Maybe it is just because I have not been feeling well, maybe I am just feeling morbid. This story got my attention to the point I thought I would post it.
Cremation by water approved by Church [The writer not be aware that "cremation" by water is not possible, since Latin cremo means "to burn, consume by fire".]
Published: August 13, 2010
The world’s first water cremation centre on the Gold Coast is offering a liquid alternative to cremation and burial, using a process it hopes will revolutionise the funeral industry – and the process has been approved by the Catholic Church.
Aquamation Industries’ John Humphries says the service, at the Eco Memorial Park at Stapylton near Dreamworld, is currently the first of its kind, but he expects around 30 centres around Australia will offer the option within 12 months, reports AAP in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Aquamation is a more natural, ethical and environmentally friendly alternative to cremations and uses water instead of fire to return a body to nature, Mr Humphries said.
"And within a year we would expect you would be able to have this done anywhere in Australia."
The process, called alkaline hydrolysis, relies on the same natural forces by which which a dead animal is returned to nature in the bush, he said.
"So we’ve put this totally natural process into a stainless steel tube where the body is washed for about four hours; [Sorry, but breaking down a body in four hours doesn't sound "natural" to me. And how is fire not "natural"?] it’s the same natural breakdown of tissue, just at a faster rate, and even the Catholic church has now approved it," he said. [It has?]
Mr Humphries said the equipment he invented was based on an experimental unit in the US that uses extreme pressure and temperature to destroy the infectious remains of cattle with mad cow disease.
He said nature invented the process, and his company has "simply re-designed the equipment so the water breaks down the cells and brings the body back to the chemical component it’s made up of, leaving only white chalky bones which are returned to the family in an urn, like ashes."
Aquamation costs about the same as cremation, but without the 200kg of greenhouse gas emissions produced in a cremation, he said.
"It’s expected that in America, within about 10 years, there won’t be cremations because the public reaction to this process is just overwhelming, Mr Humphries said.
He said the technology was also an answer to new European regulations that state mercury pollution has to be reduced at crematoriums by 2012.
And it’s so green!
And on another morbid note, did you hear the one about the monks who make coffins? They are going to like this new water thingy. But then again, they make not have a livelihood long before that if the State of Louisiana has anything to do with it.
In the National Catholic REGISTER Tim Drake has a story about how the state is trying to nail down the lid on a community of monks who make their living making and selling coffins.
State Goes After Monks for the "Sin" of Selling Caskets
Federal Lawsuit Launched
by Tim Drake
Can the government restrict the monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Saint Benedict, La., from building boxes?
Yes, says the state, if those boxes are for the deceased.
In 2007, the monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey started St. Joseph Woodworks for the purpose of building simple wooden caskets as a means of supporting themselves. [The Trappists at New Mellbray do this too.] Monks in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota have been in the casket-making business for years.
Before they were able to sell even a single casket, the Louisiana State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors told them that their sale of caskets violated state law, which says that you cannot sell “funeral merchandise” unless you’re a licensed funeral director. Were the monks to sell their caskets, they would risk both fines and imprisonment.
In order to sell caskets legally, the monks would have to apprentice at a licensed funeral home for a year, take a funeral industry test, and convert their monastery into a “funeral establishment,” installing equipment for embalming.
“We are not a wealthy monastery, and we want to sell our plain wooden caskets to pay for food, health care, and the education of our monks, said Abbot Justin Brown. [I would say especially monks, since monks developed the foundation of our modern market system.]
This morning, the Arlington, Va.-based Institute for Justice is holding a press conference on the front steps of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of the monks. They are announcing a federal lawsuit to fight against the state funeral board’s attempt to shut down their casket-making business.
“A casket is just a box and you do not even need one for burial,” said Institute for Justice senior attorney Scott Bullock. “There is no legitimate health or safety reason to license casket sellers.”
The Institute for Justice says that the only reason the state of Louisiana is preventing the Abbey from selling its caskets is to protect the profits of the state’s funeral directors. [O my. Sure the funeral industry would never do that!]
“Economic liberty is a constitutional right that matters to everyone, even monks,” said Jeff Rowes, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice.
“The monks’ story is just one example of a national problem in which industry cartels use government power to protect themselves from competition,” said Chip Mellor, president and general counsel of the Institute for Justice. “Protecting economic liberty and ending government-enforced cartels requires judicial engagement – a willingness by the courts to confront what is often really going on when the government enacts licensing laws supposedly to protect the public.”