Can Catholics be cremated?


Full Question

Can Catholics be cremated? I was brought up to believe that cremation is a pagan ritual and is forbidden.

Answer

Early Christians opposed cremation because pagans often cremated their dead as a sign of disdain for the Christians’ belief in the physical resurrection of the body. To protect belief in this doctrine of faith, the Church forbade cremation. That prohibition was lifted in 1963. The Church still recommends that the faithful be buried, but Catholics may be cremated so long as cremation does not demonstrate a denial of belief in the resurrection of the body (CCC 2301).


Catholic Answers Staff