Can Catholics be cremated?

I was taught that on Judgement Day we will be raised up to sit with God the Father. But Fr. Charles Grondin has answered Sandra Pet (GB) that Catholics can donate their body to science. Our bodies were made in the image of God and are the sanctuary of Christ so I don’t understand how we can allow our sanctity to be abused in this way. If our bodies are not sacred why not be cremated? I’m grateful for clarification, God bless you Father.


While the Church makes clear Her preference that the body be buried, She also permits Catholics to be cremated:

Canon 1176 §3 The Church 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.

The Catechism also notes:

[2301 Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific research. The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious.

The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.](

More detailed information can be found on page 4 of the USCCB’s Jan 2012 newsletter in the section entitled Cremation and the Order of Christian Funerals.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit