Rules of the Catholic Cemeteries
CHAPTER 6. EXHUMATION AND RELOCATION
23. Application for exhumation and relocation of human remains, exhumed human remains or ashes, or for a co-burial in a Catholic Cemetery, etc. must be made by the recognized representative at the relevant Catholic Cemetery Office.
24. No exhumation and/or relocation of any human remains, exhumed human remains or ashes in a Catholic Cemetery could be carried out without first obtaining a written consent from the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene and the Superintendent of the Catholic Cemeteries.
25. For exhumable burial lot (extendable for one further term only), on or before the expiry of the fixed term of ten years (if no application for extension has been made) or on or before the expiry of the extended term of six years (if an application for extension of six years has been made and approved), the recognized representative should arrange with the relevant Catholic Cemetery Office for the exhumation and relocation of the human remains buried therein. Upon the expiry of the respective periods mentioned above, if no one comes forth to apply for the exhumation of the graves, the Superintendent may exhume the human remains in these graves and relocate and store the exhumed human remains in a designated depository in the Catholic Cemetery without further notice, provided that :
(a) the Superintendent’s intention to disinter has been published in all the parish churches in Hong Kong, in the Kung Kao Po and the Sunday Examiner and in not less than 5 local newspapers, at least one of which must be in English; and
(b) 6 months have elapsed from the date of such publication; and
(c) the consent of the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene has been obtained.
A grave demolition fee, an exhumation fee and a storage fee shall be chargeable to the recognized representative who, at a later date, may come forth to claim these exhumed human remains.
26. After exhumation and/or relocation of the human remains, exhumed human remains or ashes, the burial ground so left vacant would revert to the Diocese for reallocation. No one shall have the right to transfer, sell, or let the burial ground to any other parties, and/or to demand for compensation of any form whatsoever from the Diocese for the reversion of the burial ground to it.
27. Notwithstanding Clause 28, in case of emergency posing an imminent threat to public safety, the Superintendent has the right to carry out repairs to the said burial lot without first notifying the recognized representative. All expenses incurred shall be chargeable to the recognized representative who, at a later date, may come forth or be located.
28. When a burial lot is seriously damaged, collapsed and unattended for a long period of time, it is deemed to be an abandoned grave. The Superintendent shall first notify by registered post the recognized representative of the deceased at his last known address registered at the Catholic Cemetery Office. If no reply or notification of action is received within a reasonable time, the Superintendent may, with the written consent of the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene, authorize the human remains in the burial lot to be exhumed, relocated and stored in a designated depository of the Catholic Cemetery and the burial lot would revert to the Diocese for reallocation.