Roman Catholics: Cremation: Permissible

The early Christians abhorred cremation as a pagan practice, and ever since, the Roman Catholic Church has held that the body is not for burning. When cremation was legalized in northern Europe during the 19th century, the Catholic Church suspected an atheistic plot to discredit belief in resurrection. In 1886 the Roman Inquisition declared that Catholics who cooperated in cremation were guilty of sin, and the prohibitions were repeated in the 1917 revision of canon law.

As part of Pope Paul's creeping modernization of the church, the Holy Office has now sent an instruction to all Catholic bishops easing up...

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