It would be a ridiculous falsification of values to attempt to equate the primitive tribal conventions of some peoples with the highly developed expression of values of others. These values, of course, are always spiritual in nature. And the highest spiritual values can only come from religion. And that religion cannot be just any religion, but must be the true religion - the correct relationship, intellectual and voluntary, of the people and God.
It is a twisted understanding of culture to identify infanticide with any kind of cultural value. Otherwise, we would have to respect the rituals of human sacrifice of the Aztecs and the Egyptians. and others.
At the far end of the spectrum of life in this world is death. Our Catholic Old Testament traditions go back to Tobias where we read that he "was careful to bury the dead, and them that were slain" (Tobias 1,20) and where the Archangel Rafael praises him: "When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them at night" (Ibid. 12, 12).
In the Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) we read: "My son, shed tears for one who is dead with wailing and bitter lament; as is only proper, prepare the body, absent not yourself from his burial" (Ecclus. 39,16).
Likewise, we find in II Machabees 12, 39: "And the day following, Judas came with his company to take away the bodies of them that were slain, and to bury them with their kinsmen in the sepulchers of their fathers."
Christian burial is the interment of the deceased person with church rites in consecrated ground. Only Catholics can claim to be buried according to the rites of the Catholic Church and in consecrated ground. And, even among those who have been baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, only those can claim Christian burial who have lived in communion with the Church. Pope Leo the Great (448) said: "We cannot hold communion in death with those who in life were not in communion with us."
Various persons are therefore excluded from Christian burial: pagans, Talmudists (Jews), infidels, heretics and their followers, schismatics, apostates, and persons who have been excommunicated by name or placed under an interdict. If an excommunicated person be buried in a church or in a consecrated cemetery the place is thereby desecrated, and wherever possible, the remains must be exhumed and buried elsewhere.
The law prohibiting Christian burial to those who committed suicide (self-murder) dates back to the fourth century. The exception is made in those cases where the act was committed when the persons involved were of unsound mind or unless they showed signs of repentance before death occurred.
The Donatists (heretical sect combated by St. Augustine in 400 AD), when they gained the upper hand were so deeply opposed to Catholics that they would not allow Catholics to be buried in the cemeteries which they seized much as they seized everything else that had been Catholic.
The idea of being buried in a Catholic cemetery had become so ingrained in Catholics over the years that older Catholics (Mostly prior to 1963) could not imagine being buried elsewhere. The threat of being deprived of `Christian burial' was experienced as the ultimate public humiliation and sign of rejection.
Essentially, what began as a praiseworthy custom degenerated into an hypocritical social event, much to the scandal and outrage of ordinary Catholics. Whether justified or not, the uninformed Catholic experienced privation of Christian burial as something very terrible. This is particularly true of those older Catholics whose faith found expression in these external things.
What this amounts to, is that gradually the essence of religion was substituted by the accidentals of religion. People began to fear more the privation of the symbols of religion than the loss of that faith which gave birth and meaning to the symbols. They did this by embracing heresy or schism.
Unfortunately, the days of apostasy have increased rather than decreased. We are at a point in time when the great
apostasy has become a reality: Practically speaking, almost the entire Catholic world has become apostate. Differing only in
degrees and doctrines, there are two extremes of heresy and schism: The leftist group represented by the "Vatican II
and the rightist group represented by the "Traditionalists". The recognized leader of the Modernist heretics have been those anti-popes since Pope Pius XII. As for the leaders of the Traditionalist heretics, there are as many leaders as there are laymen or priests forming their respective `groups.'
Among the `Traditionalists' there are those who claim "ordination" and "consecration" from Marcel Lefebvre; others claim their priesthood and/or consecration through the line of Archbishop Ngo Ding Thuc, exiled South Vietnamese Archbishop whose last official residence was in Rochester, New York, with one of his Bishops at the Franciscan Seminary.
The Diocese of Rochester has been notoriously in the forefront of the de-Catholicisation process spawned by the alleged "Second Vatican Council" and presently headed by the Polish anti-pope "John Paul II".
It is not so much that faithful Roman Catholics desire to be buried in what was once their Catholic cemetery. They have either sentimental ties or economic bonds with Holy Sepulcher (the once Catholic cemetery in Rochester). Some have parents or other loved ones already buried there. Others have already purchased their burial plots and efforts to exchange them prove a great inconvenience.
Holy Sepulcher cemetery has long ago become desecrated by the many infidels, Talmudists (Jews), Freemasons, and Protestants that have been buried there. Recent events have brought this situation to light.
