Taking Care of Cre(m)ation…
Vatican Reminder: Cremation is Permitted!
November is traditionally the month the Church dedicates to the Holy Souls in purgatory, a time when the faithful are encouraged, more than at any other point during the year, to make intercession for the faithful departed, particularly on All Souls’ Day (typically observed on Nov. 2, sometimes Nov. 3).
Just in time for this, the Vatican II Sect has issued a decree by the Congregation for the Destruction of the Faith to remind all Novus Ordo adherents that cremation is a licit way of disposing of the remains of the deceased, and that a burial of the body, although preferable, is not necessary. The instruction is entitled Ad Resurgendum Cum Christo and bears the subtitle, “regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation”. The Vatican has made the full text — surprisingly, not very long — available in seven languages on its web site:
- Instruction Ad Resurgendum Cum Christo (Italian, French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish)
The document, which bears the name of “Cardinal” Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the CDF, was released on October 25, although it is dated August 15, 2016. “Pope” Francis had given his approval back in March of this year.
Before we dissect this new document a bit, let’s review the traditional Catholic attitude towards cremation and how it began to change when the Modernists usurped the Holy See after the death of Pope Pius XII:
In the real Catholic Church, cremation is strictly forbidden. The 1917 Code of Canon Law legislates the following:
§1. The bodies of the faithful must be buried, and cremation is reprobated.
§2. If anyone has in any manner ordered his body to be cremated, it shall be unlawful to execute his wish; if this order has been attached to a contract, a last will, or any other document, it is to be considered as not added.
As one of his first official acts as antipope, Paul VI — clearly a propagator of Masonic ideas, if not an official member of Freemasonry himself — approved the “Holy Office” instruction Piam et Constantem, which lifted the general prohibition against cremation. Originally reviewed on May 8, 1963, the last few weeks of “Pope” John XXIII, it was Paul VI who approved the document for publication on July 5 of the same year (see Documents on the Liturgy, n. 413, p. 1067). This occurred between the first and the second session of Vatican II.
When John Paul II promulgated the Novus Ordo Code of Canon Law in 1983, he enshrined this new regulation in it:
§3. The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.
Notice that the text does not say cremation is permitted, only that the Vatican II Church “does not prohibit” it. Don’t assume this is not significant — the Modernists are very careful about how they phrase things, and this is no accident. The verbiage about “not forbidding” rather than “permitting” allows them to maintain that, after all, they never did actually permit cremation, and this will come in handy for Novus Ordo apologists like Tim Staples or Jimmy Akin when they are pushed to the wall. In addition, it will allow people like Christopher Ferrara to argue that “this isn’t binding” since it doesn’t actually positively legislate anything — it merely notes the absence of a permission or obligation.
The traditional Catholic prohibition against cremation is briefly explained in the Woywod-Smith commentary on canon law, as follows:
The religious symbolism in the burial of the bodies of the faithful in consecrated ground is much more justified than the symbolism of freemasonry in the cremation of the bodies of the deceased. There is a very positive foundation for the symbolism of the Christian burial rite. In itself it is a matter of indifference how the bodies are disposed of after death, but, when cremation began to develop into a protest against the Christian teaching of the resurrection of the body, the Church had to insist all the more strongly on its ancient custom of Christian burial. The  Code [of Canon Law] unqualifiedly forbids cremation in Canon 1203; in Canon 1240 it denies Christian burial to those who ordered their bodies to be cremated, unless they showed some signs of repentance before death….
When asked whether it was lawful to join societies which have for their purpose the promotion of cremation, and whether one could lawfully order one’s own body or the bodies of others to be cremated, the Holy Office answered (May 19, 1886) that neither could be done, and that, if there was question of joining cremation societies affiliated with the freemasons, the penalties of joining freemasons are incurred.
(Rev. Stanislaus Woywod, A Practical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, rev. by Rev. Callistus Smith, Vol. II [New York, NY: Joseph F. Wagner, 1952], n. 1235; pp. 29-30)
Notice that the traditional Catholic legislation on the matter does not care why someone has ordered his own body to be cremated — it is forbidden no matter what the stated reason is, and in this it differs significantly from Novus Ordo law. The true Catholic position is very prudent, since a person’s intentions are often hidden and not stated openly and hence can be difficult to ascertain — besides, even a good or neutral intention can be misunderstood by third parties, and thus scandal would needlessly be taken.
