Cyprus Mail

Ten years shilly-shallying and procrastination

Your September 28 feature on unregulated funeral homes, and inter alia, the issue of cremation, stimulated me to write how strongly I agree with author Constantinos Psillides when he presses for the government to get on with the crematorium Bill.

After over ten years shilly-shallying and procrastination there is really no excuse any longer for delaying the passing of the relevant legislation. The endless bureaucracy enveloping the topic has become ludicrous. You couldn’t make it up.

As for the Church protesting about not being able or willing to perform funeral rites at a cremation, this aspect was overtaken by a former Attorney General making it clear in a ‘Cyprus Mail’ published comment that if and when the Bill is passed, the Church will be legally bound to perform rites at a cremation if requested.

Moreover, after three face to face personal assurances, together with public utterances from the Archbishop, I was told that he will never stand in the way of the cremation option. So what is his Holy Synod doing holding off on an issue of increasingly urgent importance?

Its Members agree individual wishes should be respected, along with Greek Orthodox practices, so why their discriminatory reticence to support this Bill? Getting on for ten thousand supporters surely have a right to be recognised. We stand all but alone in the EU in not having a crematorium facility.

The cemeteries are desperately overcrowded and badly under maintained. And unfortunately, as the article quoted, the cost of sending a body to a country where cremation is possible is horrendous, quite apart from the fact that embalming here is of a standard which you wouldn’t want to hear about.

Highlighted in the September 28 text was the police preference for any crematorium to be Government run, and that I can understand, but I can offer ideas and plans, architectural drawings, operating expertise, and research data available about where best to source the necessary equipment, if any Government department cares to ask. But first, for Heaven’s sake (sorry) let us get this Bill past the post.

Clive Turner, Paphos

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