What do the photos tell about the murder of Rolando Espinosa Sr.

Below is the original article from PCIJ to see the photos click on this link.

The death of Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
Photos tell 2 stories: Shootout or rubout?
By Nancy C. Carvajal and Davinci Maru
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

LEYTE – As authorities seem to be standing pat on their claim that a shootout occurred between Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and the operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 8 at the sub-provincial jail in Baybay, Leyte before dawn on Nov. 5, photos provided by a police insider to PCIJ appear to point to a different story.

These photos, obtained just recently by PCIJ, show Espinosa’s bloodied body lying flat on his back with his eyes half-open, and both of his hands empty.

One of the photos also reveal Espinosa lying near a pink table, which the police insider says the mayor used to play Mahjong inside the detention cell.

In another photo, a pair of slippers lies near Espinosa’s body. The photos were taken immediately after the shooting incident when the law enforcers and civilian kibitzers ran toward inside the jail facility, according to the insider. The source adds that the photos were also shot “before the arrival of scene of the crime operatives (SOCO).’’

But an official photo released by the CIDG 8 shows Espinosa’s body slumped sideways with his right knee slightly up, and with his right hand appeared to be holding a gun. Authorities have said that Espinosa used a .38-caliber revolver in the supposed shootout.

In the CIDG photo, a chair that lay on its side was by Espinosa’s head, apparently to show a commotion took place, the source said. Another chair was near Espinosa’s feet, by the pink table.

The same photo released by the law enforcers also show a slipper missing its pair, unlike in the photos obtained by PCIJ in which a pair of slippers of the same design and color were near the body. Photos given to PCIJ also showed just one chair that was by Espinosa’s left foot.

Body moved

The question is when the official photo released to the public was taken and why the position of Espinosa’s body, among other things, was different from the other photos obtained by PCIJ.

PCIJ went to CIDG 8 regional office in the port area of Tacloban City to get their side on the photographs, but was told by a desk officer that no one there was authorized to speak to reporters pending today’s hearing before the Senate.

The desk officer also told PCIJ that 13 CIDG 8 officials and operatives who participated in the operation had been summoned by the Senate to shed light on the incident.

Based on the observations of Director Dante Gierran of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the crime scene was not preserved and could affect the result of the investigation.

Gierran and his team were in Leyte yesterday to conduct a parallel investigation on the incident when chanced upon by PCIJ at the airport.

The police autopsy report showed that Espinosa sustained four gunshot wounds, including one in the head.

However, the police blotter report on the incident showed portions that had been corrected to enroll the name of Police Chief Inspector Leo Laraga, CIDG Region 8, as head of the raiding team.

More cells searched

According to the NBI, which is conducting a parallel inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the incident, a second autopsy examination will be made only upon the request of Espinosa’s family.

An internal investigation conducted by CIDG in Camp Crame has revealed that Espinosa was alone in his cell apparently sleeping when the team of CIDG operatives arrived before dawn to serve a search warrant issued by Judge Tarcelo Sabarre of the Bassey Samar Regional Trial Court Branch 30.

The Supreme Court has ordered an investigation focusing on the circumstances in the issuance of the search warrants.

Sabarre’s order covered cell number one occupied by Espinosa, and cell number two supposedly occupied by Raul Yap.

“However, the operatives also searched other cells where Yap was supposedly hiding when they failed to locate him in cell number two,” the police insider told PCIJ, adding it could be a violation in the rules of implementation of the court order.

The police source says Yap apparently moved to another cell during the standoff. Investigation also showed Yap fired at the operatives after a shot rang out in Espinosa’s cell.

“Nauna ‘yung putukan kay Espinosa bago ‘yung kay Yap (The shooting at Espinosa’s cell came first before that in Yap’s),” the insider says.

Paraffin tests were conducted on Espinosa and Yap and both were supposedly found positive of powder gun residue, the police insider also says.

Espinosa and Yap had both been accused and detained for possession of illegal drugs. Espinosa was arrested in August following a raid in his house that yielded close to a million worth of shabu, improvised explosive device (EID), and several high-powered firearms.

CCTV broken

Espinosa was also the father of known big-time drug dealer in Eastern Visayas Rolan Kerwin Espinosa.

Kerwin was arrested and detained by the Abu-Dhabi police following a request from Philippine National Police (PNP). After President Rodrigo Duterte won the elections, he fled from the Philippines in May and was hiding in the Middle Eastern country.

Duterte, during the campaign, had promised to go after personalities involved in the illegal drug trade.

In the interview with PCIJ, the police insider also said that the light inside Espinosa’s cell was off when the CIDG 8 team arrived and the operatives had to use flashlight from their mobile phones to illuminate the area.

The insider also said that based on the jail guards’ deployment blue book records, the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera, which was expected to give authorities a clear picture, was not taken by the CIDG operatives.

“When we checked the records, one of the entries stated that the CCTV camera was broken and taken out of the facility for repair even before the shooting incident took place,” the source said.

They had no guns

The police source, however, confirmed statements of witnesses that before gunshots were heard emanating from his cell Espinosa had shouted, “’Wag ninyo akong taniman! Wala akong baril! Wala akong kutsilyo! (Don’t you plant anything on me! I have no gun! I have no knife!)”

“The jail guards said the slain inmates had no gun,” said the insider, “but the CIDG operatives maintained the inmates have guns and fired at them first.’’

Commented the police source: “There are two versions of the incident depending which side you are on.”

Based on the spot report submitted by Baybay City Police, aside from a loaded .38 caliber pistol, a sachet of suspected shabu were found in Espinosa’s cell. Meanwhile, a loaded .45 caliber pistol and some 15 packets of sachets containing suspected shabu and 27 pieces of sachets containing marijuana were recovered from Yap’s cell. — PCIJ,
November 2016

Here ends the original article from PCIJ to see the original post with photos click on this link.

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Asong Itim/The Black Dog

A Short Prologue of Sorts

This is a set of emails you might find interesting. I came in to possession of this after I bought a second hand notebook.. All personal information and mentions of a place have been removed for obvious reasons.

==========================================================
To: XXXXXX@xxxxxx.com
Subject: New Assignment

Hello,

Just arrived today. The town of XXXXXXX is located inland a two hour from the Capitolyo. It is a newly established town more or less a 100 years old. Apparently, it was a cross-road area from the two older towns. It departs from the usual Filipino town with the Church and the Town Hall at center and radiating from it and surrounding it would be row of stone houses, succeeded by the lesser wooden houses and then the rice fields. Instead the church was at the near end of the town on top of a hill, practically isolated, almost hermit-like and separated from the town.

I had lunch with the Ladies of the Catholic Womens League. They had prepared a small feast to welcome me, their new parish priest. Through our talk, I learned a lot of things about the town both good and bad. How the current mayor traced his ancestry to the Gobernadorcillo who was in good relations with the colonial masters at that time and through his influence converted the poblacion into a town. Since then, The mayors of the town shared the same family name. Earlier, Before it was aa poblacion the town was a hacienda and when the family died out the land was given to the trusted majordomo, an ancestor of the gobernadorcillo, and tenants. The mansion of the haciendero’s was converted into a church.

So I am living in a haciendero;s mansion. A palace in the middle of nowhere. One does not miss the irony in this. Is the Archbishop’s sick sense of humor at work? A fitting punishment for his morningstar? The things one has to pay for one’s indiscretions.

Basta … one must push on and push on.
==========================================================
To: XXXXXX@xxxxxx.com
Subject: My Flock

Hello,

It has been two weeks since my last email. And it seems I am getting used to my hacienda life in this hacienda-town. My flock is an obedient lot, going to mass every Sunday in their sunday best. Most of them are farmers planting, rice, black pepper and even coffee. Some families have advance more than the rest. There is the millter who also owns the grocery store and of course the Mayor’s family that seem to own everything else. Do not get me wrong it is a progressive town. The sons and daughters of the farmers have not all stayed. A great majority are working in the city or even abroad — sending money and other things to their family. The town even has several Internet shops, which reminds me the pocket wifi is working great, maybe because of the elevation of the church, you can see everything up here.

