Catholics shouldn't spread ashes, church writes in new guidelines
THE VATICAN - Catholics should not scatter their cremated remains, rather store them in a church-approved place new guidelines outlined Tuesday.
Still, however, the church maintains the deceased should be buried - calling cremation a "brutal destruction" of the body. But, ABC News reported via the Associated Press, the changes give Catholics church-approved ways to conserve ashes for the increasing numbers of Catholics who choose cremation for economic, ecological or other reasons.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reports ashes and bone fragments cannot be kept at home because it would deprive the Christian community of remembering the dead. Rather, church authorities should designate a sacred place, such as a cemetery or church area, to hold them. Only in extraordinary cases can a bishop allow ashes to be kept at home, it said.
"The dead body isn't the private property of relatives, but rather a son of God who is part of the people of God," author of the text, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, said. "We have to get over this individualistic thinking."
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