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New York bishops oppose ‘chemical digestion’ bill

Catholic World News - March 26, 2012

The New York State Catholic Conference has announced its opposition to a bill that would legalize alkaline hydrolysis, the chemical digestion of a corpse in a heated mixture of water and lye.

“The Church’s reverence for the sacredness of the human body and its dignity arises out of concern for both the body’s natural and supernatural properties,” the conference said in a statement. “It is therefore essential that the body of a deceased person be treated with respect and reverence. Processes involving chemical digestion of human remains do not sufficiently respect this dignity.”

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  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Mar. 27, 2012 2:05 PM ET USA

    Chemical digestion would totally dissociate all the organic chemicals of the body into the lye solution. There would be no trace of the person's body left, which, bad as it is with cremation, is even more frightful than the ashes which can be gathered and stored reverently. I have visited enough European cemeteries with their pauper's graves, and charnel houses. They are not much better than cremation,either.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Mar. 26, 2012 11:29 AM ET USA

    Why is that any worse than cremation? The Church does allow cremation, as long as you keep the remains in one place.

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