Refusing a Funeral Mass to a Non-Parishioner

Q: At our parish the priest is very strict.  If you aren’t registered as a parishioner, he won’t say a funeral Mass for you.  However, he will let you have a funeral service with the deacon if you pay hundreds of dollars.

After reading your post “Stipends and Sacraments,” I now wonder if our priest is violating the law by insisting on the price for a funeral service.  Or does that law not apply here because a funeral is not a sacrament?  Or does the law not apply if the person isn’t a registered parishioner? –Carlos Continue reading

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Episcopal Celibacy and the Case of Bishop Antony

Q: Many priests and people of Mysore Diocese [in India] begged the Vatican for years to investigate the scandalous activities of their Bishop William Antony.  The Bishop has many different mistresses and illegitimate children, and has [allegedly] stolen money from the Church.  Some diocesan priests who complained were murdered.

The Bishop has some supporters, but we assume he has bribed them to say positive things about him.  One of his supporters says that the Bishop has no mistress, he has a respectable wife because he received a dispensation from the Pope to get married.  We would like to know if this could be possible in canon law.  Why would Rome permit a bishop to marry a woman and have a family, when all our priests are required to be celibate?  If this is true, we do not understand the purpose in it…. –Mona Continue reading

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Is it Valid If I Marry Him Just For His Money?

Q: My oh-so-devout Catholic coworker is actively looking for a husband.  She provides unsolicited updates on who she’s dating and what he’s like, etc.  I began noticing that her descriptions of these men always include, first and foremost, his profession and how much money he earns.

I realized that she’s looking for a rich husband so she doesn’t need to work, she can stay at home with their children.  Personally I think it’s great for a Catholic couple to marry and raise a Catholic family, but I don’t get the impression that my coworker is even looking at a man for who he is.  She doesn’t care about the individual as much as she cares about his bank account and his career trajectory….

She isn’t the first woman in history who’s looking for a rich husband, but I’m wondering if Catholics who think this way are marrying validly?  Aren’t you supposed to be focused on the person you’re marrying, not external factors like wealth?  Is it a valid marriage if she marries some man just for his money? –Richard Continue reading

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Eastern Catholic Children Receiving Latin Catholic Sacraments

Q: The Syro-Malabar Eastern Catholic Church confers all sacraments of initiation [Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist] to infants.  But many Syro-Malabar couples in the United States have their children baptized at their local Latin parishes—which would just be limited to baptism in the Latin rite.

My question is, as per canon law, could those children still continue to receive the other sacraments later on (Confirmation, Penance, First Communion) at their local Latin church?  Even though there’s a Syro-Malabar jurisdiction in the United States. –Melvin Continue reading

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How Can You Obey a Law, If You Don’t Even Know It Exists?

Q:  Our Archbishop issued a Decree requiring the St. Michael prayer be prayed after all scheduled Masses.  For a variety of reasons, not every parish implemented the Decree and some don’t pray the prayer as directed.

Now, after four years, the Archbishop has allegedly sent a letter to be read at all parishes replacing the praying of the St. Michael prayer with a prayer for vocations.  Not every parish has heard this letter.  I learned about it in a facebook group….

If a bishop’s decree is law, then can it be cancelled with a letter, and one not everyone gets?  How are decrees supposed to be rescinded?  What happens when priest and people don’t obey a bishop’s decree?  How does canon law apply to bishops’ decrees?  Thank you. –Susan Continue reading

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