Through a careful reading of the national legislation in force and under preparation, as well as of the confessional rules of the catholic Church, this work intends to find a pedagogy of death and of its rites that may bring Church and State together when coping with the alarming truth of the death and the way it may be interpreted. Among the various points examined by the Author, attention is focused on the practice of cremation and its most debated aspects: the simplification of the administrative formalities, the possibility that the cremated remains are retained by the family and the hypothesis of scattering the ashes. Following the decision of Paul VI to modify some regulations which forbade cremation, the Roman Catholic church presently affirms that failing a new formulary for funeral rites which includes cremation, all services are to be in the presence of the body of the deceased, with cremation to take place afterwards.

(Author: Gabriele Strada)

Summary ed.28 (II/2010)