Local pastor reflects on Vatican guidelines for cremation

Photo: KLFY

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The Catholic church allows cremation, but guidelines released from the Vatican state remains must be buried in a sacred in place like a church cemetery.

“The cemetery is a sacred place. A place of pilgrimage, a place of prayer, a place for rest,” said Cemetery Manager Brady LeBlanc.

Tuesday the Vatican’s Doctrinal Office announced that Catholics should not have their ashes scattered or kept in a urns or jewelry.

“I think it’s to bring awareness to some of the abuses that have happened within recent years. The church has always taught that the body is sacred because it’s the temple of the holy spirit,” said Father Arceneaux.

St. John the Evangelist Cathedral Pastor, Father Arceneaux said these guidelines have been in place for many years.

“The church has always taught that the body is sacred because it’s the temple of the Holy Spirit. The teaching of the church said that our bodies and soul will reunite again and it’s important that we keep that sacred.”

St. John the Evangelist Cemetery Manager Brady Leblanc said over the years many have forgotten the reasons for burial.

“I think there has been a misunderstanding that when a family does choose cremation that that is the final act, but the church really discourages that because what if you lost that necklace then the cremains of that person is lost.”

Leblanc said burial is a sign of respect for the dead and that’s why laying them to rest in a sacred place is so important to the Catholic faith.

“It’s all about dignity, that the human person is created God’s image and likeness, and even in death that person gets the same dignities they were awarded in life.”


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