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Thai Cardinal refusing funeral mass for drug traffickers

Amid the Thai government's war on illegal drugs, the president of the country's Catholic Bishops' Conference says the Church will refuse funeral Masses to Catholics who produce or sell drugs.

Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu of Bangkok explained the pastoral policy concerning illegal drugs to some 100 priests of Bangkok archdiocese during a meeting at the end of April.

The bishops agreed on the policy during their plenary meeting in March.

"If Catholics who die are found, with convincing proof, to have been producers or dealers of illegal drugs, they will incur a Church penalty," he said. "Priests must not say a funeral Mass for them and must not allow them to have a Christian wake at a church hall."

He explained that these are "people who destroy society," and their drug dealings are "the acts of indirect murder" of innocent people.

UCA News

Under-fire PM changes tack in Thai drugs war (The Guardian 10/3/03)

12 May 2003