Skip to comments.Catholic conservatism on the rise as priest refuses funeral for 'sinner'
Posted on 07/21/2005 11:10:46 PM PDT by Crackingham
A parish priest has refused to give an Italian woman a Christian funeral because she had lived in sin. Father Giuseppe Mazzotta, parish priest at Marcellinara, near Catanzaro in Calabria, said that he had denied a Christian funeral to Maria Francesca Tallarico, who died of breast cancer at the age of 45, because she had lived with her partner but never married him. Her partner was separated and had an 11-year-old daughter.
She lived with her lover, so she was a public sinner, Father Mazzotta said. I decided not to celebrate an official Mass for this woman, who was not in communion with the Church.
Father Mazzotta said that he had performed the liturgy of absolution for the dead. He added that he was close to the dead womans family and had offered them words of comfort.
Father Antonio Sciortino, the Editor of Famiglia Cristiana, a popular Catholic magazine, accused Father Mazzotta of excessive zeal. Mario Paraboschi, a local councillor, said that he was perplexed. Father Mazzotta said that his action carried a message: Marriage is a sacrament. We cannot simply pretend.
The priests decision has underlined the growing power of conservative Catholicism in Italy. The liberal and secular Left is increasingly alarmed by the return to Catholic values in politics and everyday life, which has clear implications for the general election, due next May.
Yesterday Romano Prodi, the leader of the opposition Centre Left, who hopes to oust the ruling Centre-Right coalition of Silvio Berlusconi, came under fire from the Church and the Right for suggesting that he would follow the French example and recognise homosexual civil unions if he were returned to power.
Signor Prodi said that he would not go so far as Spain and legalise gay marriage, but Il Giornale, the conservative newspaper owned by the Berlusconi family, said that that was the logical next step.
Thought you might like this.
I'll ping one or both lists tomorrow.
The priest refused a Christian burial to an unrepentant sinner, not just any old sinner.
A good friend of mine is a Baptist preacher, and he's never refused to perform a funeral, no matter who the deceased was. The funeral's a ritual to comfort the living. The dead person's beyond help by that time. He tries very hard not to be hurtful, but he does use it as an opportunity to witness to those who might be unsaved.
And when you get right down to it, NOBODY knows what might happened in the last moment before a person's death. They could very well have accepted Christ. We don't know that they did, but we don't know that they didn't either. I think we'll be surprised when we get to heaven at who IS and who ISN'T there.
Just another way of looking at things. I'm not Catholic, and they can do what they want. But with that said, I don't much like what this priest did.
AFAIK, from another situation like this, in the Catholic Church the priests are not allowed to or supposed to conduct a funeral mass for an individual who was living in opposition to Cathlic teachings. A practicing homosexual who was the owner of a "gay" bar died, and his family wanted a Catholic funeral. There was a big to-do about it.
There are other services or memorial services that can be done.
Rules are rules, and the rules shouldn't be broken if those are the rules. If a person is flagrantly breaking the 10 commandments, for instance, knowingly, without any repentance - then that person is not a Catholic in truth. It's one thing to fall, and then be sorry about it, and beg for repentance. It's another thing to proudly live in opposition to God's instructions.
Kind of like the controversy currently happening in Canada (and here) - some priests are refusing to give communion to people who espouse, for instance, abortion and "gay" marriage.
Maybe a Catholic will comment about exactly how it's supposed to be in the Catholic church.
I'm not a Baptist or a Catholic, but I know something of their theology. The biggest difference is that for Catholics you can only get right with God through the church. Protestents believe in a direct relationship with Jesus. So it would be appropriate for a Catholic not to do the funeral, but the Baptist to do so.
Horror of horrors!!!
Everyone, including this priest, is a public sinner.
So does he believe she's in hell?
It seems to me that the pastor didn't take a too strict course of action. From the Code of Canon Law promulgated by His Holiness John Paul II:
THOSE TO WHOM ECCLESIASTICAL FUNERALS MUST BE GRANTED OR DENIED
Can. 1183 §1. When it concerns funerals, catechumens must be counted among the Christian faithful.
§2. The local ordinary can permit children whom the parents intended to baptize but who died before baptism to be given ecclesiastical funerals.
§3. In the prudent judgment of the local ordinary, ecclesiastical funerals can be granted to baptized persons who are enrolled in a non-Catholic Church or ecclesial community unless their intention is evidently to the contrary and provided that their own minister is not available.
Can. 1184 §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals:
1/ notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics;
2/ those who chose the cremation of their bodies for reasons contrary to Christian faith;
3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.
§2. If any doubt occurs, the local ordinary is to be consulted, and his judgment must be followed.
Can. 1185 Any funeral Mass must also be denied a person who is excluded from ecclesiastical funerals.
I have a friend who is a preacher, and he once told me he would never conduct a funeral for anyone who was not a confessing Christian. The last time he did it, it left him quite upset.
You can always find someone to conduct a service. But if you are a believing Christian, I imagine it is hard to go and say pretty words about how "oh death, where is thy sting" when in your heart you feel the person has gone into a lost eternity.
