Hi, guys —
Hopefully someone here can answer my question. I haven't been able
to find an answer anywhere online.
My dad, a non-Catholic, was cremated and his wishes were for
his ashes to be scattered by airplane over his favorite place.
Since his death, 15 years ago, I have converted to Catholicism.
We, as a family, have not spread his ashes yet due to financial
reasons but now that I am a member of the Catholic Church,
I have learned that a Catholic cannot have their ashes spread
in the manner my father requested.
- When the time comes and my mom decides
to honor his wishes, would I be able to participate with a clear
conscience or would I be going against the teachings of the
When my father's wishes are granted, will I be able to participate
with a clear conscience? }
I think Daniel's question is slightly different.
Were I in his situation, the first thing I'd do is to share the Church's
teaching on why the ashes shouldn't be scattered.
We are dealing with a pastoral provision here and not a doctrine issue.
The dead person is not Catholic and, it appears, neither are the other
family members, so Daniel's participation in this ceremony doesn't
necessarily constitute a denial of the Resurrection.
I'd consider using this as a teaching opportunity
for Daniel to share his faith. While Daniel, as a Catholic, has a canonical
restriction which says he can't have his ashes scattered, I don't know
of any restriction that would prevent him from attending a ceremony where
his father's ashes are being scattered, so long as:
- he has made his views known
not directly involved in the process, and
- the decision to go forward
is, not his but, someone else's.
Someone may wish to check Canon Law on this.