As Fr. John Laux notes in his course on morality, cremation is an ancient pagan practice that came to be abolished in places where Catholicism took hold. “In modern times”, he adds, writing in the 1930s, “efforts have been made to force this pagan practice on the world once more”. He then continues with this startling revelation:
On December 8, 1869, the International Congress of Freemasons imposed it as a duty on all its members to do all in their power to wipe out Catholicity from the face of the earth. Cremation was proposed as a suitable means to this end, since it was calculated to gradually undermine the faith of the people in “the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.”
(Rev. John Laux, Catholic Morality [New York, NY: Benziger Brothers, 1934], p. 106)
How far the Freemasons have succeeded in this goal up until now, can easily be seen by surveying the status quo in the Vatican II Church.
For those interested in a fuller treatment of the Catholic prohibition against cremation and the requirements for Catholic burial in general, we recommend the book The Privation Of Christian Burial: An Historical Synopsis And Commentary by Fr. Charles Kerin (1941).
But now, let’s have a close look at the newly-issued Vatican document on cremation and evaluate its significance. Insofar as the effective permission for cremation is concerned, this CDF instruction isn’t anything new. (We say “effective permission” and not simply “permission” because, again, the wording the Novus Ordo Sect uses is always that cremation is not forbidden, not that it is actually permitted.)
Here are the salient points from the document (in blue), with our commentary:
- “…the practice of cremation has notably increased in many countries, but simultaneously new ideas contrary to the Church’s faith have also become widespread.” — Pure coincidence, no doubt!
- The instruction is being published “with the intention of underlining the doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference of the burial of the remains of the faithful and to set out norms pertaining to the conservation of ashes in the case of cremation.” — That figures: The document claims to be concerned with underscoring the preference for burial as opposed to cremation, but of course the effect — entirely foreseeable and no doubt intended — is that everyone is now talking about how the document permits cremation and provides specific directives on how to preserve the ashes afterwards. Had the Vatican truly wanted to encourage people to prefer burial over cremation, they would have put out a document dedicated entirely to speaking about burial and explicitly (at the very least) discouraging cremation. Another alternative would have been to simply outlaw cremation again — after all, this is something that can be done with a single stroke of the pen.
- “Following the most ancient Christian tradition, the Church insistently recommends that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places. In memory of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord, the mystery that illumines the Christian meaning of death, burial is above all the most fitting way to express faith and hope in the resurrection of the body.” — Indeed, and the only reason they got this right is that here they’re actually repeating genuine Catholic tradition.
- “[The Church] cannot … condone attitudes or permit rites that involve erroneous ideas about death…” — Very good. Why, then, did the Novus Ordo Sect replace black vestments for funeral Masses (signifying sin, death, judgment, and the uncertain destination of the soul) with white ones (signifying the certain attainment of Heaven)? Wisely did Pope Pius XII warn that “one would be straying from the straight path … were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments…” (Encyclical Mediator Dei, n. 62).
- “The Church raises no doctrinal objections to [cremation], since cremation of the deceased’s body does not affect his or her soul, nor does it prevent God, in his omnipotence, from raising up the deceased body to new life. Thus cremation, in and of itself, objectively negates neither the Christian doctrine of the soul’s immortality nor that of the resurrection of the body.” — This is true as far as it goes, but although the practice is not intrinsically evil, it nevertheless has a very powerful effect on people’s consciousness and can lead them to embrace errors against the Faith, especially in connection with the rampant denial of Catholic doctrine that is omnipresent all throughout the Novus Ordo Sect. It simply gives the appearance that there is no supernatural purpose to human life, that human happiness and fulfilment are to be sought in this world, after which there is nothing but pure annihilation. Thus the practice of cremation becomes evil by circumstance, although it is not wrong in and of itself.