Sometimes you don't know the state of the person, that is one thing. But if you are sure they are not a believer, it is a bit hypocritical, when you think about it, to have a Christian service.
That is not Catholic teaching what you stated. You are uninformed of what Catholic Teaching is. That is why the Catholics have the Book Malachi added to the Bible.
The Bible also states clearly that though there is no one on earth holier than John the Baptist was, the least in heaven was holier than he was on earth (Matthew 11:11).
Explain Matthew 11:11, and I will give you a pass on what you said that when you are dead, you are dead. The book of Malachi also needs to be explained, as it was the folks who put the Bible together in the first place put in the book of Malachi. Were they wrong in putting the books in the Bible back in the 4th or 5th Century?
Finally, she was a public sinner and unrepentant. He did hold a service for her, and something that might be equivalent to what Baptists have.
But it was not a re-enactment of the Lord's Supper.
For Jesus also said: "Do not give what is holy to dogs.
Finally, there are those who feel they can sin as much as they want, as long as they said the words "I have been saved".
Being saved means keeping God's commandments and showing God you love Him with your whole heart, mind and soul, and loving your neighbor as yourself.
Leading other people into sin (living with a man out of wedlock) is not an example for young children, and would lead them into sin.
Do you condemn Jesus for what He did with the moneychangers in the Temple?
Do you condemn Jesus for saying to the adulterous woman (in sharp rebuke) "Go and sin no more!
mark for later reading
The key point is that she was a bad example, and it would be a bad example by the priest to "make light" of a sinner.
Not necessarily. But Jesus was quite clear in the Bible when He said that one should "put a yoke about their neck and be cast into the sea" rather than cause innocent people to sin. [Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2]
There is a famous story of Saint Jean-Marie Vianney (incorrupt priest). A woman came to him about a man who committed suicide. Saint Jean-Marie Vianney replied that her husband had repented before he died. (The man had leapt off a bridge, and Jean Vianney explained that before he hit the water, he had made an act of contritution).
According to the saint, the husband who had committed suicide was having his sins purged before entering heaven. Protestants do not believe in this, but this was also the belief of early Christians (to pray for the dead as was done in the book Malachi -- an Old Testament book in the original Bible).
"Father Antonio Sciortino, the Editor of Famiglia Cristiana, a popular Catholic magazine, accused Father Mazzotta of excessive zeal.
Obviously asophomoric political correct hack.
Sorry the lady is dead, but if you belong to an organization, you follow the rules or take your membership elsewhere.
And living with a person outside of marriage should not be encouraged or condoned by any Christian Church.
The fruits of such unions fill our jails, prisons, psychiatric wards and welfare roles.
That is correct and but just one addition -- there is nothing to prevent a Catholic from asking God directly or getting the intercession of heaven. So a Catholic can go through the Church, but a Catholic can also ask God as well.
The Catholic Devotion to the Divine Mercy is an example of using Jesus as a way to get God to be merciful on us. This does not require the intervention of the Church.
Pope John Paul II believed in the Devotion to the Divine Mercy.
That makes sense.
But there are a lot of *living* people being bad examples too. What will be done about them?
Obviously, on FR, you are free to contribute to any thread, but why voice your disaproval of Catholic dogma/doctrine, on this issue, when you are so clearly ill-informed?
I cannot make sense of your argument, but just to clarify a point: the Book of Malachi is in Protestant Bibles too. It's not part of the Deuterocanon. Perhaps you mean Maccabees? As for the previous poster not stating Catholic teaching: where did he say he was? He explained the Protestant view. Funeral services are memorials for the loved ones of the deceased, and not of any real use to the deceased him or her self.
Not necessarily -- Acts of the Apostles 11:1-11 -- in particular verse 3. Here Ananias is accused by Saint Peter of "lying to the Holy Spirit" and that "Satan had filled his [Ananias'] heart".
Basically, Ananias and his wife Sapphira both dropped dead in front of Saint Peter. I would not say they are not in heaven, but most likely they did not make it because of the "deceit of the Holy Spirit".
A lesser story is that of Saint Padre Pio -- Italian monk and Priest who lived from 1887 to 1968. He once had a woman who asked about a countess or baroness who had died -- as he was known to have gifts about knowing spiritual things (he predicted to the Pope John Paul in the late 1940's that he would become Pope when the Polish priest visited him).
At any rate, this countess or baroness had passed away, and this person wanted to know if she went to heaven.
Saint Padre Pio responded to the woman that the baroness or countess had gone straight to hell.
The woman was supposed to relay this to other rich women who had asked her to ask about this for them.
She was at first reluctant to relay this, but was urged to by a friend of Padre Pio (Mary Pyle).
When the woman relayed the message, it had a very positive effect on the women who heard -- they knew the sinful life of the countess/baroness, and they immediately amended their lives for the better.
St. Padre Pio and St. Jean-Marie Vianney are very interesting studies of their own.
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