objection to this bizarre process in principle, provided it is done with dignity and reverence!"

  21. The attitude of modern catholics to such issues like cremation as well as tatooing, body-piercing and other pagan norms is absolutely postmodernist. Women are in the worship space, there is dancing, all religions are welcome to attend services in many churches, many no longer go to Confession (sorry, reconciliation) many attend church once a month now as a regular practice and so on. Avoid any surprises: anything is possible now in the neo-catholic church - anything.

  22. Joe B8:05 PM

    That's great news on the caskets. Now if we can just get around the embalming requirements.

  23. Anonymous8:43 PM

    Doesn't each State have different laws regarding burial?

    As for myself, just put me in a handmade coffin and let me rest in peace until the Final Judgment Day.


  24. Anonymous8:57 PM

    In regards to some of the arguments made here, I'm not sure they hold water.

    Burning being a symbol of damnation is one. It is also a symbol of purification. Likewise, rotting and being eaten by worms is also a symbol of damnation used by Our Lord.

    Not buring things created by God is another. We burn wood and other fuels created by God everyday, not to mention food, etc. In fact, God often required the burning of things consecrated to Him (a holocaust offering). Sure, burning a church might be sacriligious, but so is burying a church in dirt.

    It seems denying the resurrection of the body was the reason it was forbidden in the past, not these other reasons.

  25. Didn't St. Paul refer to giving his body to be burned in I Cor 13?

    It is possible that anyone here may die of a horrible communicable disease, like Ebola, that would require our bodies to be cremated as a matter of public health.

    Don't you believe that God, Who stores our tears and even counts the hairs of our head, can still call our bodies together from the elements and reconstitute them at the Resurrection of the Dead? I certainly do.

    I don't know what motives this bishop has for choosing cremation, but since the average burial costs $7-10K in the USA, maybe he's trying to be as frugal as possible. It's not for us to censure him for doing what Church law allows.

  26. An Example to All.10:55 PM

    In the night of February 21, 1966, a fire caused by faulty electrical wiring broke out in the home of the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, Paul Comtois. Everyone but him managed to escape. According to Father Gaudiose Labrecque, the chaplain of Bois-de-Coulonge, the Lieutenant Governor had returned to the chapel to rescue the Blessed Sacrament from the flames.

    So this brave Catholic man did not want the body of Our Lord to be consumed by fire. He failed in the attenpt but I am sure he obtained his due reward.

  27. Lautensack10:56 PM

    In parts of England virtually everone is cremated - this quite disgusting habit is only partly due to bad catechesis, but partly due to extortionate prices for a burial plot.

    In the South of Germany, burial plots are leased from the local council, and their prices are moderate in comparison with the rest of the funeral costs. After 12 or 15 years the lease may be renewed or not, and this time allows for enough decaying of the body to go on. In England, however, many churchyards are full of Victorian monuments, and their heirs (probably living far away) own the plots, so that today's villagers have to be industrially cremated and put into ludicrious holes-in-the-wall.

    I would assume that the Jews and the Muslims are more adamant about having a proper burial, maybe the Catholics can learn something from them.

  28. n 1997 the Holy See granted permission to U.S. bishops to allow funeral Masses in the presence of cremated remains. They also allow communion in the hand, altar girls, balloon masses (with one Bishop in Austria partaking.) If the Holy See permits something that is unholy, does that make it licit?

  29. Anonymous11:27 PM

    Yes, Dan. It is a Vatican II moment, after all...

    Vatican II isn't legitimate? Not in line with Catholic tradition

  30. Jack, your point overall is valid, but St. Paul's words in I Cor. 13 are irrelevant, as he was not referring to cremation of the dead, but to great suffering resulting in death being of no ultimate value if one lacks charity. Being injured or killed in a fire is a natural or even a moral evil.

  31. Anonymous11:57 PM

    "If the Holy See permits something {del}, does that make it licit?"

