An alkaline hydrolysis machine created by Bio-Response Solutions in Indiana for human disposition. The stainless-steel basket container holds the remains after the decomposition process.

Kudos to State Rep. Ron Maag (a Catholic), chairman of the Ohio General Assembly’s government and elections committee, who removed language providing for state approval for “liquid cremation” after consultation with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.  Liquid cremation, technically known as alkaline hydrolysis (AH), involves placing a body inside a stainless-steel cylinder machine that is used to accelerate natural decomposition, shrinking years into hours. The process uses lye to break down corpses into liquid, proteins and dry bone residue. The liquefied remains are then discharged into a sewer system.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states the following regarding respect for the dead:

The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy; it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.

Father Earl Fernandes, dean and assistant professor of moral theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati stated the following:

We do believe that the body is going to be raised up in glory in the last day and the soul will be reunited with it. We don’t want people to think that the human body can just be disposed of like any other material.

But don’t think the controversy is over.  Local funeral home director Tommy “TR” Routsong was miffed that a Catholic politician would actually put his faith into practice and not follow the usual Kennedy-Cuomo line of “I’m personally opposed, but…” stating that:

There needs to be separation of church and state on this particular issue,” he said. “What happens if there are some religions that would want AH? You are not going to make this a religious issue. It’s a consumer issue. Why restrict trade on a customer that wants it? You’re eliminating competition, so you are driving up the price to the consumer because they are left with fewer options.

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