The Catholic belief in human dignity and non-intervention in natural law makes cremation a grave-violation by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church’s moral teaching in Cremation, the Common Prayer, and the Catholic Bishops’ statement on Cremation make clear that human dignity and natural law are fundamental. As an example, the Catholic Church has issued guidelines in the area of health and welfare in which the Catholic Church teaches that the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life do not require that the body of a cremated body be immediately disposed of, but rather must be preserved. The position put forth by the Catholic Church is that all the circumstances in which an individual’s body is to be preserved must be considered in each individual case. In other words, that there will be a delay in determining whether the dignity of the human person or of the body is to be preserved before the time actually needed to resolve any conflict with respect to the use of that body. For example, the preservation of the body of a woman by her father who has passed on and does not wish to dispose of his daughter’s body is part and parcel of her father’s body being preserved in the grave, regardless of where the cremation takes place. In addition, a Catholic might hold that there are circumstances in which cremation may be the most appropriate means of disposal of an individual human body for a variety of reasons: when he becomes physically incapacitated; when he has died, or when a court decrees his death.
What does it mean for the Catholic Church to not allow cremation?
If the Catholic Church does not allow cremation, then the Catholic Church does not allow artificial insemination (also known as infertile conception). It is the Catholic Church’s position that fertilized eggs or sperm can never be used for any purpose other than to produce life. In the case of IVF, the Catholic Church is opposed to using artificial insemination because: it is an unnatural method; it creates a new being with a biological existence for a finite life span, but one that is short; it is not a good and natural means of carrying out a given purpose (such as to make a child); it does not provide the person undergoing the procedure with the opportunity to experience natural and joyful sexual relations; it is not an ethical and moral way to bring children into existence; and, most importantly, because of the risk of infertility. In summary, the Catholic Church’s position is that it is immoral and
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