A research group of the Department of Legal Sciences of the University of Alcalá offers a consultancy service for the diagnosis and management of mortuary services in cemeteries, based on the study and application of the right to religious freedom in these spaces.
The group seeks to reach commercial agreements with technical assistance or technical cooperation, with town halls, public and private cemeteries as well as funeral companies.
There is a concern in all cultures about the rites of death and the deposit of the body afterwards. On many occasions, the problems are generated by a religious connotation due to the adoption of different formulas and solutions.
Since antiquity, the imprint left by the Catholic Church for the sole possession of cemeteries has been highlighted.
Throughout history, mutations have occurred over time with new demands and aspirations that are being introduced into the solutions and legal status of cemeteries.
Along with religious freedom, freedom of conscience has also been affirmed, which protects believers and non-believers by directing the neutrality of the State in its various manifestations, and leading to the generalization of non-confessional cemeteries (compatible with the existence of cemeteries). proper to confessions) that entails non-discrimination as a result of beliefs. Even so, there are problems in the installation of confessional places in public cemeteries. This has been reflected in the current regulation of municipal cemeteries, configured by law as one of the minimum obligations that should be provided by every municipality.
The municipalization of cemeteries has resulted in an intense process of secularization and assumption by the State of competences and functions that are considered proper to a State of our times. Therefore, the submission of cemeteries to the civil jurisdiction has been achieved, which leads to normal coexistence with religious cemeteries.
Religious freedom is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. Every owner of a cemetery must guarantee respect for the rites and ceremonies, habits and customs, typical of religious organizations, provided that they respect qualified values, such as the rights of others, public order, and especially, the sanitary requirements, that from the modernity preside with rigor all the legal system of the burials.
The advice would be carried out by means of the elaboration of reports or guides of doings in which the possible policies or actions are collected. Those that are recommendable to implant in accordance with the current legality.
The increase in the religious and cultural pluralism of society forces public authorities to respond to new demands. In order to achieve true social integration of the entire population and a peaceful coexistence with full enjoyment of fundamental rights, specific advice is needed on management practices of religious and cultural diversity.
The Research Group "Society, Law and Religion" has been working for years on research projects and advice on these issues.
The correct application of the current regulation on management of cemeteries, which constitute one of the minimum services that every municipality must provide, will suppose a competitive advantage for those municipalities, funeral centers and cemeteries of private management that take into account all the implications of the current regulations and include it within their procedures.
Current development status