The Vatican clarifies the doctrine regarding cremation and storage of ashes

He. She Circle of the Doctrine of Faith Clarifying the teaching on cremation in a one-page document in response to the Archbishop’s questions Matteo Zupi. The Archbishop of Bologna asked his questions in response to the growing number of people who choose to cremate their dead and scatter the ashes in nature.

The document states some basic principles of the Catholic position on cremation.

  • The ashes of the deceased are part of a person’s historical journey.
  • Out of sacred respect, we store the ashes in a sacred place suitable for prayer, such as a cemetery.
  • It is possible to spread collective pastures provided that the identity of each person is indicated. This is to preserve the person’s memory.
  • A small portion of the ashes may also be kept in a place of significance to the deceased, such as the home. Not all ashes, so that the dead person is not excluded from the prayers of family and society.
  • The local church authority has a legal and pastoral role to guide families to make informed choices.

Read the full text of the department (English)

Until 1963, cremation was considered incompatible with the resurrection of the Catholic Church. Since then, cremation has been permitted, although the Church still prefers to bury the deceased.

source: Vatican News (English) – Lacroix (French)

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Denton Watson

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