    Yes. Licit means allowed or permitted by law.

    That being said, what is allowed may not always be best.

  32. I just recently read Evelyn Waugh's "The Loved One". It offers a very darkly comedic but ultimately staunchly Catholic outlook on the industry surrounding America's funerary practices. I highly recommend it.

    I mention this because, more than ever, it convinced me that even if there were nothing inherently wrong in much of our disorder with respect to the treatment of the dead, I would still want to trust in the wisdom of traditional Catholic practice just to avoid the deeply disturbing and sacrilegious attitude with which most of the living respond to death.

    There is wisdom in tradition. Even if the Church permits cremation, the wisdom of the Church is behind burial.

  33. Daniel2:09 AM

    The first intervention of the Holy Office against cremation date from the period when Freemasonry began to revive the pagan custom of cremation: January 12th 1870; May 19th and December 15th 1886; July 27th 1892; May 3rd 1897.

    When Canon Law was promulgated in 1917, it summarized the previous condemnation of cremation in the following three canons:

    Canon 1203: “The bodies of the faithful must be buried, and cremation is reprobated. If anyone has in any manner ordered his body to be cremated, it shall be unlawful to execute his wish.”

    Canon 1240, 5° says that “Persons who have given orders for the cremation of their bodies are deprived of ecclesiastical burial, unless they have before death given some signs of repentance.”

    Canon 2339 says that “Persons who, in violation of the prohibition of Canon 1240, dare to order or force the ecclesiastical burial (of those who are to be deprived of it) incur excommunication ipso facto; and persons who of their own accord give ecclesiastical burial to the above mentioned, incur an interdict from entering a church.”

    In an Instruction dated June 19th 1926, the Holy Office said that the Last Sacraments could not be given to a person who is asking for cremation for itself. It adds that, entering in a society for cremation linked with Freemasonry makes this person incur the penalties for joining Freemasons, especially excommunication. Public Masses for the repose of the soul of persons who asked for cremation, are also forbidden. It comes from Canon 1241, which forbids public Masses for persons having been deprived of ecclesiastical burial.

    Obviously let us not forget that the Holy Church permits cremation in exceptional circumstances, as in times of epidemic, war, etc. (same Instruction)

    In the churches and chapels of the Society of St. Pius X, as we teach the traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church, we also keep its traditional practices.

    Therefore, we continue to follow the teaching of the traditional Canon Law of 1917, which expresses the constant thought of the holy Catholic Church:

    S The bodies of the dead must be buried - cremation is forbidden.

    S Ecclesiastical burial will be denied to those who asked for the cremation of their bodies.

    Let us honor our dead by burying their bodies with respect in a cemetery, and taking care of their souls by Masses, prayers and sacrifices.

  34. Anonymous @23:27--

    Vatican II isn't legitimate? Not in line with Catholic tradition.

    No one suggested that Vatican II isn't legitimate. Vatican II has been used as a false justification for many, many, many illegitimate, sacrilegious, and unwholesome practices though.

    And the people who perpetuate those practices rely on comments like yours to undermine what is legitimate, as if questioning anything the "Spirit of Vatican II" crowd comes up with means rejecting the council itself, and the whole Church along with it.

  35. Daniel2:14 AM

    Here's another Vatican II moment:

    Former Archbishop of Singapore, Gregory Yong was cremated on 2nd July 2008

    And of course, the funeral Mass was done at the Singapore Cathedral of Good Shepherd with 3000 Catholics!

    Most likely, the current Archbishop and many priests know about this!

  36. Ld Schmidt2:49 AM

    I think we should petition to have him Post excommunicated before he get cremated! I'm just suggesting this might be a detourant for future folks who might be leaning this way!

  37. Jack, you are absolutely amazing. I have no idea why you keep coming here.


  38. Cremation versus Burial. What a depressing dilemma! I have to say I find the idea of my body being burned to cinders or eaten by earthworms to be both equally unappealing prospects. Is our range of choices really so narrow?

