Cremation and the Catholic View (Father Simon Says)

In this episode of Father Simon Says, Pat calls in with a heavy heart. Her husband, Jerry, passed away this morning after battling Alzheimer’s since 2018. She faces a difficult dilemma: Jerry wasn’t Catholic, and his children from a previous marriage wish to spread his ashes, which conflicts with her Catholic beliefs. She feels conflicted and doesn’t know what to do.

Fr. Simon reassures Pat that she is not committing a mortal sin in this situation. He explains that mortal sin involves a full turning away from God’s will, which is not the case here. He emphasizes the importance of respecting Jerry’s children’s wishes while also suggesting that Pat’s Catholic daughter should place her portion of the ashes in consecrated ground or a columbarium. This practice honors the dignity of the human body.

Father explains the significance of having a physical place to visit loved ones’ remains, reminding us that our bodies are integral to our identity. He advises Pat to communicate her beliefs to Jerry’s children gently, explaining why Catholics prefer to keep ashes in a sacred place.

Have you ever been in a similar situation? What did you do? 

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Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.