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Church officials: No cremation for Catholics

10:01 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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DETROIT, Mich. (WDIV) - After a recent study found that more Catholics are choosing cremation over burials, church officials in Detroit are encouraging its parishioners to choose the traditional practice of burial for themselves and their loved ones.

Monsignor Gary Smetanka chairs the worship commission of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

"The Archbishop is trying to remind the faithful of how we share in that union of the dying and rising with Christ especially being baptized Christians," he explains. "The reverence, the respect that we have for the body God has given en to us. And that continues especially as we gather together to bury our beloved dead."

The church is not forbidding cremations.

The Archbishop writes "whenever financial or logistical concerns burden a grieving family, pastors and their co-workers should do all they can to accommodate the legitimate requests of the faithful."

If a family chooses cremation, the church is discouraging the scattering of ashes.

"They should still be treated...with same respect as the body but they need to be buried. They need to be entombed," Smetanka says.

(Copyright © 2013 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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