Do Catholics Now Believe in Cremations?

Do Catholics Now Believe in Cremations?

Catholics do not believe in cremation per se, however, if an individual has stated to be cremated and its according to guidelines published by the Church, then it will be permitted.

According to Catholic teachings, to honor the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, burial in a cemetery or other sacred place is “above all the most fitting way to express faith and hope in the resurrection of the body,” the Vatican statement reads. Burial in a sacred place also allows family and other loved ones to pray for and remember the dead, according to the statement.

When did Catholics Started Accepting Cremation?

The guidelines, released today (Oct. 25), state that a person’s ashes must be kept in a sacred place, not in a home or other domestic residence, and should not be scattered or divvied up in any way.

Is cremation allowed in the Catholic Church?

Cremation is allowed in the church. Yes. Catholics believe that the soul is immortal and does not depend on the physical body. Since cremation of the deceased’s remains does not affect his or her soul, according to the Church, there are no doctrinal objections to the practice.

What is the Catholic stance on cremation?

The guidelines are not meant to suggest that the Catholic Church now prefers cremation over burial of the body, as that isn’t the case. In fact, they stem from earlier burial instructions published in 1963, when the Holy Office established “Piam et Constantem,” which established that Catholics should be buried with reverence and that cremation wasn’t “opposed per se to the Christian religion.” As such, those who were cremated could still receive the sacraments and funeral rites as long as their decision to be cremated was not an indication of their “denial of Christian dogmas, the animosity of a secret society, or hatred of the Catholic religion and the Church,” the “Piam et Constantem” read  according to a statement by the Vatican.

Can you have a Catholic funeral if you are cremated?

Yes. The act of cremation does not taking away the catholic funeral rite. It is in the rare cases that catholic rite are denied of the person that was cremated. The Ashes should not be scattered. As for why the ashes shouldn’t be scattered, in the eyes of the Church, such an action could suggest the belief in another form of a god. “In order that every appearance of pantheism, naturalism or nihilism be avoided, it is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects,” the statement reads.

If these guidelines aren’t followed, the Church will deny funeral rites, according to the statement. “When the deceased notoriously has requested cremation and the scattering of their ashes for reasons contrary to the Christian faith, a Christian funeral must be denied to that person according to the norms of the law,” the statement reads.

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