Weekday masses are only attended by the CWL Ladies and some residents. Although. I did noticed a lady a widow judging by here clothes constantly attending mass. She never misses a mass.

The former parish priest must have been an animal lover and he left his dog. I never see it although I hear it always at night making he rounds.

This “punishment” is turning out to be a reward.

BTW, I have been experiencing some weird dreams lately.

==========================================================
To: XXXXXX@xxxxxx.com
Subject: The Dreams

Hello,

In my last email I mentioned to you about having a weird dream. No it is not about me burning hell because of what I did. Although in the dream I was a priest … a friar to be exact.

The dream takes place in Manila, to be exact Intramuros. I hear the bells ringing but its midnight. Then i am with a group of friars armed with pikes and other weapons. We approach a palace and encounter token or no resistance from the guardsThen on the grand staircase, We encounter an old gentleman and a young man. They both drew their swords to defend themselves but they were overwhelmed by the armed mob of friars. As soon as the fighting ends if you can call it fighting, the mob clears and he young man lay dead while the older man lay dying.

Then the sounds of jubilation could be heard outside. Shouts came out that announced that his Eminence the Archbishop was released and there was going to be a mass at the cathedral. I left with the mob as a group of people approached the dead and the dying. Cries and lamentations were heard.

Then I woke up. The old parish priest dog was barking and going around the church again.

What a strange nightmare.

In the morning I asked. Manang about the dog and I was told that the dog was given to a farmer just down the road. She told she was going to talk to the farmer not to let it out anymore.

==========================================================

To: XXXXXX@xxxxxx.com
Subject: My Mystery Parishioner

Hello,

Yes. The dreams keep on coming every night. Doctor XXXXXX gave me some medicine and asked if I might go to the Capitol and see his psychiatrist friend. I said I would but ask him to keep it a secret, because my parishioners would start talking if their priest is going crazy. And it they start asking that what would they ask next?

How did I ended up in this backwater town? A scandal they would say.

And next they would ask, “Ohh the poor girl who killed herself? . You were the priest there?”

NO!

The medicine seems to work. I am also consoled by the vision of my mystery parishioner the widow. Who despite her mourning clothes was beautiful. She probably descended if not from the hacienda owner may from some other haciendero family in the island. I say this because no one see,ms to know her. She comes often to the church and attend service. The CWL Ladies and Manang believed she cames from the Capital. Maybe it was her panata to go to this church/

The Damn dog is still bothering me at night. I must talk again to Manang about it.

Tomorrow I am going to meet one of the local celebrities — a so-called famous historian .
==========================================================
To: XXXXXX@xxxxxx.com
Subject: The FAMOUS Historian

Manang told me she was going to talk to the farmer again. AGAIN!

I met the historian. He told me nothing new really. He talked about a famous general of the province and that he was writing a book on it. Incidentally, He was related to this famous general He also talked about the hacienda being an encomienda given by the Spanish Crown given to the old and extinct family. Apparently, the family’s fortune and prestige dwindled in the mid 17th century and a catastrophe killed all male members of the family. Typhoid? Cholera? Lost at Sea? With no heir the last member a Dona Melione left it all to her major domo and her tenants.

The mansion was converted into the church he was in now and nearly everything was given away. Saved for a family portrait an oil painting . The Historian joked maybe it is walled up somewhere in the church. mural But most likely it was destroyed when the church was pillaged by thieves and hangs somehere in the Capitolyo or Manila.

is it still in the church?

After I solved this dog problem I will look for it.
==========================================================
To: XXXXX@xxxxxx.com
Subject: ASONG ITIM/The BLACK Dog

Last night. I was visited again by the same dream and again I heard the damn dog going about. I went out with an looked for it armed with the staff of San Isidro. The only thing I could find. A few steps from the church, I felt the dog approach.

It was a huge black dog and it stopped in front of me. The dog was really huge but slender more muscle than bulk If you remember our class in mythology It seemed to take its from the jackal headed god Anubis. This beast stood there staring at me. It did not bark, howl or growl. I threw several stones at it. I missed a lot but a few hit him. But it just stood there just deadly stoiv staring at me. It was like a predator about to eat its prey/ As the Black Dog stood there facing me, it seemed that everything around it and I grew black. Nothing could be seen except the Devil Dog.

