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Catholic funerals

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 Contents - Nov 2010AD2000 November 2010 - Buy a copy now
Homily: Feast of All Saints: Benedict XVI's homily - Pope Benedict XVI
Canonisation: St Mary of the Cross MacKillop: let the truth be told - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
Homosexuality: Courage and EnCourage Chicago Conference: holiness the key - Marie Mason
Gendercide: how abortion targets baby girls - Peter Kavanagh
Liturgy: Catholic funerals: Bishop Elliott explains Melbourne's guidelines - Bishop Peter J. Eliott
Vocations: Priestly and religious vocations upsurge in the US - Tim Drake
Saints: Blessed John Henry Newman: why he is worthy of canonisation - Frank Mobbs
Ukrainian Catholics: Ukraine's University of the Catacombs - Andrew Kania
Letters: Catholic funerals - George Simpson
Letters: Benedict XVI in the UK - Arnold Jago
Letters: Future Church - Tom King
Letters: Vatican II: infallibility - John Young
Letters: Infallibility criteria - James Bogle
Letters: Definitive or not? - Fr Brian Harrison OS, STD
Letters: Declarations - Frank Mobbs
Letters: Abortion - Moya and Leo Morrissey
Letters: Elephants in the room - Frank Bellet
Books: Damien of Molokai: the Leper Saint, by Robert Louis Stevenson - Michael E. Daniel (reviewer)
Books: HIS NAME IS MERCY, by Fr Ken Barker MGL - Archbishop Denis Hart (reviewer)
Books: BLESSED JOHN  HENRY NEWMAN: A Richly Illustrated Portrait, by K.D. and D. Fso - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Fighting Fund progress
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Reflection: The woman in another place [Luke 4:38-39; Acts 12:12-17) - Babette Francis

The popular press has recently been most critical of Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart for his stand on the conduct of Catholic funerals, particularly in regard to inappropriate music and eulogies.

My experience has been that when the popular press criticises a Catholic bishop it is a sign that the bishop has done something right. It should be noted that His Grace is not introducing anything new, but is upholding existing regulations which, unfortunately, have  been widely neglected throughout the archdiocese.

A Catholic funeral is not a celebration of life. Only God knows if, and to what extent, a life is worthy of celebration. The indications are that many saved souls find their way to heaven via purgatory, and a funeral is an ideal opportunity to pray for the soul of the deceased.

It is sad that many Catholics have joined the criticism of Archbishop Hart, a poor reflection on the state of modern religious instruction.

The criticism has again led to accusations that the Church is out of step with current thinking. Such criticism has been around since before the time of Nero and it is true. For Christ said that His kingdom was not of this world. Hence it is not the duty of the Church to comply with man's wishes, but rather it is man's duty to comply with the will of God.

North Blackburn, Vic

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 23 No 10 (November 2010), p. 13

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