The largest Christian church on the planet with over one billion members, The Roman Catholic Church, issued detailed instructions on burying the dead earlier this year. The instructions warn against, “every appearance of pantheism…” The instructions also conflate pantheism with nihilism.
The instructions, put together by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, suggest that the appearance of pantheism being “avoided” are the primary motivation for not allowing its members to scatter or preserve deceased loved one’s ashes, even in the case of a dying wish. It goes on to instruct that a, “Christian funeral must be denied,” to those who request scattering of their ashes contrary to church law.
Pope Francis approved the instructions and ordered its publication.
Popular mainstream media portrays Francis as a progressive with moderate or liberal values.
The Roman Catholic Church has a history of disparaging pantheism and considering it heresy. Baruch Spinoza’s famous pantheist book, The Ethics, was put on the Catholic Church’s Index of Forbidden Books (the index was abolished in 1966). The 16th Century thinker Giordano Bruno was famously burnt at the stake for his vocal celebration of pantheism. To this day, the church has defended rather than condemned the actions of the violent inquisitors. It continues to attack pantheism in recent doctrine updates.