VAT­I­CAN

No more scat­ter­ing of cre­ma­tion ashes

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

The Vat­i­can is set­ting out guide­lines for Catholics who want to be cre­mated, say­ing their re­mains can­not be scat­tered, divvied up or kept at home but rather stored in a sa­cred, church-ap­proved place.

The new in­struc­tions were re­leased Tuesday, just in time for Hal­loween, and All Souls Day on Nov. 2, when the faith­ful are sup­posed to pray for and re­mem­ber the dead.

For most of its 2,000-year his­tory, the Catholic Church only per­mit­ted burial, ar­gu­ing that this best ex­pressed the Chris­tian hope in res­ur­rec­tion. But in 1963, the Vat­i­can ex­plic­itly al­lowed cre­ma­tion as long as it didn’t sug­gest a de­nial of faith about res­ur­rec­tion.

The new doc­u­ment re­peats that burial re­mains pre­ferred but lays out guide­lines for con­serv­ing ashes for the in­creas­ing num­bers of Catholics who choose cre­ma­tion.

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