CC in brief — November 2023

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle normally examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  By contrast, our feature CC in Brief, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

CC in Brief

Pallbearers at Compromise Funerals

Q:        Can a faithful and informed Catholic be a pallbearer at a funeral taking place at a church of the “new” SSPX (or a different compromise group or priest)?

A:        No.  Some of the men of the Catholic Candle Team have been asked to be pallbearers for funerals conducted in the chapels of a compromise group or priest.  They have politely declined.  We think you should decline too. 

We think that a faithful and informed Catholic should never be a pallbearer at a compromise funeral for two reasons:

1.    It would cause scandal.  We should always avoid scandal, but especially on a gravely serious matter such as this.[1]  People would see us up in the front bringing in the body.  Being part of the activity, they would think that we are approving of this compromise funeral service.

2.    Funerals have a human and Natural Law component to them.[2]  For this reason, it is permitted for us to attend passively and to sit in the back of church without participating in anything except for standing when the body comes in and goes out.  This is done as part of the natural and human aspect of this office of the Natural Law.  But it is a different matter and is a compromise to contribute to (i.e., have a role in) the body being brought to that compromise venue for the purposes of the bad religious service.

We urge you not to be a pallbearer in a compromise funeral.

[1]           Scandal is giving the appearance of evil which makes another person more likely to sin.  Summa, IIa IIae, Q.43, a.1, ad 2.

[2]           Read this article about never participating in a compromise or false religious service: