Lack of burial space: Mangalore Catholics opt for cremation

November 3, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

Mangaluru, November 3, 2017: A space crunch has hit cemeteries under the Mangalore Diocese, forcing some Catholics to opt for cremation instead of burial.

As many as five people have opted for cremation in Mangalore Diocese so far and the number is increasing, reported Times of India.

The official Church allows cremation since 1963. But burial is still preferred and cremation remains an option.

However, cremation is allowed with a condition that the ashes will not be scattered or thrown into rivers but kept in a proper place such as a cemetery or a church.

The majority still opts for burial, said Fr William Menezes, public relations officer, Mangalore Diocese.

He said that cremation is chosen due to lack of space in cemeteries and one needs approval from the parish priest.

Many Catholics opt for permanent tombs, resulting in an increased reduction of space. One tomb can take up the space to bury three. Besides, it’s a permanent structure reducing the cemetery space for others.

Udupi diocese has given up tomb system.

“This was one of the biggest challenges I faced after I took over the diocese, said Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo of Udupi.

With efforts and awareness, 80 per cent of people in all parishes have agreed voluntarily for a normal burial. “This will help others and solve the land issue,” the bishop said.

– ucan

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