US bishops’ doctrine committee warns against alkaline hydrolysis, human composting
March 24, 2023
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CWN Editor's Note: The statement on the proper disposition of bodily remains notes that the “burial [of the body] is considered by the Church to be the most appropriate way of manifesting reverence and respect for the body of the deceased” and that cremation is also permitted. The cremated remains should be “laid to rest in a sacred place” and not kept at home, scattered, shared among family members, or encased in mementos.
Two newer methods, alkaline hydrolysis and human composting, are incompatible with Catholic teaching: they fail to give “due respect ... to the bodily remains of the deceased in a way that gives visible witness to our faith and hope in the resurrection of the body.”
The US bishops’ doctrine committee is chaired by Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville (TX), whom Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, recently named to the seven-member preparatory commission for the Synod of Bishops in October.
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