Then I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. It was Manang. I was awaken from my trance. I just said, “the dog you saw the dog?”

Manang looked at me, and said,”Yes Father … but the dog Father Bob was a white mongrel.

==========================================================
To: XXXXXX@xxxxxx.com
Subject:

AM I GOIN CRAZY?

Manang saw that black dog also. She was taken to the Capitol this morning due to what she and I saw last night. I will be leaving in a while the Archbishop sent Sister XXXXX to take me to a hospital as well. I have looked up the church and stayed inside.

But before I go I must tell you what I saw this afternoon. Something I did not notice before or at least I just saw now. Inside my room hanging on the wall was an old family portrait. What shocked me was not that it appeared inside my room but the family it depicted. It was a family of four— a mother a father a son and a daughter.they were all wearing all 17th century clothes. The faces though. THE FACES. The father and son I SAW IN MY DREAMS they were the one’s killed by the mob of priests. But the daughter oh god the daughter was my beautiful widow.

WasTHIS A PRANK ? A CAREFULLY PLOTTED REVENGE BY THE GIRL’S FAMILY? WAS THE ARCHBISHOP IN ON IT? I HEAR CHURCH BELLS RINGING AND WAILING OF WOMEN. IT DOES NOT END.

I have taken some more stronger medicine. The family portrait is gone. Questions, questions and questions running through my head. I hear someone downstair knocking at the door of the church asking for me. It is a woman’s voice. It is Sister XXXXX. They have come to fetch me.
I will see you in Manila.
==========================================================

A SHORT Epilogue of Sorts

But he never made it to Manila. He never even left the Church.

This was the last email sent by Father to his friend. The team sent to fetch Father found him dead outside he church. He died of a heart attack. What brought it about could not be ascertained but according to investigations — based on foot prints —when the heart attack occurred he was talking to a person with a dog. Despite searches the person and the dog was never found nor identified. And it was decided the cause of death was natural causes.

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What Did the Catholic Church Really Say About Cremation?

News are good for telling news and they do provide context from what they deemed as experts on the topic. However, The weakness of news is breadth and opinion. News provide a snapshot of the news and augmented this snapshot with an opinion from authorities they might get – which is opinion that is shaped by the person’s experience and belief. If you want to go deeper into it you have read the actual event or in this case the actual document that is the focus of that particular news story. In such an important issue and as a Roman Catholic the question that came up is what did the Pope and Catholic Church mean with this message. So it is important to look at the document and read as it was written and not as told by others.

Personally, My impression of the document is that it was well written — (i) Using past religious documents; (ii) Explanations of religious practices; (iii) Detailing historically the burial practices through the years; (iv) And explaining the Catholic Church stand on cremation —and as such was able to compose a strong case for this regulation.

A few specific item in the directive stood out for me and it was numbers 5 and 6. You can see this immediately below this paragraph and the whole document at the end of this post. I formatted in bold the points that stood out for me because it offers a more complete explanation and it may also offer a more wide range of options for Roman Catholics.

5. When, for legitimate motives, cremation of the body has been chosen, the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area, which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority.

From the earliest times, Christians have desired that the faithful departed become the objects of the Christian community’s prayers and remembrance. Their tombs have become places of prayer, remembrance and reflection. The faithful departed remain part of the Church who believes “in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church”.[15]

The reservation of the ashes of the departed in a sacred place ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of their family or the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect, which eventuality is possible, most especially once the immediately subsequent generation has too passed away. Also it prevents any unfitting or superstitious practices.

