Cemetery


#1

Can a Catholic be buried in a non denominational cemetary? What is the Churches teaching on this.

Thank You


#2

Yes, but the individual grave would be blessed. A particular (i.e. diocesan) law might forbid burial in a particular cemetery for a particular reason, e.g., that the cemetery is reserved for those belonging to a group antithetical to Catholicism, but that’s a far fetched and conjectural example.

Canon 1180 §1. If a parish has its own cemetery, the faithful departed are to be interred in it unless another cemetery has been legitimately chosen either by the departed person or by those who are responsible to arrange for his or her interment. §2. However, everyone, unless prohibited by law, is permitted to choose a particular cemetery for burial.

Canon 1240 §1. The Church is to have its own cemeteries wherever this can be done, or at least spaces in civil cemeteries destined for the faithful departed and properly blessed. §2. If however, this cannot be achieved, individual graves are to be properly blessed as often as needed.


#3

[quote=cameron_lansing] A particular (i.e. diocesan) law might forbid burial in a particular cemetery for a particular reason, e.g., that the cemetery is reserved for those belonging to a group antithetical to Catholicism, but that’s a far fetched and conjectural example.
.
[/quote]

Such as a cemetery “for Masonic and Eastern Star Families?”


#4

Thank you very much Deacon for this information right from the canon. This has given me much peace in this matter.


#5

[quote=axolotl]Such as a cemetery “for Masonic and Eastern Star Families?”
[/quote]

Possibly. A bishop *could *issue such a restriction after considering the all facts and weighing the values and circimstances involved. In that situation, he could also dispense from his own law in a particular case. But he might also decide after his review, that such a restriction might be useless or even counter-productive.


#6

I was talking about this thread to a fellow choir memeber last night at church and she was VERY anxious to know if there was any sort of restriction about non-catholics being buried in a Catholic cemetary. I didn’t know for sure, so I said I’d ask. My gut instinct says no problem, but since I was surprised at this answer, I figured I’d better check with the more learned.


#7

[quote=TAS2000]I was talking about this thread to a fellow choir memeber last night at church and she was VERY anxious to know if there was any sort of restriction about non-catholics being buried in a Catholic cemetary. I didn’t know for sure, so I said I’d ask. My gut instinct says no problem, but since I was surprised at this answer, I figured I’d better check with the more learned.
[/quote]

There is no prohibition in universal law. Conceivably a diocesan bishop might so legislate.

But I think that’s highly unlikely in light of the Church’s understanding toward non-Catholic Christians and even non-Christians. After all, the Church permits its own funeral rites to be used in certain situations for non-Catholics. It takes cognizance that there are Catholic / non-Catholic marriages, and shows concern for the non-Catholics. It extends special concern toward catechumens and candidates for full reception. And at the time of bereavement, the Church is concerned that its ministers be especially charitable and merciful. So we’d probably let non- Catholics rest in our grounds and permit non-Catholic ministers to conduct the services.

Of course, anyone with nagging questions could also contact his or her cemetery of choice or read an existing contract for plot and interment. There might be policies that would affect the funeral of a non - Catholic. (E.g., the cemetary might itself forbid the scattering of ashes for everyone. While Catholics cannot have their ashes scattered, this is an ecclesiastical law and would not bind a non-Catholic per se. But the policy could prevent it. Since this is a hypothetical, that’s all I would say about the example though.)


#8

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