In defense of the Church's recent prohibitions, it may be urged that the revival of cremation in modern times has in practice been prompted less by considerations of improved hygiene or psychological sentiment than by avowed materialism and opposition to Catholic teaching.
Many of the Bible verses in the second post assumed that couples who live together are also sexually involved.That is usually a fair assumption, but what about those rarer cases where a couple lives together but is not sexually active?The Jews and most of the nations of antiquity buried their dead.Amongst the Greeks and Romans both cremation and interment were practised indifferently.In this way various classes of persons are excluded from Christian burial -- pagans, Jews, infidels, heretics, and their adherents (Rit. ii) schismatics, apostates, and persons who have been excommunicated by name or placed under an interdict.
If an excommunicated person be buried in a church or in a consecrated cemetery the place is thereby desecrated, and, wherever possible, the remains must be exhumed and buried elsewhere.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.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.Other persons similarly debarred are notorious sinners who die without repentance, those who have openly held the sacraments in contempt (for example by staying away from Communion at Easter time to the public scandal ) and who showed no signs of sorrow, monks and nuns who are found to have died in the possession of money or valuables which they had kept for their own, and finally those who have directed that their bodies should be cremated after death.In all such cases, however, the general practice of the Church at the present day has been to interpret these prohibitions as mildly as possible.Formerly monastic and other churches claimed and enjoyed under certain conditions the privilege of interring notable benefactors within their precincts.