Not in the case of Steven Sueppel, argues Dr. Ed Peters:
One of the reasons we have rules is to help us guide our decision-making when circumstances make it difficult to think clearly. The horrific murder of the Sueppel family by their husband-father Steven, who then finally succeeded in killing himself, is nothing if not a difficult circumstance. My read, in any case, of 1983 CIC 1184.1.3, in light of the gruesome facts of this case, leads me to conclude that Steven Sueppel should be denied ecclesiastical funeral rites.
Assuming the accuracy of the press reports, there is no doubt that Steven Sueppel offered no "sign of repentance" (as opposed perhaps to expressing some regrets in a note) for having just murdered, barbarically, his wife and four young children. There is no doubt whatsoever that Steven Sueppel offered no "sign of repentance" before killing himself (on the third try). Because Canon 1184 does not require us 'to read the soul' of someone, but instead focuses our attention on observable actions, there is, in my opinion, no doubt but that Steven Sueppel's actions qualify him as "a manifest sinner" who in turn "cannot be granted [an] ecclesiastical funeral without scandal for the faithful."
Read the entire post on the "In The Light of the Law" blog. Here is another story, with a photo of the family. And say a pray for the repose of the souls of Sheryl Sueppel, her children Eleanor, Ethan, Mira and Seth, and her husband, Steven.