This is something I never understood about burying people in churches. Don't we bury people in the ground, among other things, for a practical reason? What happens to the remains of people buried in churches?
The martyrs (=saints) were buried in the churches.
And don't forget the great Mosaic in the apse of the Roman church San Marco.
I know it is an ages-old custom to bury people in churches. I'm not criticizing the custom. What I'm asking is, practically speaking, what happens to the remains? Are the caskets completely air- and water-tight? Aren't things a little volatle in there after a few months/years/decades?
The body rots to ashes, then dust then nothing. Sometimes they are put in more than one coffin. A wood one, then a lead one then the marble, a bit like dead popes.I suspect the old caskets placed inside a church were made air tight. When Padre Pio was exhumed in early 2008 the coffin and body were found full of damp moisture. More than once while walking through the cemetery of the port of rome Civitavecchia I have caught the scent of decaying bodies already in tombs. It is the most wreteched stink on the planet.
JPSonnen: It is the most wretched stink on the planet. Verissime et optime dicis: foetor huius globi foedissmus est. Crementur igitur corpora fidelium. Sicut incensum ascendant in coelos.
All Bishops? like Bugnini?
John - thanks for the thoughtful response to my inquiry. I appreciate it.