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According to the canon law every man is free to choose for himself the burial ground in which he wishes to be interred.

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.

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.

Further, Christian burial is to be refused to suicides (this prohibition is as old as the fourth century; cf. L., XL, 573) except in case that the act was committed when they were of unsound mind or unless they showed signs of repentance before death occurred.

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.