Cremation is an option for those who do not want to be buried by burning. Many Catholic Bishops have urged Catholics to consider cremation not because of the spiritual but because of the practical. The Church recognizes cremation as the proper way to dispose of the remains of the body of a Catholic. In addition, Catholic institutions are in favor of allowing cremation in order to preserve and increase the availability of their institutions in an age of the Internet. Since cremation is no longer required by law in the United States, churches, families, and other organizations can now utilize the technology. In an interview with this writer, Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo of the Diocese of Santa Cruz, California, commented that “Cremation can be considered one of the alternatives to burial. It is an important option that provides privacy and freedom from the burden of bringing a body to the family. It is a way to provide dignity to the deceased by offering to offer the remains in a dignified way.”
Can Catholic ministers or priests legally baptize and/or perform a Catholic wedding?
Yes! According to the Church’s teachings on the nature of the Church and the right of the family, an individual has the right to choose a form of union he or she feels is both right and natural to him/her. The Church teaches that in Catholic wedding ceremonies, any form of sexual union between a man and a woman, including homosexual unions (though the Church does not support the legality of same-sex unions), constitutes an abomination that, by reason of sin that is inherent in them, is “against nature.”
Can you legally change your name if you want to remain a Catholic?
Yes. The Church teaches that in Catholic baptism, the person named receives a new name. While this is not legally possible, a baptized Catholic can continue to use her previous first name, “John.”
Can you legally change your gender while married to someone of the opposite sex?
No. According to the Second Vatican Council and other Church documents, it is contrary to the laws of the Church (Article 1.2 and 2.13 on “Sacred Sex,” and Article 3.1/2.1 on “Human Marriage”) to change one’s gender, to have a child, or to engage in other sexual acts in order to marry and be considered a valid spouse or to have a valid and binding marriage (the Church regards a marriage as being valid only for a man and a woman together as a
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