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Church of Sweden sanctions burial of aborted foetuses

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11:17 CET+01:00
The Church of Sweden is to allow burial ceremonies for aborted foetuses. The procedure is to be called a 'pastoral ceremony' and will not be accompanied by a church service.

Members of the Church of Sweden will also be entitled to a funeral ceremony, even if there are no relatives in attendance and the priest is the only person present.

Bishops from the Church of Sweden are to give the ceremony their stamp of approval in the first bishops' letter on the subject of funerals since 1988.

Instructions regarding pastoral ceremonies are to be sent out to church congregations and undertakers around the country.

The Bishop of Skara, Erik Aurelius, was involved in composing the letter. He explained to newspaper Dagens Nyheter that the church often receives requests for funeral ceremonies for aborted foetuses.

"It is one of the most sensitive and complicated of all situations. It is characterized as a matter for the cure of souls," said Aurelius.

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