Area Catholics weigh in on Vatican cremation guidelines

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) — The Catholic Church is reminding followers about the rules for cremating their loved ones after death and especially about what to do with their ashes.

Some local Catholics feel the guidelines are too restrictive.

“My initial was “seriously?” Like let people just do what they want,” says Jessica Thompson, a Catholic from Green Bay.

Thompson says the Catholic Church is throwing her parents plans off. They planned to keep the ashes but they don’t know what to do

“So the challenge I think today is as our culture loses some of its Christian roots we as Catholics need to once again insist that there’s reverence for our bodies,” says Father John Girotti, Vicar for Canonical Services, Green Bay Diocese

The Diocese says cremated ashes – whether in a box, urn, or a bag – have to be stored in a permanent location approved by the church like a cemetery or mausoleum.

“When a loved one dies, their remains, whether a body or cremated remains, needs to be treated with respect and dignity,” says Father Girotti.

Ken Blaney is part owner of Blaney Funeral Home and says they often inform Catholics of burial and cremation rules.

“If you are going to work outside of tenets then you have to decide yourself whether you’re going to consider yourself a Catholic or not,” said Blaney.

Thompson says while she may not like it, her family’s Catholic faith is strong and they’ll likely do whatever is approved by the church.

“It would be great to do what we want, but in our world… we have rules and laws and we have to follow and obey them and that’s how it is,” she said.