Newsletter of the District
- June 1999
(inhumation) of the bodies has always been the most general and
constant practice of the people.
Persians buried their dead. The Egyptians even embalmed the cadavers
of famous persons.
V, 5) says that the Greeks and the Latins buried the dead.
In the Old
Testament, Tobias is praised by St. Raphael the Archangel because
he buried the dead at the risk of his life: “When thou didst
bury the dead by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord” (Tob.
In the gospel
of St. Mark, we see Joseph of Arimathea “buying fine linen”,
and after that “taking down the Body of Jesus, he wrapped Him
in the linen and laid Him in a sepulchre (…) and when the Sabbath
was passed, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome
brought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus”
(Mk 15, 46; 16,1).
At the time
of the first Christians, cremation was spread among the Romans.
It was a consequence of the decadence of the society for instance,
at the time of Sylla and Marius the proportion between burial and
cremation was one to fifty.
But the first
Christians vigorously reacted against this practice. They buried
their dead at the risk of their life. It was indeed very dangerous
for them, because burial made them be recognized as Christians,
and the persecuting Romans, when they discovered the cemeteries
of the Christians, confiscated them and exhumed the bodies, as under
the order of the emperors Valerian or Diocletian.
has only one possible explanation: it came from a commandment
given by the Apostles themselves.
Innocent I (401-417) said that the violation of this order is one
of the most serious scandals, and it will never be changed. No dispensation
can be given, adds the pope, except in the case of necessity (epidemic,
When the barbarians
converted to the Catholic faith, the Church obliged them to bury
their dead and to stop burning them, even under death penalty as
it was at the time of Charlemagne (eight century).
spread, proportionally the practice of burial prevailed over cremation.
When cremation is used against the Catholic Church.
It is the French
Revolution of 1789 which talked again about cremation. And in the
last quarter of the XIXth century, the Masonic societies obtained
from the governments of Europe the official recognition of this
practice. It was accepted in Italy in the year 1876, in France in
the year 1887.
given by the advocates of incineration were hygiene, lack of space
in the great cities to put cemeteries, risk of burying somebody
alive. These reasons are still put forward today. But are these
motives really serious?
hygiene, this objection is an insult to all the civilized nations,
which practiced inhumations. Monastic orders, which buried their
dead in the cloisters never had, because of this, infections, epidemic
or stain in the water they drew nearby!
the alleged lack of place in the great cities, everybody knows that
many dead are buried one over the other, and above all, what is
this “progress” of the world which would make us now incapable to
give a decent burial to our dead?
Not to be troubled
by the argument of the partisans of cremation, let us quote the
testimony of a witness of an incineration:
“It was the
most poignant impression of horror I ever had. I have shivers, and
cold sweat on the forehead when I remember this body twisting, these
arms thrashing the air as to ask mercy, these fingers tightening,
these black leg giving great kicks, catching fire as torches”.
Which son would
dare to burn like this the body of his mother, or of his father!
(bishop of Angers in France, last century) called this action savagery,
and said “How can we make disappear the cadaver of our beloved parents
which such violence on the day of their funeral?”
How can we
pray in front of a funeral urn containing the ashes of our parents?
Cemeteries, where they quietly rest, waiting for the general resurrection,
are on the opposite a continual invitation to pray for the repose
of their souls.
But we understand
better the profound motive of this campaign for cremation when we
read, in an advertising leaflet for this practice. “To choose cremation
is to enter in the universal humanistic chain of union attached
to the defense of human values” (Cremation Association of the Basque
Coast). Here, it is no more question of hygiene, lack of space,
etc. but we find the objective of Freemasonry, this occult society
whose goal, under the pretext of human values, is to destroy Catholicism
and all the orders put by God in the world.
Doctrine of the Catholic Church
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.
Law was promulgated in 1917, it summarized the previous condemnation
of cremation in the following three canons:
“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.”
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.”
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.
us not forget that the Holy Church permits cremation in exceptional
circumstances, as in times of epidemic, war, etc. (same Instruction)
ARE THE REASONS FOR THE CONDEMNATION OF
BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?
The first reason comes from the particular circumstance which made
cremation having been newly promoted by Freemasonry. Because of
this fact, cremation becomes a public profession of irreligion and
materialism. But it is important to understand that it is not the
most important reason. The Catholic Church does not condemn cremation
only because Freemasonry promotes it.
The Holy Catholic Church condemns cremation because it is a barbarous
custom opposed to the respect and piety that one must have for
our dead, even on the natural level. And in the eyes of faith,
by burial, the body laid under the earth where it will wait for
its resurrection. St. John Chrysostom says that the cemeteries
are as dormitories where the dead are waiting for the day of resurrection.
Only exceptional reasons (as in epidemic or war, etc.) can obliged
for the burning of the bodies
modernism and the doctrine of the Catholic Church
In the new
Canon Law promulgated in 1983 (n. 1176 paragraph 3), the actual
authorities of the Church do not forbid anymore cremation “unless
it was chosen because of reasons opposite to the Catholic doctrine”
(for example, denial of the dogma of the resurrection of the bodies).
isn’t it in fact a great help given to all these associations for
cremation founded all over the world now to spread this practice?
These associations are inspired by Freemasonry which is now spreading
cremation to fight the Catholic Church and its beliefs.
if the new Canon Law continues to deeply recommend the burial of
the bodies, its new politics of no-condemnation favors once again
the action of the enemies of the Church who, by their diabolical
hatred of the creation of God, kill the fetus by abortion, the sick
and the old people by euthanasia, and savagely destroy the bodies
of the dead by cremation.
can also add that cremation endangers the practice of the veneration
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.
we continue to follow the teaching of the traditional Canon Law
of 1917, which expresses the constant thought of the holy Catholic
S The bodies of the dead must be buried - cremation
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.
What is said about the bodies must be applied to the members of
the body (if cut by surgery for example) or to the dead fetus: they
must be buried and not incinerated.
- From an article of Fr. Pinaud, SSPX
published in “Le Sel de la Terre.”