What’s so radical or extreme about properly burying the dead?

As part of their week long anti-Islamic hate fest, Fox News braying heads continue to bray about the dangers of “radical Islam.” So it was interesting to see that their “news” programming would feature a man who is part of an all male religious group dedicated to extremist views that pose a real threat to women and doctors. No, I’m not talking about some radical jihadist mullah, but Catholic priest Fr. Frank Pavone who is part of an order of Catholic priests devoted to putting an end to safe, legal abortion.

Pavone was last seen on Fox touting his daring “rescue” of a terminally ill Canadian child. Today, he was on Fox’s “news” show “Happening Now” where he spoke about his desire to obtain the bodies from Gosnell’s clinic so he can give them a Catholic funeral. While he seems benign enough, his writings say otherwise. But he’s pro-life and that’s all that matters on “fair & balanced” Fox News which is always happy to provide him with a pulpit for “pro-life” propaganda.

Jon Scott reported that Pavone has contacted the judge, in the Gosnell case, about receiving the bodies found in the clinic. Mollie Henneberg provided more information on the “pro-life” priest’s request. While the remains were, medically and legally speaking, fetuses, Hennenberg used the more inflammatory, anti-choice term “baby.” Fetus is the term used in the Grand Jury Report which Hennenberg referenced in describing the remains found at the clinic. She reported that Pavone has asked the medical examiner if he can have bodies after the court proceedings have ended.

Video of Pavone was shown in which he said that these are bodies of “real human beings who were killed” and that they need to be “honored” after they were “dishonored.” He added that his efforts will “raise consciousness” about “real killings.” Henneberg reported that Pavone wants permission to talk with Gosnell. After she concluded, Scott muttered “what a horrible story.”

Text and video

Editor’s note: Instead of decrying the horrors of Gosnell’s murderous abortion mill, the writer chooses to indict Father Frank Pavone for an act of basic human decency; performing one of the Corporal Works of Mercy.

The Corporal Works of Mercy

Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Shelter the homeless
Visit the sick
Visit the imprisoned
Bury the dead

The level coarseness, ignorance, depravity and basic inhumanity to be found on the pro-abort side never ceases to “boggle” the mind. 

Reverent burial or placement in a mausoleum are the only proper destination for cremated remains.

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bin Laden buried at sea

Finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world’s most wanted terrorist would have been difficult, the official said. So the U.S. decided to bury him at sea.

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Easter mystery: A very public crucifixion, followed by a decidedly low-profile resurrection. Why so?


by Doug Lawrence

The constant Tradition of the Catholic Church, along with the Gospels … make it absolutely clear that Jesus did in fact, rise again (bodily) from the dead … by his own power.

But what never seems to have been sufficiently explained is … after such a public, humiliating, crucifixion and death … why wasn’t any other living soul permitted to observe/witness the resurrection … and why … even after the risen Christ physically appeared, and for 40 days, fully interacted with the apostles (and eventually, some 500 other witnesses) did Jesus decide to forego publicly confronting any of the men who had tortured and killed him?

Here’s a few possible explanations. Feel free to submit your own:

Explanation #1: Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment.
Simple enough!

Explanation #2: Jesus came to destroy Satan’s power, to make possible the forgiveness of sins, and to open the gates of Heaven. That accomplished, his mission called for nothing more, so he left all the rest … supported by his Church and fortified by his grace … up to us.

Explanation #3: Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. He came to destroy Satan’s evil dominion of eternal slavery, sin, and death, and he couldn’t have cared less about getting even with the particular group of Jewish and Roman minions who put him to death.

Explanation #4 (my favorite): Jesus did confront the one primarily responsible for his death … and for the death of every other human being who ever lived. That person was Satan, the devil.

Satan … who held the power of death over every sinner, had no power at all over the sinless Jesus. Yet Jesus was put to death, just like nearly every “ordinary” prophet who ever came before him.

That was a big mistake … one for which Satan was subsequently judged … and which cost him everything he had earlier gained from Adam’s fall … including dominion over the whole earth .. and most … but not all … of the power he officially wielded, over men.

The soon to be crucified Jesus confirmed that Satan had already been judged:

John 16:7-11  But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go. For if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin and of justice and of judgment. Of sin: because they believed not in me. And of justice: because I go to the Father: and you shall see me no longer. And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged.

