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Church voices serious doubts over scattering human ashes

New Vatican guidelines on funeral rites reiterate a preference for burial over cremation and raise serious questions about the "coherence to Christianity" of scattering the ashes.

  • Vatican City
  • April 2, 2012
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The second Italian-language edition of the "Funeral Rites" for the Catholic Church, produced by the Vatican Publishing House, was presented at the headquarters of Vatican Radio....

(continued)....The most significant new departure, contained in the appendix of the book, concerns cremation. Msgr. Lameri explained that the issue of cremation had been placed in an appendix to highlight the fact that the Church, "although she does not oppose the cremation of bodies, when not done 'in odium fidei', continues to maintain that the burial of the dead is more appropriate, that it expresses faith in the resurrection of the flesh, nourishes the piety of the faithful and favours the recollection and prayer of relatives and friends".

In exceptional cases the rites normally celebrated at the cemetery chapel or the tomb may be celebrated at the cremation site, and it is recommended that the coffin be accompanied to that site. One particularity important aspect is that "cremation is considered as concluded when the urn is deposited in the cemetery".

This is because, although the law does allow ashes to be scattered in the open or conserved in places other than a cemetery, "such practices ... raise considerable doubts as to their coherence to Christian faith, especially when they conceal pantheist or naturalistic beliefs".

Full Story: Vatican expresses second thoughts on scattering human ashes

Source: Spero News
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