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Keep it short, and don’t mention sex or drunkenness — those are the new rules for eulogies at funeral masses in Australia’s Catholic church. 

An increase in the number of inappropriate comments at funeral masses has prompted Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, to impose a five-minute deadline on eulogies and deem some areas of a person’s life off limits. 

The move is designed to cut back on the number of long-winded eulogies by friends or family members at funeral masses, and to ensure the funeral mass keeps its main focus as an act of worship to God and a place for prayers for the deceased 

The move is designed to cut back on the number of long-winded eulogies by friends or family members at funeral masses, and to ensure the funeral mass keeps its main focus as an act of worship to God and a place for prayers for the deceased.

“On not a few occasions, inappropriate remarks glossing over the deceased’s proclivities (drinking prowess, romantic conquests etc) or about the Church (attacking its moral teachings) have been made at funeral masses,” [Cardinal George] Pell’s new guidelines say.

He said the comments often embarrassed the priest, the family and the congregation and become the focus of the service.

The Catholic church in Ireland and most of the United States ban lay people from giving eulogies at funeral masses, but the church in Australia allows for a few short words of remembrance from a family member or friend near the end of a funeral mass.

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