This deceptive situation came to light when faithful Roman Catholics attending the Roman Catholic chapel of the Franciscans in Rochester, NY, were informed that they could not be buried in Holy Sepulcher cemetery because they attend the Franciscan chapel which is not affiliated with the heretical government of the diocese.
In one case, owners of burial plots had no alternative but to sell their plots (Something that is not always easy to do) and to purchase burial plots in a secular cemetery. This had to be done because the persons involved wished to have a Catholic funeral according to the liturgical laws of the Roman Catholic Church and not according to the Conciliar Church of the Second Pentecost.
Still others had recourse to strategies which frustrated the last will of the deceased. In a recent case, the body of the deceased was brought to the chapel grounds but was not brought into the church for the accustomed ecclesiastical rites. While the earthly remains of this Roman Catholic were kept in the funeral hearse, a Requiem Mass was offered in the chapel not more than ten feet from the vehicle! After the Requiem Mass, the body was taken to Holy Sepulcher for interment by the heretic relatives of the deceased.
It would seem that in a spirit of that broad spectrum of ecumenism so loudly proclaimed and openly flaunted in the face of Catholic doctrine and discipline, this ecumenical spirit would extend to Roman Catholics who are not willing to violate their conscience.
The fact is, that as already foretold in the Apocalypse, the only people prohibited from using the worldly facilities established by their forefathers in the faith are Roman Catholics faithful to their religious commitments. Like the Donatist heretics who seized Catholic cemeteries, the Modernists have seized our cemeteries and will not allow us to be buried there! There is no time in history when Catholics - whether of the Old Testament or of the New Testament - have not been subjected to some form of persecution.
Although we are taught to love our enemies with supernatural Christian charity, we do this with the hope of possible conversion back to the true faith. Nevertheless, we also would appreciate some sign of natural justice on the part of our fallen away brethren.
Consequently, it seems not too much to ask that those who have already purchased burial plots in cemeteries that were once Catholic should be permitted to use them. As for the future, the faithful are advised to avoid purchasing burial plots in such cemeteries as call themselves `Catholic' but are not.
There is only one truly Roman Catholic cemetery in the United States today. Even here, the faithful are not coerced to have themselves or their loved ones buried in this cemetery. Oftentimes, practical considerations make it economically prohibitive to do so.
Any cemetery may be used. The authorized clergymen will gladly bless the grave site.
Although it may be nice to be buried in a Catholic cemetery, the realism of life and the circumstances of death should be foremost in our minds.
We need to remind ourselves of the great truths of our faith. After all, we should be willing to make any sacrifice for the sake of our faith because without it our salvation is in jeopardy.
The first truth is that everyone born into this world leaves this world through the door of death. Many Christians have died horrible deaths. One need only think of the holocaust of thousands of Christians in the fire bombings of Dresden and Hamburg, the living holocaust of hundreds of thousands of Japanese Christians who were victims of inhumane and indiscriminate murdering of civilian populations. The killing has not stopped - nor will it stop.
We can be certain of this one thing: not a single person died who was not destined to die. Besides, the end of life erases all differences between long and short. When death calls, neither the short life nor the long life can be said to be better or worse. Both are ended.
It makes little difference what kind of death puts an end to life, provided the one from whom life is taken does not have to die again.
Life itself is a daily risk. Every mortal is exposed to every kind of death every day and every night. Who is certain as to which form death will take that fateful day?
Which ought one prefer: To suffer one kind of death once for all, or to keep on living in constant dread of them all? Of course, people are more ready to pick a continued life of fearing the many deaths that might occur at any moment, rather than choose to die once and be free of further death.
But these are sentiments of the flesh, and not the clear, studied conclusions of the mind. A death preceded by a good and virtuous life is never an evil thing. The only thing that can make death an evil is what might follow it: such as eternal punishment, or even the temporal punishment due to sin.
Since we must all inevitably die, our concerns ought not be so much about how death comes, as much as where we are going when we die.
Good Catholics are persuaded that the death of a God-fearing beggar with the dogs licking his sores was far better than the death of the impious, greedy, self-centered rich man `clothed in purple and fine linen.' For this we have the word of Scripture. This being the case, we might ask: "What harm was done to those dead who died worthily, just because they died such horrible deaths?"
And so we come to the other consideration, namely, after having left this world of chance through the door of death, how much concern ought there to be for the burial of the corpse?
