Bishop Emilio Marquez of Lucena denied Catholic burial rites for the freemason Gov. Rafael Nantes
June 3, 2010 2 Comments
LUCENA CITY—The denial of Catholic burial rites for the late Quezon Gov. Rafael Nantes—a known Freemason and “born-again Christian”—was in accordance with canon law and not politically motivated, a Church leader said here on Sunday.
In a homily delivered a day after Nantes’ burial, Bishop Emilio Marquez said the Diocese of Lucena would uphold its decision “unless some signs of repentance before death had been shown” by the deceased.
Marquez, a known critic of Nantes, noted that the governor’s death in a helicopter crash on Monday was sudden and unexpected, and that there was no way for the Church to determine whether he had repented.
The head of the diocese explained that the Church’s Code of Canon Law (Canon No. 1184 and No. 1185) denies Catholic burial rites for the likes of Nantes.
“We did not in any way forbid prayers for the eternal repose of his soul or to bless the mortal remains of the governor,” he said.
The bishop explained that the Church did not prohibit the celebration of Mass for the late provincial executive “as long as his (Nantes) body was not there.”
Marquez also disclosed that a relative of the late governor, Fr. Ed Nantes, a Dominican priest assigned in Indonesia, had sought his guidance on the matter.
“I told him that he can bless the mortal remains of the governor even with his habit on but he cannot say Mass in the presence of his (Nantes’) body,” Marquez said.
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Monk’s Hobbit Notes:
The Code of Canon Law states:
Can. 1184 §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals:
1/ notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics;
2/ those who chose the cremation of their bodies for reasons contrary to Christian faith;
3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.
§2. If any doubt occurs, the local ordinary is to be consulted, and his judgment must be followed.
Can. 1185 Any funeral Mass must also be denied a person who is excluded from ecclesiastical funerals.
The present legislation of the Church is contained in canon 1374:
Can. 1374 A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict.
In the previous Code (can 2335), Masonry is explicitly mentioned. As the declaration of 26 November 1983 explains, the omission of the name “Mason” in the present Church law is due to an “editorial criterion”. Masonic associations are thus included under a more general heading which could include any other association conspiring against the Church (e.g. a specific communist party).