Help Now >
Catholic Church issues new guidelines for cremation. Here's what you need to know
FREE Catholic Classes
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued new guidelines for cremation for Catholics. Cremation has been permitted in the Catholic Church since 1963, but many Catholics don't know there are also many rules surrounding the choice.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Since 1963, Catholics have been allowed to choose cremation over burial as a means of laying a loved one to rest. Cremation is a popular choice since it is less expensive and more manageable than a full burial.
However, some Catholics have not been dealing properly with their loved ones remains. Common practices include scattering ashes, parting ashes out to friends and relatives, and keeping the ashes in a common area, such as a living room.
These practices promote heretical ideas and can be dangerous from a faith perspective. This is why the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued updated guidelines.
According to the new guidelines, burial is still preferred, but cremation is an option. When a loved one has been cremated, their ashes must be kept intact, the same as one would treat a body. The ashes may not be separated or scattered. Instead, they should remain in a proper vessel that is interred in a proper place, such as a cemetery or church. Only the bishop can authorize an exception to this storage requirement in extraordinary circumstances.
The problem, the Congregation says, are new age ideas which have taken hold in modern times. People have come to see scattering of their ashes as allowing a "fusion" of them with nature, or that death is a form of liberation from the body. These ideas flirt with new age religion and are not Catholic. Ashes cannot be scattered because it gives the appearance of "pantheism, naturalism, or nihilism."
Finally, the document stresses that Catholics who choose cremation for reasons contrary to the faith, (e.g., to have their ashes scattered) must be denied a Christian funeral.
Copyright 2021 - Distributed by Catholic Online
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
St. Josephine Bakhita
Saint of the Day for Wednesday, Feb 8th, 2023
St. Jerome Emiliani
Mysteries of the Rosary
Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, Feb 8
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saints & Angels
Female / Women Saints
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 08, 2023
- St. Jerome Emiliani: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 08, 2023
- A Prayer For a Family: Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, February 08, 2023
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, February 07, 2023
- St. Moses: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, February 07, 2023
- Prayer to Saint Joseph : Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, February 07, 2023
Help Now >
Help Now >
Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.