- “…cremation is not prohibited, ‘unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.'” — This is the famous loophole the Modernists plant in their texts to let them off the hook in case anyone should catch on to their game. This is the linchpin on which hangs this issue’s entire “hermeneutic of continuity.” This is what people like Jimmy Akin and Tim Staples will point to when challenged, allowing them to claim that the permission of cremation is not a contradiction with the past since it is still forbidden if the practice is chosen as a way of expressing one’s denial of the Faith. The practical effect, however, is always the same: These little caveats are quickly overlooked or forgotten, and all people will ever remember is that “cremation is now permitted”. The same happened when Paul VI abolished the Index of Forbidden Books and the abstinence from meat on Fridays. Officially, according to the actual Novus Ordo law on the books, it is still not permitted to read books that are on the Index or any that are a danger to the Faith (see Cardinal Ottaviani’s Notification Post Litteras Apostolicas), and meat may be enjoyed on Fridays only if one does some other kind of penance instead (see Paul VI, “Apostolic Constitution” Paenitemini, II.2, VI.1.B) — but who actually knows this or cares? Practically no one, and it is no different with the official prohibition of cremation if done as an expression of one’s denial of the Resurrection. In this way, the Modernists cause heresy to spread and flourish, while possessing enough plausible deniability if anyone should ever accuse them of it. This is the Modernist strategy.
- “…the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence is not permitted. Only in grave and exceptional cases dependent on cultural conditions of a localized nature, may the Ordinary, in agreement with the Episcopal Conference or the Synod of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, concede permission for the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence.” — This is another Modernist trick: Make a general prohibition but then immediately qualify it with exceptions that can be decided upon by the local bishop(s). This then always quickly turns into a de facto blanket permission with only some few regional exceptions to it. Thus the end result is that it is generally practiced except for some conservative dioceses where it is not (those dioceses are the ones then swooned over by Michael Voris, “Fr.” Zuhlsdorf, and the semi-traditionalists).
- “In order that every appearance of pantheism, naturalism or nihilism be avoided, it is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects. These courses of action cannot be legitimized by an appeal to the sanitary, social, or economic motives that may have occasioned the choice of cremation.” — So here we appear to finally have an actual general prohibition, right? Perhaps so, but any satisfaction conservative Novus Ordos may have had at seeing that at least this much is absolutely forbidden, was quickly squashed when “Cardinal” Muller clarified in an interview that such neo-pagan handling of the ashes is “not a mortal sin and it isn’t even prohibited, but it is a symbol that is not in accord with the sentiments and principles of Christianity” (italics added). So there! Just because a Vatican document says that something is “not permitted” doesn’t mean it’s prohibited! In other words, they just published a whole lot of text that ultimately means nothing.
One other thing that ought not to go unnoticed is that the author of the document, the German “Cardinal” Muller, is a man who himself denies the dogma of the resurrection! Certainly, in this Vatican document he appears to affirm it, but for him “resurrection” has a different meaning than it does for Catholics, as he showed in his 1995 theological manual Katholische Dogmatik. Treating of the Resurrection of Christ, Muller defined it as a “manifestation event” that triggered a “transcendental experience” in the minds of the disciples, enabling them to perceive the “person-reality of Jesus”. Got it? Here, see for yourself:
If Muller now issues a document in which he appears to affirm the resurrection of the body in accordance with traditional Catholic doctrine, don’t be fooled. As Pope Pius VI warned all the way back in the eighteenth century, this is but a sly tactic of heretics:
[This] cannot be excused in the way that one sees it being done, under the erroneous pretext that the seemingly shocking affirmations in one place are further developed along orthodox lines in other places, and even in yet other places corrected; as if allowing for the possibility of either affirming or denying the statement, or of leaving it up to the personal inclinations of the individual – such has always been the fraudulent and daring method used by innovators to establish error. It allows for both the possibility of promoting error and of excusing it.
(Pope Pius VI, Apostolic Constitution Auctorem Fidei, introd.)
Muller, we might add, was a student of the infamous Modernist “Cardinal” Karl Lehmann and is a notorious Ratzinger admirer. That explains a lot.
At this point, for all intents and purposes, the Novus Ordo Church approves of cremation and practices it just like everyone else (except real Catholics, of course). We suspect that the only thing that could make the Vatican change course on the burning of corpses would be to make them aware of the greenhouse gases emitted during the cremation process. Surely, no one wants to leave as his final legacy a gigantic carbon footprint for others to deal with. It just wouldn’t be right. Perhaps in a few years, a Francis II will approve of the biochemical alternative to cremation, that of dissolving human bodies in chemicals.
Come on, as long as this process — called “resomation” — is not chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine, what fault could the Vatican II Sect possibly find with it?
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