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(505) 604 - 1818
CREMATION AND CATHOLICS TODAY
Many Catholics have questions about the Church's teachings on the growing practice of cremation. This is understandable since before 1963, the Church insisted that Catholics follow only the manner of Christ's burial by either entombing or burying the body. Even though today, the Church acknowledges that "cremation does not hold the same value" as the traditional way of allowing the body to go gently back into the earth, cremation is now seen as a viable alternative. (Order of Christian Funerals, Reflections, p 14).
The Revised Code of Canon Law of 1983 helps Catholics understand that the 1963 lifting of the prohibition forbidding Catholics to cremate their deceased loved one's remains was never intended as an endorsement: "The Church earnestly recommends the pious custom of burying the bodies of the dead be observed, it does not however, forbid cremation unless it has been chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching" (CANON 1176).
The Church now allows for cremation of the body, providing that family members making that decision are not doing so because they fear the body is lost forever and has no future together in Christ with the immortal soul.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CHURCH TEACHING REGARDING CREMATION OR FOR THE FOLLOWING TOPICS, CALL (505) 604 - 1818 OR YOUR PARISH PRIEST:
* What Does the Church teach about Cremation?
* Treatment of Cremated Remains of the Body
* When To Cremate
* Catholic Funeral Rites in the Presence of Cremated Remains of the Body
* Talk with a Priest, Family and Friends
* "Do You Believe This?"