Catholic Church has no position on cremation or burial of Covid dead – Archbishops spokesman

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Church does not oppose the cremation of the remains of the dead of any of its faithful who die of the Covid 19 virus infection, Rev Jude Krishantha, spokesman for the Bishops House said.

Krishantha told EconomyNext the Church in Sri Lanka had permitted cremation four-decades ago and left the decision to burn or to bury in the hands of the “in the hands of the family members.”

His response came as worldwide opprobrium has been expressed that Sri Lanka insists that the remains of those who die of Covid have to be cremated, although 188 countries allow the last rites of the dead to be conducted according to the to the religious beliefs of the family concerned.

The Muslims of Sri Lanka are deeply disturbed and as a result, there is some evidence that members of this community who believe they have contracted the virus may not seek treatment as in case they die they would be cremated.

For Christians, the issue arises when a Catholic family that opposes cremation is faced with death from the Covid virus for which the Church does not offer a remedy.

“It is an issue for the family and not the church,” Krishantha said.

Asked whether the Sri Lankan Church has a position with regards to the controversy about the remains of Muslims who are cremated who have died of the Covid virus he said the Church “does not want to intervene.” (Colombo, December 17, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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