6. For the reasons given above, the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence is not permitted. Only in grave and exceptional cases dependent on cultural conditions of a localized nature, may the Ordinary, in agreement with the Episcopal Conference or the Synod of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, concede permission for the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence. Nonetheless, the ashes may not be divided among various family members and due respect must be maintained regarding the circumstances of such a conservation.
Source: Guidelines posted on the Holy See website

It is also worthwhile to note that the document itself does not have a harsh tone, In fact the use of the words strongly insists and recommend can be seen through-out the document. After reading the original document one gets a sense of dissonance from what was reported and even analyzed in the news. Maybe this is because of the brief time allotted to it and/or the lacing of the news and analysis with personal beliefs and opinion. This is why it is important when something is mentioned and an annotated-summary — Such as: (i) A three minute segment piece on the news; (ii) An on line a blurb; (iii) A blog post; or even tweet — it is important to go back to the original source and read it oneself, before asking, commenting and even condemning,

APPENDIX – THE ORIGINAL GUIDELINES ISSUED BY THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

The original instruction regarding the burial of the deceased and conservatiob of the ashes in the case of cremation. Originally, published online by The Holy See www.vatican va. the official website of the Vatican.
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20160815_ad-resurgendum-cum-christo_en.html

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
Instruction Ad resurgendum cum Christo?regarding the burial of the deceased
and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation
 

1. To rise with Christ, we must die with Christ: we must “be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:8). With the Instruction Piam et Constantem of 5 July 1963, the then Holy Office established that “all necessary measures must be taken to preserve the practice of reverently burying the faithful departed”, adding however that cremation is not “opposed per se to the Christian religion” and that no longer should the sacraments and funeral rites be denied to those who have asked that they be cremated, under the condition that this choice has not been made through “a denial of Christian dogmas, the animosity of a secret society, or hatred of the Catholic religion and the Church”.[1] Later this change in ecclesiastical discipline was incorporated into the Code of Canon Law (1983) and the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches (1990).

During the intervening years, the practice of cremation has notably increased in many countries, but simultaneously new ideas contrary to the Church’s faith have also become widespread. Having consulted the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and numerous Episcopal Conferences and Synods of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has deemed opportune the publication of a new Instruction, with the intention of underlining the doctrinal and pastoral reasons for the preference of the burial of the remains of the faithful and to set out norms pertaining to the conservation of ashes in the case of cremation.

2. The resurrection of Jesus is the culminating truth of the Christian faith, preached as an essential part of the Paschal Mystery from the very beginnings of Christianity: “For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve” (1 Cor 15:3-5).

Through his death and resurrection, Christ freed us from sin and gave us access to a new life, “so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rm 6:4). Furthermore, the risen Christ is the principle and source of our future resurrection: “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep […] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor 15:20-22).

It is true that Christ will raise us up on the last day; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. In Baptism, actually, we are immersed in the death and resurrection of Christ and sacramentally assimilated to him: “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12). United with Christ by Baptism, we already truly participate in the life of the risen Christ (cf. Eph 2:6).

Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning. The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church: “Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven”.[2] By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. In our own day also, the Church is called to proclaim her faith in the resurrection: “The confidence of Christians is the resurrection of the dead; believing this we live”.[3]

3. Following the most ancient Christian tradition, the Church insistently recommends that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places.[4] In memory of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord, the mystery that illumines the Christian meaning of death,[5] burial is above all the most fitting way to express faith and hope in the resurrection of the body.[6]

The Church who, as Mother, has accompanied the Christian during his earthly pilgrimage, offers to the Father, in Christ, the child of her grace, and she commits to the earth, in hope, the seed of the body that will rise in glory.[7]

By burying the bodies of the faithful, the Church confirms her faith in the resurrection of the body,[8] and intends to show the great dignity of the human body as an integral part of the human person whose body forms part of their identity.[9] She cannot, therefore, condone attitudes or permit rites that involve erroneous ideas about death, such as considering death as the definitive annihilation of the person, or the moment of fusion with Mother Nature or the universe, or as a stage in the cycle of regeneration, or as the definitive liberation from the “prison” of the body.
Furthermore, burial in a cemetery or another sacred place adequately corresponds to the piety and respect owed to the bodies of the faithful departed who through Baptism have become temples of the Holy Spirit and in which “as instruments and vessels the Spirit has carried out so many good works”.[10]

Tobias, the just, was praised for the merits he acquired in the sight of God for having buried the dead,[11] and the Church considers the burial of dead one of the corporal works of mercy.[12]
Finally, the burial of the faithful departed in cemeteries or other sacred places encourages family members and the whole Christian community to pray for and remember the dead, while at the same time fostering the veneration of martyrs and saints.

