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Friday, March 24, 2017

On the note of things that were not right....

Again, years ago, in a discussion with Bishop Louis Vezelis, he informed me that he gave permission for a nun from another country who died while visiting him to be cremated.  I said that I thought it was against Church teaching to be cremated.  His response was that since it would cost so much money to send her body to her country, it constituted a "grave necessity".

Again, at the time, this did not seem right to me.

Here is what the Church teaches on cremation:

  1. On May 19, 1886 in answer to two questions posed by the bishops, the Church forbade the joining of cremation societies which were for the most part of Masonic origin and spirit, and it was further condemned to request cremation of one’s own body or the body of another.
  2. Some seven months later, December 15, 1886, Pope Leo XIII ratified this document. Catholics who destined their bodies for cremation were deprived of a proper Christian burial.
  3. On July 27, 1892, the matter was definitively resolved. Priests were requested not to give such Catholics the last rites; no public funeral Mass could be said.

 (1917) Code of Canon Law prescribes:
If a person has in any way ordered that his body be cremated, it is illicit to obey such instructions; and if such a provision occur in a contract, last testament or in any document whatsoever, it is to be disregarded. (canon 1203, §2).
It is likewise stated "those who give orders that their body be cremated" are amongst those who "must be refused ecclesiastical burial." (canon 1240, §1, 5ยบ) 

In certain strict circumstances the Church tacitly or even expressly authorizes cremation, e.g., in the case of an epidemic where public health safety is in question.

Now with this in mind, does supposedly not having funds to transport a body to ones home country constitute a grave necessity?

Those who have taken religious vows should know that they could die anywhere and that they are usually buried where they die.  There was no reason for her body to be taken back to her home nation to be buried.

If money was truly a problem, why did not Bishop Vezelis sell some of his tens of thousands of dollars of toy trains?  Why did he not take up a collection to pay for this nuns burial expenses?

No, he just goes completely contrary to Church teaching and 2000 years of Christian tradition and ok's the cremation of a nun!

When I look back, I wonder how I could have been so stupid!  

Again, better to "hook your star" on Jesus Christ than any man and far better to "bet your salvation" on the constant teachings of the Church than the whims of a man.

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