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Vatican cremation guidelines at odds with policy in Taiwan Whats this?
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The government is promoting a 'natural burial,' such as scattering ashes in a garden or out at sea

Vatican cremation guidelines at odds with policy in Taiwan

Burial at sea in a ceremony off New Taipei City. (Photo courtesy of New Taipei City Government)

Francis Kuo, Taipei
Taiwan

November 7, 2016

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New Vatican cremation guidelines may bring the church in Taiwan into a dilemma as "eco-friendly natural burials" gain popularity through active promotion by the government.

With burial plots on the island in short supply, Taiwan has been encouraging people to cremate their deceased and scatter their ashes in nature. But the Vatican would rather Catholics are buried.

"To avoid any form of pantheistic, naturalistic or nihilistic misunderstanding, it is not permitted to scatter ashes in the air, on earth, in water or in any other way, or to convert the cremated ashes into any form of commemorative item," said the Vatican document, Ad resurgendum cum Christo (To Rise with Christ), released on Oct. 25.

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