Cremation | Cremate
Bury | Burial
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Question / Issue:
What is the
traditional position of the Church regarding cremation?
Answer / Resources:
[click link(s) below, as applicable]
As stated in the 1917
Code of Canon Law...
"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."
Note that Pope Leo
XIII ordered that Ordinaries...
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
Note: In the wake
Vatican II, cremation has unfortunately been tolerated "unless this is
chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching" (1983 Code of Canon
Law), however, "The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burial
be retained" (1983 Code of Canon Law, Can. 1176 §3). Tradition-minded Catholics
continue to reject this "detestable" practice.
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