A group of Christians from different denominations in the southern Indian state of Kerala has decided not to avail of church burials as part of efforts to reform Churches and promote organ and body donations.
Catholics formed more than 90 percent of the August 14 gathering at Vanchi Square, a popular site for civil protests in Kochi, Kerala’s commercial capital.
They resolved not to bury their bodies in a church cemetery and appealed to family members to donate their bodies to medical colleges after their death for use in studies by medical students.
The public function was organized under the aegis of Joint Christian Council, an umbrella organization of various Christian denominations.
“Our main objective is to create awareness among the ordinary believers of all denominations against their exploitation by clergy in the name of administering sacraments,” said Felix J. Pulludan, president of the council.
“Burial in the Catholic Church in normal circumstances has become a very pompous affair and ordinary poor people are unable to bear the cost,” Pulludan told Matters India on August 15.
He said the rich have family tombs in cemeteries but no such facility is given to the poor.
“Such practice is no doubt discrimination of bodies and goes against the teachings of Christ,” said Pulludan. “Even in cemeteries different class of people are created,” he said, adding that it is “unChristian.”
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