Skip to comments.Vatican Guidelines on Cremation, Though Helpful, Require Follow-up
Posted on 11/08/2016 7:50:39 AM PST by Salvation
I was happy to hear that the Vatican recently reminded the worlds Catholics of some important matters concerning cremation. As cremation has become more common in recent decades, many significant problems have emerged.
Cremated remains should be treated with the same respect and reverence as bodily remains. For indeed cremated remains are in fact what does remain of the body. While many people refer to them merely as ashes, they are remains of a human body and should be treated as such.
Notably, the new instructions reiterate the consistent norms of the Church in the following ways:
Grateful though I am for these reminders, I know that the Church too often begins to permit once-forbidden things (things forbidden for many good reasons) without providing a real pastoral plan that both sets limits and educates Gods people. And while our norms are published in various liturgical books, most people dont read liturgical books let alone the norms that are tucked away in the introduction and instructions. All they hear is that something that used to be forbidden is now allowed. This can lead to abuses cropping up that get overlooked by weary or obsequious clergy and norms being are unevenly enforced from parish to parish. A pastoral plan needs to be diocesan and nationwide.
As a pastor, I think that some of the following things will be helpful going forward:
The bottom line is that these norms need a national and diocesan focus as well as enforcement. Leaving it all up to the individual parishes leads to uneven practices that confuse the faithful and cause factions to develop. A pastoral plan is necessary both at the level of the local bishop and the Bishops Conference. Otherwise, I am convinced that abuses (intentional or not) will continue.
I have published a flyer on this subject (for use in my own parish) that you might find helpful (Considering Cremation?).
Many people have been misled.
Monsignor Pope Ping!
Our local Catholic cemetery is offering the option of adding the urn of the cremated to existing grave sites. I assume with some kind of a marker.
Sorry...My families choice....not the church’s.
So, I’m guessing that having my cremated remains incorporated in to shotgun loads for my family and friends to use while shooting skeet would be considered a ‘no-no’?
Same with our Catholic cemetery. The name of the deceased to be engraved onto the existing head stone.
I see the body as nothing more than a vessel that carries “you” around on this earth until He calls “you” home.
That vessel was given to you by Him to carry “you” around. It should be taken care of while it carries “you” around. Once He has called “you” home it is nothing more than an empty vessel. What is the difference between letting it rot in a box in the ground and cremating it and putting the ashes in/on the ground?
For sure not exhumably!!!
Will the Catholic Church also stop hacking up the carcasses of saints and distributing the “relics” all over the world?
As a convert (1995) I’ve never quite managed to wrap my head around that practice.
So how is it any different to distribute grandpa’s ashes among family members, or seal a spoonful in a piece of jewelry? The Church does essentially the same thing with saintly relics.
Seems to me, people are choosing cremation precisely to avoid the expense of maintaining a gravesite. Also, due to modern mobility, many families want the option of taking grandpa’s ashes along.
And it seems to me, the Church is simply reluctant to lose the revenue stream that comes from cemetery maintenance.
I do “get” that we should do things respectfully.
DING....DING....DING....DING....DING....DING!!!!! You figured it out, so you win the prize!!!
Thanks for posting.
Oops, your mistake. Cremated remains still need to be buried.
Did you read the article?
At the local RC cemetery, it's required that cremains be in a RC approved container and the cost of opening and closing a grave for cremains is virtually the same as for a coffin, which is ridiculous. Also, there are headstone foundation and headstone requirements. Naturally, the RC cemetery makes money for all these "required" things.
In fairness to the RC church, it's not required that Roman Catholics be buried in a RC cemetery. However, it is required that any burial meet RC "requirements".
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