by Fr. Pinaud, SSPX
published in “Le Sel de la Terre.”
“On December 8, 1869, the International Congress of Freemasons imposed it as a duty on all its members to do all in their power to wipe out Catholicity from the face of the earth.
Cremation was proposed as a suitable means to this end, since it was calculated to
gradually undermine the faith of the people in ‘the resurrection of the body and life
–Fr. John Laux, Catholic Morality (Imprimatur 1932), p. 106
The burial (in humation) of the bodies has always been the most general and constant practice of the people.
Egyptians and Persians buried their dead. The Egyptians even embalmed the cadavers of famous persons.
Tacitus (History V, 5) says that the Greeks and the Latins buried the dead.
In the Old Testament, Tobias is praised by St. Raphael the Archangel because he buried the dead at the
risk of his life: “When thou didst bury the dead by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord” (Tob. 12, 12)
In the gospel of St. Mark, we see Joseph of Arimathea “buying fine linen”, and after that “taking down the Body of Jesus, he wrapped Him in the linen and laid Him in a sepulchre (…) and when the Sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome brought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus” (Mk 15, 46; 16,1).
At the time of the first Christians, cremation was spread among the Romans. It was a consequence of the decadence of the society for instance, at the time of Sylla and Marius the proportion between burial and cremation was one to fifty.
But the first Christians vigorously reacted against this practice. They buried their dead at the risk of their life. It was indeed very dangerous for them, because burial made them be recognized as Christians, and the persecuting Romans, when they discovered the cemeteries of the Christians, confiscated them and exhumed the bodies, as under the order of the emperors Valerian or Diocletian.
Such resistance has only one possible explanation: it came from a commandment given by the Apostles themselves.