“The right to be buried applies to every human being”

Brandenburg's new burial law meets with partial approval from clergy there. Archbishop Heiner Koch and regional bishop Markus Droge regret, however, that there is still a minimum weight for the burial of stillborn children.

The two clergymen released a joint statement to that effect. "With respect and appreciation we perceive the extensive and serious debate in parliament," the letter says. Even though the bishops "continue to consider problematic" a minimum weight for compulsory burial of stillborn children, "the lowering of 1.000 to 500 grams an important positive signal".

The fact that affected parents must now be informed that they can bury their children also improves the previous regulation. "Fundamentally, we maintain that parents need a place to grieve, regardless of when they lost their child. The right to be buried applies to every human being," the bishops write.

No diamonds from ashes of the dead

On the other hand, they take a positive view of the fact that the majority of members of parliament voted against the possibility of extracting parts of the ashes of the deceased in order to have them pressed into a diamond.

The churches also expressly approve of the fact that the amendment stipulates that only gravestones and grave fixtures that can be proven to originate from fair trade and were produced without child labor may now be used. Aming verifiable certifications, this offers the opportunity for changes in cemetery regulations. The form in which this could be implemented in practice is now being examined, it is said.

The Brandenburg state parliament passed the state's new burial law last Wednesday. The SPD and the Left voted in favor. CDU, Greens and AfD abstained. The law had previously been the subject of intense debate for several months.

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