The Vatican’s saint-making office has updated its rules governing the use of relics for would-be saints, issuing detailed new guidelines Saturday that govern how body parts and cremated remains are to be obtained, transferred and protected for eventual veneration.
“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:3-5 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: The dictionary defines necrophilia as, among other things, an “unnatural attraction to dead bodies”. Many people don’t know that nearly every Catholic Church on earth, when it is built, has body parts of some dead Catholic “saint” built into the altar. This grotesque practice is called “veneration”, the body parts are called “relics”, and the prayers to “saints” that are generated from it are a foundational part of Catholic worship. The Bible however defines this as idolatry, and as you might suspect, condemns it. So when you read this article, just remember that it’s about the Catholic Church passing new rules to protect the body parts of the dead people they worship. Any wonder why Revelation refers to this unholy, corrupt system as the Whore of Babylon?
The instructions explicitly rule out selling the hair strands, hands, teeth and other body parts of saints that often fetch high prices in online auctions. They also prohibit the use of relics in sacrilegious rituals and warn that the church may have to obtain consent from surviving family members before unearthing the remains of candidates for sainthood.
Officials said the guidelines were necessary given some obstacles that had emerged since the rules were last revised in 2007, particularly when surviving relatives and church officials disagreed. One current case before a U.S. appeals court concerns a battle over the remains of Fulton Sheen, an American archbishop known for his revolutionary radio and television preaching in the 1950s and 1960s.
Sheen’s niece went to court to force the archdiocese of New York to transfer Sheen’s body from under the altar of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to Peoria, Illinois, where Sheen was born, ordained a priest and where his sainthood cause has been launched by Peoria’s bishop.
The New York archdiocese refused and appealed a 2016 lower court ruling in favor of the niece. A decision from the appeals court is expected soon.
The Catholic Church has dead bodies in gold boxes all over the world that people are instructed to pray to:
Soooo, if this is the church that “Jesus started”, why are they doing this? (click here to view if reading this via email).
Monsignor Robert Sarno of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints said it’s impossible to know what difficulties could complicate a saint-making case or whether the new guidelines might have helped avoid the legal battle over Sheen.
But Sarno said the Vatican believed the updates were needed anyway to provide bishops around the world with a detailed, go-to guide in multiple languages to replace the Latin instructions that provided only general rules to follow.
New to the protocols is a section that makes clear that bishops must have the “consent of the heirs” in regions where the bodies of the dead legally belong to surviving family members. The revised instructions lay out in detail how a body is to be unearthed, saying it must be covered with a “decorous” cloth while a relic is being taken and then re-buried in clothes of similar style.
The guidance also explicitly allows for cremated remains to be used as relics. For most of its 2,000-year history, the Catholic Church only permitted burial, arguing that it best expressed the Christian hope for resurrection. But in 1963, the Vatican explicitly allowed cremation as long as it didn’t suggest a denial of faith about resurrection.
The new instruction also makes clear that bishops must agree in writing to any transfer of the remains, and calls for absolute secrecy when a body is unearthed and a relic taken for eventual veneration.
The document repeats church teaching that relics from candidates for sainthood can only be venerated publicly once they have been beatified, the first step to possible sainthood. source
The official Catholic position on the placing a relics in the altar of a Catholic church:
- QUESTION: I would like to know the present teaching of the Church, with documentary evidence, on fixing relics of the saints at the altar of Holy Mass. — K.S., Nagapattinam, India
- ANSWER: The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 302, contains the following statement: “The practice of placing relics of Saints, even those not Martyrs, under the altar to be dedicated is fittingly retained. Care should be taken, however, to ensure the authenticity of such relics.”
This statement summarizes the more detailed treatment of this question found in other documents such as the Roman Pontifical, Dedication of a Church and an Altar, and in the Ceremonial of Bishops.
No. 866 of this latter book indicates the basic norms for relics:
“The tradition in the Roman liturgy of placing relics of martyrs or other saints beneath the altar should be preserved, if possible. But the following should be noted:
- “a. such relics should be of a size sufficient for them to be recognized as parts of human bodies; hence excessively small relics of one or more saints must not be placed beneath the altar;
- “b. the greatest care must be taken to determine whether the relics in question are authentic; it is better for an altar to be dedicated without relics than to have relics of doubtful authenticity placed beneath it;
- “c. a reliquary must not be placed upon the altar or set into the table of the altar; it must be placed beneath the table of the altar, as the design of the altar permits.” source