CT priest weighs in on new cremation guidelines - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT priest weighs in on new cremation guidelines

Posted: Updated:
New cremation guidelines released by Catholic Church (WFSB) New cremation guidelines released by Catholic Church (WFSB)
ANSONIA, CT (WFSB) -

For years it wasn’t allowed, but now Connecticut Catholics have clear guidelines from the church if they want to be cremated.

The Vatican now says cremated remains need to be stored in a sacred place.

For most of the Catholic church's 2,000-plus years, when it came to final resting places, being buried was it.

"Because the Catholic Church believes in the resurrection of the body, they always believed the body should remain intact,” said Father Stephen Krugel, of Holy Rosary Parish in Ansonia.

He said that changed in the 1960s when the Vatican allowed cremation, and on Tuesday, the Vatican published new instructions.

Remains can’t be kept at home, they can’t be divided, and they can’t be scattered.

"Now the cremains can be brought into the church for a funeral liturgy, but the church asks the cremains be treated in the same way you would treat the body. In other words, you wouldn't put the cremains on the mantel afterwards, on a coffee table, because you wouldn't put a dead body on the mantel or a coffee table,” Father Krugel said.

The new instructions were released just in time for All Souls Day on Nov. 2, when the Catholic Church prays for and remembers the dead.

While the new document said that burial continues to remain the preferred method, it established guidelines for the growing number of Catholics who want to be cremated…specifically that remains will be held in a designated, sacred place, like a cemetery or a mausoleum.

"The soul is no longer there, so it's still the same respect you'd have for the body, you'd have for the cremains,” Father Krugel said.

While the church just published the guidelines on Tuesday, Pope Francis approved the new instructions back in the spring.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.