Through the practice of burying the dead in cemeteries, in churches or their environs, Christian tradition has upheld the relationship between the living and the dead and has opposed any tendency to minimize, or relegate to the purely private sphere, the event of death and the meaning it has for Christians.

4. In circumstances when cremation is chosen because of sanitary, economic or social considerations, this choice must never violate the explicitly-stated or the reasonably inferable wishes of the deceased faithful. The Church raises no doctrinal objections to this practice, since cremation of the deceased’s body does not affect his or her soul, nor does it prevent God, in his omnipotence, from raising up the deceased body to new life. Thus cremation, in and of itself, objectively negates neither the Christian doctrine of the soul’s immortality nor that of the resurrection of the body.[13]

The Church continues to prefer the practice of burying the bodies of the deceased, because this shows a greater esteem towards the deceased. Nevertheless, cremation is not prohibited, “unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine”.[14]

In the absence of motives contrary to Christian doctrine, the Church, after the celebration of the funeral rite, accompanies the choice of cremation, providing the relevant liturgical and pastoral directives, and taking particular care to avoid every form of scandal or the appearance of religious indifferentism.

5. When, for legitimate motives, cremation of the body has been chosen, the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area, which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority.

From the earliest times, Christians have desired that the faithful departed become the objects of the Christian community’s prayers and remembrance. Their tombs have become places of prayer, remembrance and reflection. The faithful departed remain part of the Church who believes “in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church”.[15]

The reservation of the ashes of the departed in a sacred place ensures that they are not excluded from the prayers and remembrance of their family or the Christian community. It prevents the faithful departed from being forgotten, or their remains from being shown a lack of respect, which eventuality is possible, most especially once the immediately subsequent generation has too passed away. Also it prevents any unfitting or superstitious practices.

6. For the reasons given above, the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence is not permitted. Only in grave and exceptional cases dependent on cultural conditions of a localized nature, may the Ordinary, in agreement with the Episcopal Conference or the Synod of Bishops of the Oriental Churches, concede permission for the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence. Nonetheless, the ashes may not be divided among various family members and due respect must be maintained regarding the circumstances of such a conservation.

7. In order that every appearance of pantheism, naturalism or nihilism be avoided, it is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewelry or other objects. These courses of action cannot be legitimized by an appeal to the sanitary, social, or economic motives that may have occasioned the choice of cremation.

8. When the deceased notoriously has requested cremation and the scattering of their ashes for reasons contrary to the Christian faith, a Christian funeral must be denied to that person according to the norms of the law.[16]

The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, in the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect on 18 March 2016, approved the present Instruction, adopted in the Ordinary Session of this Congregation on 2 March 2016, and ordered its publication.
Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 15 August 2016, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Gerhard Card. Müller, Prefect
+ Luis F. Ladaria, S.I.,Titular Archbishop of Thibica,Secretary

[1] AAS 56 (1964), 822-823.
[2] Roman Missal, Preface I for the Dead.
[3] Tertullian, De Resurrectione carnis, 1,1: CCL 2, 921.
[4] Cf. CIC, can. 1176, § 3, can. 1205; CCEO, can. 876, § 3; can. 868.
[5] Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1681.
[6] Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2300.
[7] Cf. 1 Cor 15:42-44; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1683.
[8] Cf. St. Augustine, De cura pro mortuis gerenda, 3, 5; CSEL 41, 628:
[9] Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 14.
[10] St. Augustine, De cura pro mortuis gerenda, 3, 5: CSEL 41, 627.
[11] Cf. Tb 2:9; 12:12.
[12] Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2300.
[13] Cf. Holy Office, Instruction Piam et costantem, 5 July 1963: AAS 56 (1964) 822.
[14] CIC, can. 1176 § 3; cf. CCEC, can. 876 § 3.
[15]Catechism of the Catholic Church, 962.
[16]CIC, can. 1184; CCEO, can.876, § 3.

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