The Guardian reports:
Catholics are forbidden from keeping the ashes of cremated loved ones at home, scattering them, dividing them between family members or turning them into mementoes, the Vatican has ruled.
Ashes must be stored in a sacred place, such as a cemetery, according to instructions disclosed at a press conference in Rome on Tuesday. Acknowledging that an increasing number of Catholics were opting for cremation rather than burial, the church’s doctrinal and disciplinary body warned against “new ideas contrary to the church’s faith”.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reiterated that burial of the dead was preferable to cremation. “We come from the earth and we shall return to the earth,” he said. “The church continues to incessantly recommend that the bodies of the dead be buried either in cemeteries or in other sacred ground.”
However, the increase in cremation since it was permitted in 1963 required new guidelines, he added, noting an increasing trend for “domestic” conservation. Ashes must be kept “in a holy place, that is a cemetery or a church or in a place that has been specifically dedicated to this purpose. The conservation of ashes in the home is not allowed,” he said.
Totally by coincidence, the Catholic Church makes a fortune from its cemeteries.