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Full Version: Can my wife and I go to her gay uncle's wake/funeral?
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(10-24-2017, 11:27 AM)Fontevrault Wrote: [ -> ]
Fontevrault Wrote: Wrote:1.  It is not our call to make in terms of whether or not to allow a Catholic funeral.  That's up to the church authorities. 

You're right. Still when we see priests using invalid matter for Mass, or we hear him baptize "in the name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier" is it "not our call"?

When we see obvious and flagrant violations of Church Law, it's not our job to correct, perhaps, but it is our job to avoid.

MM, As usual, you are spot on.  At the same time, we know nothing of this man's last moments or possible dialogue with a priest before his death.  Since we cannot speculate on the condition of his soul, shouldn't we give him the benefit of the doubt?  Even with a public life of sin, a man an repent out of fear in his last days.  

We do know nothing of his last days, or the actual state of his soul. That's precisely why we don't make a judgement about where his soul is now. It is also why it is not a waste to pray for him.

Still, just because a man may have converted or even in his last moments repented of his sin does not mean that the Church allows him all her rites for his burial.

The logic doesn't follow if we "give the benefit of the doubt" when it regards not the state of a soul, but also the Church's rites. In such a case we should be having public funerals for non-Catholics since who knows if they converted on their death bed or not. If the standard is "maybe" then there is no standard.

Again, whether a man saves his soul and whether he is offered the rites of the Church for his burial are two separate issues.

(10-24-2017, 11:27 AM)Fontevrault Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-19-2017, 11:55 PM)Fontevrault Wrote: Wrote:2.  It seems to me that even the diocese doesn't really have a good answer on what to do that is consistent with church law.  If that's the case, then your personal actions can hardly cause more scandal than the actions of the priest.  In fact, most people are so muddled on this topic that I can't see scandal being part of the equation.  If that's the case, then perhaps we should consider how one's response might be considered an act of charity toward the bereaved.

Just because another is scandalizing others doesn't me we can participate in it, just because we're not the primary mover and shaker. Any willful participation is just as forbidden.

If a public funeral for a known and public homosexual is against Church law, it doesn't matter if it is the Pope celebrating it; our participation still is evil. At best we could tolerate the evil for a higher good, but only if the evil is not the primary effect.

If the act is evil in itself, no amount of Charity can make it good.

And yet, the church has (for some unknown reason) given permission for this funeral to occur.  So, we must also ask ourselves if they might have good reason for doing so.  We can't know what this man said in the confessional.  We can't know if perhaps he was trying to find a way back to the church.  Shouldn't these things factor in to a decision on whether or not to attend?  I would think that the charitable thing would be to attend a wake, pray for the soul of this man, condole with family, and simply not attend the funeral. 

Since nothing the diocese is doing is consistent with church law, I suspect that there are some unknown factors.  It can happen that a rather public sinner was privately trying to come back to Christ.  Breaking away from sin is not easy for any of us . . .  

Does public sin require public penance?  I don't think it does, but maybe I'm wrong.  Heck, this whole thing is a really difficult situation from start to finish.  
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Not public penance, but public repentence.

The likelihood of scandal must be removed, which for someone who was known to be living in a sinful state, must be relatively public.

It's the same situation with a politician that promotes abortion. They cannot receive Communion, not only due to the probably state of their soul, but even more so for the scandal that it would cause. Even if they fixed the state of soul with a good confession, without a relatively public retraction of their error, people would still be scandalized.

We are not meant to think that Nancy Pelosi has made a good confession when she shows up for Communion. There is no good reason to think that.

The same principle applies here.

The very fact that the "partner" is being "featured" in the service makes it very unlikely that there was some repentence here, and highly likely there will be grave scandal, thinking that somehow the Church approved of such a deviant lifestyle and public acts against morals and Church teaching.
MagisterMusicae, can I ask you a question about marriage validity?
MagisterMusicae; unrelated to the thread: may I ask you for your opinion on the validity of a marriage?  You seem to know your stuff!!
(10-24-2017, 03:14 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]It's the same situation with a politician that promotes abortion. They cannot receive Communion, not only due to the probably state of their soul, but even more so for the scandal that it would cause. Even if they fixed the state of soul with a good confession, without a relatively public retraction of their error, people would still be scandalized.

I am reminded of Tony Blair, the former PM of the UK, who as Prime Minister basically opposed every Catholic moral teaching possible, supporting in vitro fertilisation and announcing that he wanted to further stem cell research and make Great Britain a world centre of cloning technology.

After he left office he 'converted' with great fanfare to join his wife, a cradle Catholic, who dabbles in the occult, in the Church. No mention was made of a public retraction of the errors he espoused. Did he retract them in the confessional? I have no way of knowing. Only he, God and his confessor know. Therefore, I and many, many believing Catholics were scandalised at his flaunting his Catholicism.
Fair enough.  Would it then even be acceptable to attend a wake for this person?  Or does even that suggest some kind of approval?  

Wouldn't it be so much simpler if this were done properly?!?
(10-24-2017, 05:39 PM)Fontevrault Wrote: [ -> ]Fair enough.  Would it then even be acceptable to attend a wake for this person?  Or does even that suggest some kind of approval?  

Wouldn't it be so much simpler if this were done properly?!?

The only thing prohibited by Church law is some official public rite (i.e. one led by a cleric), or what would approximate it.

I can't see a problem with a wake, unless in some way it seems to promote something against the Faith. Perhaps people could be invited to pray the Rosary together (as is common in many traditional Catholic wakes), for the man.

The problem with an official rite is the apparent approval of the Church, and the scandal caused.

There is no issue with people praying for this man, even together — rather it seems like he could use the prayers, in case he did have a moment of conversion which we do not know about.
The last Catholic wake I attended, a priest and deacon from the parish attended and spoke.  But then again, it was for a man in good standing and a well-respected member of the parish.
(10-24-2017, 08:47 PM)Fontevrault Wrote: [ -> ]The last Catholic wake I attended, a priest and deacon from the parish attended and spoke.  But then again, it was for a man in good standing and a well-respected member of the parish.

Attendance at a wake and speaking is different than leading an ecclesiastical funeral.

Still for one who did not seem to repent of a bad moral life, even then I think a cleric should think twice because of the possible scandal.
Dr Edward Peters' take on the underlying problem, A note on Madison’s funeral policy.
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