Due to a desire on the part of many of the faithful to have a resting place for their earthly remains that is identifiably Catholic, various parishes in recent years have provided a columbarium on their parish campus. The limitation of space on parish campuses, however, has mostly precluded the possibility of the faithful to choose the option of burial of the body in a resting place that is identifiably Catholic.
In order to respond to the desire of many of the faithful for a resting place that is identifiably Catholic, the Diocese of Charlotte will contract for Catholic sections in local cemeteries, to provide at one location both a resting place for the bodies of the deceased and a resting place for cremated remains.
If a parish wishes to make a columbarium available to the faithful, it will also make available at the same location as the columbarium, spaces for burial of the bodies of the deceased. The number of spaces available for placing cremated remains in a columbarium shall not be more than the number of spaces available for burial of bodies of the deceased. The expectation is that more spaces will be available for burial of the bodies of the deceased than spaces in a columbarium for the placing of cremated remains, since burial of the body is the norm of Christian burial. Thus, in such case that a parish wishes to make a columbarium available to the faithful, the parish will also make available at one and the same location at least an equal number of spaces for burial of the bodies of the deceased, and preferably a greater number of spaces for burial of bodies. There is no requirement that a columbarium be constructed, since cremated remains may be buried in the ground at the cemetery. At the center of the cemetery will stand the cemetery crucifix.
The Diocese of Charlotte may also receive land or purchase land for the establishment of a Catholic cemetery.
With this policy the Diocese wishes to respond in a comprehensive way to the vision of canon 1240 to provide a resting place for the remains of the faithful departed.
Adopted March 13, 2007
Revised August 15, 2010
Diocese of Charlotte