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It may be said that no such privilege is now recognized as a matter of right to the detriment of the claim of the parish.
If a man die in a parish which is not his own, the canon law prescribes that the body should be conveyed to his own parish for interment if this is reasonably possible, but the parish priest of the place where he died may claim the right of attending the corpse to the place of burial. But the custom of making gifts to the Church, partly as an acknowledgment of the trouble taken by the clergy, partly for the benefit of the soul of the departed, gradually became general, and such offerings were recognized in time as jura stoloe which went to the personal support of the parish priest or his curates. Conc., 16 February, 1889), and which may be exacted by the parish priest for every burial which takes place in his district.
In fine, the principle is recognized that it belongs to the parish priest to bury his own parishioners. Kirchenrecht", 1873, xxxix, 385; Kohn, ibid., xl, 329). It was, however, distinctly insisted upon that the carrying out of the rites of the Church should not be made conditional upon the payment of the fee being made beforehand, though the parish priest could recover such fee afterwards by process of law in case it were withheld. He has, however, no right to any compensation if a non-parishioner dies and is taken back to his own parish for burial, nor again when one of his own parishioners dies away from home and has to be buried in the place of his demise.
The canon law recognizes for regular orders the right to be buried in the cemetery of their own monastery (Sägmäller, 453; l. Originally, as burial was a spiritual function, it was laid down that no fee could be exacted for this without simony (Decretum Gratiani, xiii, q. Moreover in the case of the very poor he is bound to bury them gratuitously. Only baptized persons have a claim to Christian burial and the rites of the Church cannot lawfully be performed over those who are not baptized.
As it often happened that a Catholic graveyard was the only available place of burial in a large district, it has been decided as a matter of necessity that in such cases it was possible to allow Protestants to be buried in a consecrated graveyard (S. In cases of necessity the Catholic parish priest may preside at such an interment, but he must not use any ritual or prayers that would be recognized as distinctively Catholic.
It hardly needs saying that at the present day in almost every part of the world the prescriptions of the canon law regarding burial are in conflict with secular legislation in more than one particular.
Tobit ; ; Sirach ; 2 Maccabees ), it is easy to understand how the interment of the mortal remains of the Christian dead has always been regarded as an act of religious import and has been surrounded at all times with some measure of religious ceremonial.
The time of burial is, generally speaking, between sunrise and sunset; any other hour requires the permission of the bishop (Ferraris, s.v., 216, 274, 279).If a parishioner elected to be buried outside his own parish, a certain proportion, generally a fourth part, of the fee paid or the gifts that might be made in behalf of the deceased on occasion of the burial was to go to the priest of his own parish. Nowadays the principle is still maintained, but generally the payment to the proprius parochus takes the form of the fourth part of a definite burial-fee which is determined according to some fixed tariff (S. Moreover no strict claim can be allowed in the case of those persons who have not lived in communion with the Church according to the maxim which comes down from the time of Pope Leo the Great (448) "quibus viventibus non communicavimus mortuis communicare non possumus" (i.e.Where an old custom existed, the continuance of the payment of this fourth part under certain conditions was recognized by the Council of Trent (Sess. we cannot hold communion in death with those who in life were not in communion with us).This conclusion may be inferred not only from negative arguments but from the direct testimony of Tertullian, "De Corona" (P. Tertullian, "De Animâ", lv; Augustine, "De civitate Dei", I, 13).In the light of this same dogma of the resurrection of the body as well as of Jewish tradition (cf.