Jesus … the “abused” party … was subsequently awarded total restoration and truly extraordinary “damages”, including (but not limited to) bodily resurrection, divine appointment as the new leader of all mankind (the New Adam), and all power in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth.

He was also awarded “us”. Now “we” belong to Christ, and “our” eternal destiny is in his hands. Yet, through him, with him, in him … in the unity of the Holy Spirit … we still remain free.

Explanation #5: Jesus simply took a “longer” view of things. In Matthew 24, Jesus predicts the future destruction of Jerusalem, and he also alludes to other similar types of destruction, to come.

A generation later, just as Jesus predicted, Jerusalem, along with the Temple, was indeed destroyed by the Romans. About 400 years later … after it had been converted to Christianity … the Roman Empire met a similar end … while the Catholic Church remained … picking up the broken fragments of civilization, and eventually rebuilding it, in the image of Heaven.

The greatest institutions of western society attest to this fact, along with some of the finest religious art ever conceived, and some of the most extraordinarily beautiful churches ever constructed, for the glory of God.

Judaism never recovered. The original, centralized, system of laws and priest-directed, sacrificial worship never returned. In its place was a scattered, irregular form of various Talmudic practices … based solely on the religious opinions of certain rabbis and sages. For more on this, see 2nd Timothy, Chapter 3.

The Romans too, are not likely to ever resume their conquests. To this day, Italy, as a nation, has been unable to successfully reconcile any new, aggressive, warlike impulses it might develop, with its apparent manifest destiny as a confirmed, Catholic country.

In short, however he managed to bring it about, Jesus not only accomplished all that he came to do … he also managed to turn “swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks” (Isaiah 2:4) in some very unusual and unexpected ways.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church remains, both as the “Pillar and Ground of the Truth” (1st Timothy3:15) and the world’s oldest, continuous government, of any kind.

Explanation #6: Jesus did arrange for people to witness both the crucifixion AND the resurrection, through the institution of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist.

In fact, through their participation in the sacred liturgy, every Catholic of every generation has personally seen Jesus … both in death … and in his resurrected glory … made present for us on the holy altar, at Mass.

For almost two thousand years, that amazing event has been happening all around the world, in virtually every country on earth, every day of every year, every hour of every day. (See Malachi 1:11.)

Finally, if none of the above seems to make sense to you, try this:

Isaiah 55:1-13  All you that thirst, come to the waters: and you that have no money make haste, buy, and eat: come ye, buy wine and milk without money, and without any price. Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which doth not satisfy you? Hearken diligently to me, and eat that which is good, and your soul shall be delighted in fatness. Incline your ear and come to me: hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the faithful mercies of David. Behold I have given him for a witness to the people, for a leader and a master to the Gentiles.

Behold thou shalt call a nation, which thou knewest not: and the nations that knew not thee shall run to thee, because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel, for he hath glorified thee. Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God: for he is bountiful to forgive.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts. And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it.

For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall sing praise before you, and all the trees of the country shall clap their hands. Instead of the shrub, shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the nettle, shall come up the myrtle tree: and the Lord shall be named for an everlasting sign, that shall not be taken away.

It’s clear. God knows exactly what he is doing, and he will most certainly bring about precisely what he wills, and all that he promises … in his own wonderful way.

Such are the advantages of having unlimited power, omniscience, absolute mastery over time and space, and of course, inestimable love.

Friday of Holy Week: Jesus is brought before Pilate, scourged and crucified, to death.


GOOD FRIDAY, All through the night Jesus has been locked in the dungeon of the high priest’s house. Early this morning he was bought before a Pilate who transferred his case to Herod. Herod sent him back to Pilate who, sometime in the mid-morning, bowed to the pressure of the Temple leadership and the crowds, and condemned Jesus to a horrible death by crucifixion.

In the late morning Jesus was taken by the soldiers through the city and up the hillside of Golgotha. By noon he is nailed to the cross where he hangs in agony for some three hours. He dies around three in the afternoon. He is taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb hastily before sundown.

Today is a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence. Whenever possible, Christians are urged to keep today free of work, of social engagements, of entertainment, and to devote themselves to communal prayer and worship. At noon many parishes gather for stations of the cross for recollections of the seven last words of Jesus. Many parishes also offer stayions of the cross at 3pm the hour of Jesus death.

In the evening, we gather quietly in our parish Churches to enter into time of prayer as we reflect on Jesus death on the cross. We also pray for the needs of the world. To acknowledge the power of the cross in our lives today, we one by one come forward to venerate the cross with a kiss. Our hunger from this day of fasting is satisfied with Holy Communion distributed at the end of this liturgy.Consider too how the apostles might have gathered that night together in fear and prayer reflecting on all that happened.

John 19:4-42  Pilate therefore went forth again and saith to them: Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him. (Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them: Behold the Man.

When the chief priests, therefore, and the servants had seen him, they cried out, saying: Crucify him, Crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Take him you, and crucify him: for I find no cause in him. The Jews answered him: We have a law; and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

When Pilate therefore had heard this saying, he feared the more. And he entered into the hall again; and he said to Jesus: Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest thou not to me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee? Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee hath the greater sin.  And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar’s friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha. And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour: and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king. But they cried out: Away with him: Away with him: Crucify him. Pilate saith to them: shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar. Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus and led him forth.

And bearing his own cross, he went forth to the place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha. Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst.

And Pilate wrote a title also: and he put it upon the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title therefore many of the Jews did read: because the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city. And it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin.

Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate: Write not: The King of the Jews. But that he said: I am the King of the Jews. Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written.

The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said then one to another: Let us not cut it but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lots. And the soldiers indeed did these things.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.

Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. Now there was a vessel set there, full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar about hyssop, put it to his mouth. Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.

Then the Jews (because it was the parasceve), that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day (for that was a great sabbath day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken: and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came: and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side: and immediately there came out blood and water.

And he that saw it hath given testimony: and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true: that you also may believe. For these things were done that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him. And again another scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced.

And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews), besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore and took away the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus also came (he who at the first came to Jesus by night), bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

They took therefore the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now there was in the place where he was crucified a garden: and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus: because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

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Pray the Stations of the Cross

The Seven Last Words of Jesus

Father Jim Fenstermaker: What Today’s Catholics Should Know About Cremation

In the early church, cremation was seen as a rejection of the doctrine of the Resurrection. In 1963, the Catholic Church ended its ban on cremation, provided that the reason for choosing cremation was not contrary to Christian beliefs. In this change, the body was still to be present for the Mass of Christian Burial (the actual name for a Catholic funeral Mass), with cremation to follow. The 1997 revision of the Order of Christian Funerals, however, allowed the cremated remains to be included as part of the funeral rite in the church. This change was made out of a pastoral sensitivity for the increasing number of people choosing to cremate the body of a loved one immediately after death yet still seeking a Catholic funeral.

The church still strongly recommends the traditional burial of the dead. The earlier 1989 revised Order of Christian funerals states, “Since in Baptism the body was marked with the seal of the Trinity and became the temple of the Holy Spirit, Christians respect and honor the bodies of the dead and the places where they rest…” This is emphasized in the Mass of Christian Burial by the sprinkling of the casket with holy water and its draping with the white pall.

If the funeral liturgy is to be celebrated with the cremated remains, they are contained in a “worthy vessel” and placed on a table where the casket normally would reside. The paschal candle (a symbol of Christ’s resurrection) is placed, as usual, in that location. Scripture readings chosen by the family should not make any reference to the body.

After the funeral rite, a very important issue is the disposition of the cremated remains, which should be buried in the ground or entombed in a columbarium (a cemetery vault designed for urns). The remains should be respected in the same manner, as would the body of a deceased. They should not be put on display or kept in the home of the family, nor scattered in the wind. The church expects a more reverent disposition of the earthly remains of the deceased.

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Caring for orphans, ransoming hostages, burying the dead—it’s all in a day’s work for Father Rick Frechette.

In the barbaric cave for the dead

Known in Creole as simply ‘mog’

My trembling hand blesses them

May the angels lead you far, far from here

And do so in all haste

You and this throng of dead that surround you.

—Father Rick Frechette

from Haiti: The God of Tough Places, The Lord of Burnt Men

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