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Dear catholic.com visitors: This Catholic Answers website, with all its free resources, is the world’s largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. We receive no funding from the institutional Church and rely entirely on your generosity to sustain this website with trustworthy, accessible content. If every visitor this month donated $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. If you’ve never made a gift, now is the time. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar this week only. Thanks and God bless.

How can I explain why turning cremains into a diamond is wrong?

Question:

The family of a deceased Catholic friend is considering giving the cremated remains to a company that will process a diamond out of the cremains. Can you help me give them a good reason why this is wrong?

Answer:

Although the Church allows for cremation (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2301), it is very concerned that the cremains be treated with appropriate respect (Indult on Cremation, Congregation for Divine Worship, 1997). The cremains should not be scattered but should be disposed of in a dignified manner, whether by committing them to the earth or sea in a suitable container or by placing them in a mausoleum (Order of Christian Funerals 416).

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