Editor’s Note: The Catholic Church has made provision for cremation under certain circumstances in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, a somewhat striking departure from her earlier view on the matter. For an explanation of this modified view, see here. The following essay does not treat of the Church’s current provision, but rather examines the traditional rejection of cremation and the reasons why. Even after the revision of the code, the Church still “earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.” (Can. 1176.3)
In modern times, the occult societies have worked hard to reinstitute the pagan practice of cremation as a replacement of Christian burial. A circular issued by French Freemasons said, “The Roman Church has defied us by condemning the cremation of the body which our society has propagated with such excellent results. The brethren of the lodge should therefore employ all means to spread the use of cremation. The Church is merely seeking to preserve amongst the people the old beliefs concerning the immortality of the soul, and a future life; beliefs overthrown today by the light of science.” The dogma that all men, both saved and damned, will receive their bodies back on the last day is deserving of serious meditation.
Scripture and Tradition supply us with knowledge of four awe-inspiring properties that the glorified, resurrected bodies of the elect will possess: agility, subtlety, impassibility, and clarity.