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Catholics told don't scatter or keep ashes in homes as part of new Vatican rules

By Nicole Winfield

Published 26/10/2016

The Vatican has said that Catholics who want to be cremated cannot have their ashes scattered, divvied up or kept at home. (AP)
The Vatican has said that Catholics who want to be cremated cannot have their ashes scattered, divvied up or kept at home. (AP)

The Vatican has said that Catholics who want to be cremated cannot have their ashes scattered, divvied up or kept at home.

In newly published guidelines, the Catholic Church said cremation remains should instead be stored in a sacred, church-approved place.

The new instructions were released just in time for Halloween and All Souls' Day on November 2, when the faithful are supposed to pray for and remember the dead.

For most of its 2,000-year history, the Catholic Church only permitted burial, arguing that it best expresses the Christian hope in resurrection.

But in 1963, the Vatican explicitly allowed cremation so long as it did not suggest a denial of faith about resurrection.

The new document from the Vatican repeats that burial remains preferred, but lays out guidelines for conserving ashes for the increasing numbers of Catholics who choose cremation.

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