Given the increasing popularity and/or economic necessity of families and individuals cremating the remains of their dearly beloved, the CDF on behalf of Pope Francis has issued a universally binding document today called Ad resurgendum cum Christo on the treatment of cremated remains from the Church's point of view.
The Congregation notes that in many regions cremation is markedly increasing, making a reiteration of the existing norms and their theological bases advisable. The Church permits cremation but not the scattering of ashes on land, sea or in the air; dividing them among family members, or preserving them in jewellery, the Vatican has stated in their new Instruction.
It is a re-statement of the existing position first set out in 1963 and then included in the 1983 Code of Canon Law where the Church prefers that "all necessary measures must be taken to preserve the practice of reverently burying the faithful departed”, adding however that cremation is not “opposed per se to the Christian religion” and that no longer should the sacraments and funeral rites be denied to those who have asked that they be cremated, under the condition that this choice has not been made through “a denial of Christian dogmas, the animosity of a secret society, or hatred of the Catholic religion and the Church”."
As we often say on SS102fm, sometimes it is best to read the original document rather than the spin and coverage given by the media. Full text of the document is available HERE.
Rocco over at Whispers in the Loggia has a very good report on it HERE.
PrayTell has an interesting commentary piece HERE.
Altelia has their coverage HERE