The Vatican Says Catholics Shouldn't Spread Their Dead Relatives' Ashes Around Anymore

People are now supposed to keep them at a cemetery, and not on the mantel at home.
October 25, 2016, 3:13pm

This is not chill anymore. Thumbnail image via Flickr user Republic of Korea

On Tuesday, the Vatican dropped a new policy regarding cremation conduct that forbids Catholics from doing anything crazy with their loved one's ashes, like pressing them into vinyl for future generations to enjoy.

The Guardian reports that Ad Resurgendum cum Christo, as the new policy is known, says remains are now to be kept in sacred, Church-approved spots, like cemeteries or designated places in a parish. That means Catholics can no longer keep ashes in their homes or spread them around to the deceased's favorite spots.

Back in 1963, the Church changed a 2,000-year rule to allow cremation, though burial was still preferred. Tuesday's new decree restates that burial should still be the go-to plan, but it solidifies some rules about where Catholics can keep their dead dad's ashes now that cremation has become more popular.

"We come from the earth and we shall return to the earth," Cardinal Gerhard Müller told the Guardian of the new policy. "The church continues to incessantly recommend that the bodies of the dead be buried either in cemeteries or in other sacred ground."

Pope Francis approved the document way back in March, but the Vatican released it to the public just in time for All Saints Day, November 2, when people pray and remember those who have passed.

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