traditional teaching of the Church regarding cremation is...
"Can. 1203 § 1
The bodies of the faithful departed shall be buried, their cremation being
reprobated. § 2 If anyone by any manner orders that his body be cremated, it is
illicit to execute that desire; and if this was added to any contract or
testament or any other act it is considered as not being added." (1917 Code of
Pope Leo XIII ordered
faithful of Christ instructed on the detestable abuse of cremating human bodies,
and that with all their might they deter the flock entrusted to them from this
This practice has
always been rejected by Catholics until the "sinister movement" (Catholic
Encyclopedia) pushing for cremation gained ground. The 1983 Code of Canon Law
states that: "Can. 1176 §3 The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom
of burial be retained; but it does not forbid cremation, unless this is chosen
for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching."
Catholics would reject the novel practice altogether. Other Catholics,
unfortunately, may chose this option.
For those who have
chosen this unfortunate option, it is NOT acceptable to wear or scatter ashes.
As stated in a 2016 document by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
which was approved by Pope Francis...
"... the ashes of
the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or,
in certain cases, in a church or an area, which has been set aside for this
purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority."
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."
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