    Of course that's a purely theoretical question until when/if I decide to kick the bucket, which I have no intention of ever doing anyway.

  39. Our Blessed Lord was buried after embalment. That example should be enough for all of us to follow. This is the tradition of The Church. How can cremation be justified therefore.

  40. Anonymous11:27 AM

    Anonymouse wrote: "Vatican II sucks!"

    That gives me an idea for a new bumper sticker. It would go nicely across from the one that says "I love the Old Latin Mass".

  41. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Our Lord was not embalmed - there wouldn't have been time - the spices were spread over his body before it was wrapped in cloth.

    Embalming is not a legal requirement in most places.

  42. Joe B1:25 PM

    Too expensive. We hear this about health care, private schools, even raising children (an abortion defense - trapping poor women in poverty). We used to have hospital care orders that kept those costs down, teaching orders that kept education costs down, orphanages staffed by orders of priests and nuns (yes, there are still some, but not many), and we buried our own inexpensively. Talk about the Vatican II impact!

    But this burial expense problem seems the easiest to solve. Where are the parish burial sites (free) and the inexpensive caskets? And I mean really inexpensive, as I can't find the prices on the ones mentioned above, but I'm talking about unfinished wood, for example, for the many poor families who would have a very difficult time paying anything.

  43. Anonymous2:02 PM

    There are many old parishes in New England that have cemetery plots adjacent to the church property. I suspect this was also done in other parts of the Country as well. This practice was discontinued by the modernists in recent times. Does that tell anyone anything about the masonic influence amongst the modernists?


  44. In the Philippines, the Church in practice encourages cremation. Many parishes are now constructing their own little "columbaria" with niches that are too small for anything but the small urns used for "cremains".

  45. Anonymous5:20 PM

    Other historically Catholic ways of disposing of the remains of the dead:

    1) Charnel houses. Exhume the bones of the dead after a certain number of years and place these in a large chapel. This can easily be revived in order to meet the current concerns over "overcrowding" in burial spaces.

    2) Burial under the church floor, or in the lower part of the church walls.

  46. Whichever Anon Said, "Embalming is not a legal requirement in most places."

    This is irrelevant to the overriding principle of burial which is the point being made.

  47. Interestingly, in New Orleans, most bodies were historically burried in above-ground cemetaries. Sometimes, when the body had fully decomposed (exacerbated by the intense heat and high-humidity), the remains were placed in a bag, and another body would be buried in the same tomb, and so on.

    Yet, this is a natural process which in no way violates the age-old Catholic Tradition of burial. Cremation is the intentional destruction of the Temple, wherein the Holy Spirit once dwelt. Such a species should be left to natural decomposition (or, in some rare cases, incorruptibility; so, I guess this Bishop can't imagine himself among them?)

    Cremation--no less the cremation of a Bishop--is a gift that Vatican II has truly bestowed on us. "Viva La Revolucion" of Vatican II (NOT)!

  48. Shane @ 06:39

    Your comment did make me laugh!

    How about, er..., being turned into a diamond?

  49. Anonymous8:08 PM

    An update for those interested on the case here in Louisiana involving the monks at St. Joseph Abbey who sell hand made cypress wood caskets to support themselves.

    The funeral industry in the state was trying to shut them down based on licensing requirements intended only to protect their monopoly.

    A federal district judge ruled in favor of the monks, so they can still manufacture and sell their fine caskets.

    Sanity from the bench is always refreshing.


  50. John Pineda4:23 AM

    "On December 8, 1869, the International Congress of Freemasons imposed it as a duty on all its members to do all in their power to wipe out Catholicity from the face of the earth. Cremation was proposed as a suitable means to this end, since it was calculated to gradually undermine the faith of the people in 'the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.'"
    --Fr. John Laux, Catholic Morality (Imprimatur 1932), p. 106


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