I have been asked to place some comments in the bulletin about Pope Francis’ recent statement about cremains.
As most know, cremation had been forbidden for centuries because Freemasons in Europe practiced cremation to show their disdain for Catholicism’s belief in the resurrection of the body.
In other parts of the world, cremation was either the custom or, for lack of sufficient burial space, was a necessity. As time went on, cremation did not have the same negative aspects against bodily resurrection as in the past. Therefore, the Church permitted cremation universally.
Pope Francis’ recent statement is simply the repeating of what the Church has been saying: the cremains are to be treated respectfully and are to be either buried in the ground or placed in a columbarium. In both these cases, the final placement of the cremains is permanent.
The cremains are not to be scattered, divided among family members in lockets, or kept at home.They are to be treated with the same respect as we would treat the body of a deceased person.
The Catholic Cemeteries Office of our diocese can be of further assistance and the telephone number is: 718-894-4888.
Also, Regina Pacis Church, at 1230 65th Street, has established a columbarium in their former lower church. Their telephone number is: 718-236-0909.
This is also an appropriate time to recommend pre-planning one’s funeral. There are more and more cases of Catholic persons whose relatives do not arrange for the full funeral rites of the Church fortheir loved ones.
It is important to specify that you want a Funeral Mass when you die.
More gifts came for Father Andrew’s church during this past week so now the total to be sent will be $4,758.00. Thank you for your missionary spirit.
Let’s pray for each other.
Msgr. Kevin B. Noone