Many have seen the corpses of killed Christians being swept into mass graves by bulldozers like so many particles of dust on the earth's floor. The naked bodies, stiff in death, gave no resistance. World War II saw the slaughter of more Christians than at any other time in human history.
Genuine faith is not unduly horrified by such scenes because it holds fast to the divine assurance that not even devouring wild beasts can harm the bodies of those who will rise again. The Scriptures again remind us that not a single hair of their heads shall perish (Luke 21,18).
Whatever our enemies might do to the body of the slain can never endanger the life to come. Did not our Lord say: "Fear ye not them that kill the body and are not able to kill the soul." (Matt.10,28).
It is an oddity so common as to inspire wonderment that so many Christians do not fear those who can kill the body, yet fear them because they can prevent the burial of the body after death. People are more concerned about how they will be buried than with how they have the opportunity to live.
But, there are many Catholics whose conscience is tortured by the knowledge that they are aiding and abetting false
yet do not find the courage to separate themselves from these false teachers of false religion. They are afraid to do this because they are afraid not so much of those who can kill the body, but they are afraid of those who threaten their lifeless corpse. An empty threat, to be sure, for what harm can these do to the corpse by refusing it a falsified `Christian burial?'
Catholics are being deprived of Christian burial by the deceivers who have invaded our churches, seized our seminaries, and confiscated our cemeteries. What kind of `Christian burial' can heretics and apostates give to those masses whom they have cleverly deceived? It would be far better to choose the fate of our forefathers in the faith whose corpses suffered the fate described by the Psalmist: "They have given the dead bodies of Thy servants to be meat for the fowls of the air: the flesh of Thy saints for the beasts of the earth. They have poured out their blood as water, round about Jerusalem, and there was none to bury them." (Ps.78, 2,3).
St. Augustine says of this: "But, this was said rather to set in relief the barbarity of those who did such things rather than the misery of those who suffered them. For, however ghastly and shocking all this may be in the eyes of men, `precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.'" (The City of God, Bk. 1,c.12).
The true Christian does not become overly concerned with such things as funeral arrangements, the manner of burial, the kind of casket and the profusion of flowers. All this does nothing for the deceased because it is only a solace to the living.
An expensive funeral can add nothing of good for a villain any more than a cheap funeral or none at all can do any harm to a saint. The lavish obsequies for the dead rich man might have appeared magnificent in the eyes of men, but of far greater value was the unseen and unannounced death of the beggar covered with sores whose funeral was attended by angels sent by God. The rich man did not go to the `bosom of Abraham' but was cast down into hell - expensive casket and all! The poor man had no marble tomb, but he was taken up to the bosom of Abraham.
All the beautiful marble statues of Christ, the Blessed Mother and St. Anthony - standing in lonely and meaningless vigil over the desecrated graves of deceased Catholics is today a silent symbol of a faith that has long since been destroyed by faithless priests and bishops whose new mission is to flatter heretics. And, since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they eagerly imitate the lifestyles of the heretics while rejecting the holy traditions of their once-held true faith.
Our concern is for the injustice done to those Catholics who have already purchased burial plots in cemeteries that were once consecrated ground reserved for Catholics who die in the true faith. We would have to treat such cemeteries the same way we treat any other secular cemetery. In this light, we would not object to burying our dead in such cemeteries. Our only concern would be that our Catholics should not be subjected to the rituals of false religions.
Because our Catholic cemeteries had been consecrated by orthodox Roman Catholic bishops, because these Catholic cemeteries were bought with the donations of Roman Catholics wherever they are located, and because many Roman Catholics are confused with the subtle change in the meaning of words deliberately chosen to permit heretical interpretations, it is our duty to warn all persons of the true nature of the alleged `Catholic cemetery.'
Without doubt, many of our family members, as well as relatives and friends have been buried in these cemeteries when these were still in the hands of true Roman Catholics. Herein lies the painful deceit: We would like the bodies of our loved ones who shared in life the same faith to be close to us even in death.
We give honor and show respect to the ordinary objects of deceased loved ones, then, how much more so do we wish to show honor and respect for those who were temples of the Holy Ghost.
This is the basic foundation for having Catholic cemeteries in the first place: Because the deceased had been a baptized temple of the Holy Ghost. This is the reason why the funerals of the just were arranged, their obsequies celebrated and their tombs prepared with reverent piety.
Even during their lifetime, parents themselves gave their children directions concerning the burial or transfer of their bodies. Scripture itself bears testimony of God's favor toward Tobias for burying the dead.
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