Pope Francis has authorised a decree reaffirming the Catholic principle that cremation is an acceptable way of disposing of a body for ‘sanitary, economic or social reasons’, but that the ashes must be laid to rest in a sacred place.
The decree does not permit ashes to be stored at home, scattered or separated, and specifically outlaws the preservation of ashes in ‘mementoes, jewellery or other objects’. It continues:
‘The church continues to prefer the practice of burying the bodies of the deceased because this shows a greater esteem towards the deceased’
Catholics should therefore consider carefully before requesting that their ashes be stored other than in a sacred location.
For a full decree see the Vatican statement