Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Monday, May 2, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : News : Local
10/30/2012 10:31:00 AM
Confusion about church funeral practices common
Catholic News Service photo
Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley presides at final commendation for Sen. Edward Kennedy. The Mass caused people to inquire who is allowed to have Catholic funerals.
Catholic News Service photo
Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley presides at final commendation for Sen. Edward Kennedy. The Mass caused people to inquire who is allowed to have Catholic funerals.
Catholic News Service


WASHINGTON — Confusion about the Catholic Church's funeral practices is common. This was evidenced three years ago by a wave of discussion over whether Sen. Edward Kennedy should have had a Catholic funeral because of his public disagreement with the church's teaching against abortion.

Many Catholics have in mind bygone standards, and are fuzzy on even those.

Father John Dietzen, a priest of the Diocese of Peoria, Ill. has for decades written a column fielding questions from the public about the church. He receives many queries about who can and cannot have a church funeral. Many of those questions are rooted in practices that have long since gone by the wayside, he said.

The most common funeral-related topic Father Dietzen hears about is suicide.
The commentary with the Code of Canon Law says that people in irregular marriages or people who committed suicide are not included among those who are automatically denied funerals, "since deprivation of a church funeral not infrequently causes as much if not more scandal than granting it."

The church also has changed its thinking about cremation, as Father Dietzen has explained over the years in his column.

"Cremation formerly was forbidden by the Catholic Church (and some other Christian denominations) because anti-Christian groups, especially in Europe, promoted it as a symbolic rejection of Christian belief in the immortality of the soul and the resurrection," he explained in one article. "That argument is no longer raised seriously. For decades now, the church has no longer prohibited the practice, provided it is not chosen in disrespect for Christian faith or beliefs."

The deaths of notorious mobsters have raised the question of whether they should have Catholic funerals. Convicted mobster John Gotti was refused a funeral Mass after his death at a federal prison hospital in 2002. Gotti had been sentenced in 1992 to life without parole on charges of racketeering, obstruction of justice, murder in the aid of racketeering, operating an illegal gambling business and witness-tampering.

The Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., permitted Gotti to be entombed in a family mausoleum in a Catholic cemetery and to hold a memorial Mass after the funeral.

"The bottom line is, it's up to the bishop" to decide cases where there is clear doubt about whether someone should be given a Catholic funeral, says Father Dietzen.

Other confusion often involves "things that were unthought of 50 years ago, like the fact that you can have a funeral Mass for a non-Catholic" under certain circumstances, the priest explains.

That might happen, for instance, for somebody who was in the process of becoming a Catholic at the time of death or for the religiously-unaffiliated spouse of a practicing Catholic.

"There is more recognition of the limitations of knowledge of what motivates people in their relationship with God," Father Dietzen said. "We recognize that we don't know. And we give every possible benefit of the doubt in saying this person is still a part of the church's prayers. We don't know what happened with that person's relationship with God and the church. It could be that something happened within the last few hours before death. And that's what counts."



Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved