Article appeared in Ucan newsfuneral
Published Date: July 12, 2010
By Bosco de Souza Eremita, Panaji
A funeral service in India. A Goan priest has warned parishioners not to place valuables on coffins.
A parish priest in Goa, India, has threatened to stop funeral services if valuables are displayed on coffins.
Father Raul Colaco made the announcement on July 11 after two freshly-dug graves in the parish cemetery were vandalized 10 days earlier.
Police suspect thieves dug up the graves, believing that valuables had been buried with the deceased.
Some Catholics in Goa follow the custom of displaying such valuables which are removed prior to burial.
Father Colaco said he would not permit coffins to be carried into church if ornaments belonging to the deceased were displayed on them.
The display of such wealth has also been a source of disputes within families, he said.
Father Colaco has filed a police complaint but no arrest has been made even after 10 days.
However, not all parishioners support the priest’s move.
One parishioner, who requested anonymity, said some intend to continue with this age-old practice and remove the valuables minutes before the priest comes to conduct the rites.