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Scattering Ashes Ashes Jewelery

The Vatican and the Pope have Changed their stance on Ashes Jewellery

The Catholic Church has always been against Ashes Jewellery or splitting of ashes for any reason for that matter, however the situation now seems to have changed.

They set out there reasoning and what this means for the faithful. We have gone through it and tried to make sense in plain English, I apologies if I have got it wrong, but you can always read it from the source material.

Simplified Explanation and Consequences

In a letter dated 30 October 2023, Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, Archbishop of Bologna, asked two questions to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith about keeping the ashes of deceased people after cremation. Here is the actual memo


Cardinal Zuppi formed a commission in Bologna to address issues related to the increasing number of people choosing cremation and scattering ashes in nature. The commission aims to ensure that economic motivations don’t take precedence and to provide guidance on what to do with ashes after the preservation period ends.

Questions Asked

  1. Is it possible to create a sacred place for storing and preserving the ashes of baptised people, similar to how ossuaries work, ensuring each person’s name is remembered?
  2. Can families keep a portion of their relative’s ashes in a significant location?

Responses and Consequences

  1. Storing Ashes in a Sacred Place:
    • The church maintains that ashes must be kept in a sacred place, like a cemetery or a designated area, as per the 2016 instruction “Ad resurgendum cum Christo”.
    • This ensures the ashes are included in family and community prayers, prevents disrespect or forgetting of the deceased, and avoids superstitious practices.
  2. Resurrection Belief and Ashes:
    • The church believes in the resurrection of the body with the same identity, even though the matter will be transformed.
    • The resurrected body will not necessarily consist of the same elements it had before death, so even if the body is destroyed or dispersed, resurrection can occur.
    • Therefore, ashes can be stored together in urns, not necessarily separately.
  3. Respect for Ashes:
    • The ashes are considered sacred and should be kept in a place suitable for prayer, showing respect similar to that for relics of saints.
    • This ensures family and friends can visit and remember the deceased.

Final Decisions

A. Commingled Ashes in a Sacred Place:

  • It is allowed to create a permanent sacred place for storing the commingled ashes of baptised persons, ensuring their identities are recorded.

B. Keeping a Portion of Ashes:

  • The ecclesiastical authority may allow families to keep a small part of the ashes in a significant place, provided it’s done in a respectful way that avoids pantheistic, naturalistic, or nihilistic interpretations.
  • The rest of the ashes must be kept in a sacred place.


  • For Families:
    • Families need to reconsider plans to scatter ashes at non-sacred locations like nature spots.
    • They can seek permission to keep a small portion of ashes in a significant location -or a piece of ashes jewellery, but most ashes should remain in a sacred place.
  • For the Church:
    • The Church upholds its teachings on the sacredness of ashes and the resurrection of the body.
    • It provides clear guidelines to avoid misunderstandings and ensure respect for the deceased.

In summary, the Church emphasises the importance of keeping ashes in sacred places to maintain respect and remembrance while allowing for some flexibility with proper ecclesiastical approval.



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