Married Priests Available for Funerals
Dear Blog Visitors:
One of the areas being impacted as a result of the shortage of diocesan priests around the country is that of funerals. For example, it has been quite common for a diocesan priest to preside at a funeral Mass, but his unavailability to go the cemetery for the burial rite results in either a trained lay person or deacon handling this responsibility.
To be fair, most of the priests in the Rochester Diocese are very compassionate persons and will do whatever they can to accommodate funeral requests. However, there are a few priests who sadly make judgments as to who can have and who cannot have a funeral facilitated by a parish. One such case is addressed in the video posted above. This involved the case of a 35-year-old man who committed suicide. A diocesan priest decided he could not preside at a funeral for him. However, the wife of the deceased was given my name, and I provided whatever compassion I could, although I was not available for the requested funeral. Fortunately, I was able to put the wife in touch with a priest who was available.
My philosophies and theologies surround life and death have fluctuated over the years. At the basic level, I have always had a problem with the notion of human beings making a decision as to whether or not a deceased person gets into heaven. I believe it is a private matter between the soul of the deceased and God. This is articulated in my video.
In consideration of the shortage of diocesan priests, I implore the use of married priests in my video. A list of married priests commmissioned for funerals, weddings and baptisms by the Federation of Christian Ministries is accessible at their website: www.federationofchristianministries.org.
Peace to all,