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Vatican Issues New Guidelines On Cremation Practices

ROME (CBS) -- While the Catholic Church prefers burial of the dead, it has come to an acceptance of cremation.

However, Fr. Dennis Gill, director of the Office for Divine Worship for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, says church officials have become alarmed at some practices that it believes show a grave disrespect for the dead.

"Scattering of ashes is just not acceptable because it doesn't show the regard for the body as an integral element for burial."

And, Gill says, while some have been storing ashes in urns away from cemeteries or mausoleums, the Church no longer condones that practice.


"Cremated remains are sometimes divided up so that they can be housed in people's homes, in pieces of jewelry. This does not show the proper respect or regard for the body."

Gill says the new doctrine says the church considers the cremated remains as a whole, just like the body, and believes they should be treated with the dignity of a proper burial.

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