Rorate Caeli

Veneration of relics is "a sad chapter in the history of the liturgy"

From Anscar Chupungco's What, Then, is Liturgy?: Musings and Memoir, Claretian Publications, Quezon City 2010, pp. 51-52:
The veneration of the bodies or relics of saints is a sad chapter in the history of the liturgy. In the Middle Ages dealers made a big business out of the sale of bones purportedly of saints but later discovered, thanks to modern technology, to be of animals. Unsuspecting devotees brought them and built magnificent chapels to house richly Italicadorned reliquaries. When I was a student in Europe it was one of my diversions to look for some of the most amusing kinds of relics: a feather of St. Michael the Archangel, a piece of cloth stained with the milk of the Blessed Virgin, one of the prepuces of the Child Jesus, and believe it or not, a bottle containing the darkness of Egypt! The great reformer Martin Luther, appalled by aberrations committed on relics, fiercely took issue with the Catholic Church. Indeed, who would not be scandalized by reports that when priests were compelled to celebrate only one Mass a day to stifle the abuses surrounding Mass stipends, some had the temerity to simulate the Mass and raise the relic of a saint at the supposed moment of consecration? I can still hear my mentor Adrian Nocent's dismissive remark when he listened to stories of relics, private apparitions, and saccharine devotions: "It's another religion!"
...
Abstracting from the deviations of the past and from the odd practice of displaying dismembered parts of the bodies of saints for public veneration, it is important to keep in mind that the liturgy gives special honor to the human body, whether it is of a great saint or a departed ordinary Christian...
(END OF QUOTE)
Adrian Nocent OSB was one of the leading lights of the liturgical reform of the 1960's.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chupungco must have been reading Jack Chick

lexetlibertas said...

There's actually a lot in this excerpt that we should take to heart. What this writer described is real history, folks, not anti-Catholic agit-prop.

And I for one agree with him that the OBSESSION that so many "conservative" and "traditional" Catholics have for private revelations is very oft-putting to many of us even within the Church, and does at times seem to be "another religion".

I'm not dissing a respectful belief in miracles (apparitions included),or the veneration relics and images. But we have to admit this often does get excessive, and did even more so in popular medieval folk superstition. There's nothing unCatholic in saying so.

Bryan said...

"The Sixth Rule. We should praise relics of saints, by venerating the relics and praying to the saints. We should extol visits to stational churches, pilgrimages, indulgences for jubilees and crusades, and the lighting of candles in churches."

St Ignatius of Loyola - Rules of thinking with the Church

http://www.saint-mike.org/library/rule/excerpts/rules_orthodoxy.html

"The non-Catholic mind has not greatly changed since the time of St. Ignatius in its attitude towards the veneration of saints and the use of images and relics to foster piety. According to one highly-placed critic, “the veneration of images and the relics of saints is a practice which above most others is odious and absurd to the Protestant mind,” which assumes that “images and relics are employed not as aids to devotion but as a channel, if not actually a fountain, of miraculous power.” [16]" Fr John A. Hardon SI (1959)- Chapter 13 "All my liberty"

Footnote [16] Winfred E. Garrison, A Protestant Manifesto, New York, 1952, pp. 161-162.

http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Christian_Spirituality/Christian_Spirituality_031.htm#_edn16

Anonymous said...

Despite the fact that modern technology can be used to make sure we are only venerating authentic relics, it is sad that they chose to use modern technology against our traditions.

Anonymous said...

In effect they are saying: "Our rolls royce, our car for the longest time, sure it had a few minor problems here and there, was running well until it had one flat tire so I immediately sold it to the junk shop and bought ourselves a mule."

Jon said...

"It's another religion!"

Hey, that's my line whenever I attend the Novus Ordo!

Anonymous said...

This guy should be a Protestant. I hope he is an old man.

Most young priests I know are eager to bring back Catholic traditions, including veneration of relics of the Saints.

So this kind of attitude seems to be a 1960's mindset. He should know that young priests trahsed this way of thinking as long as 20 years ago!

The only priests I know who still think like this Chupungco character and burnt old oldies in their late 60's, 70's and nearly all religious Order priests!

Anonymous said...

Jack Chick......LOL!!! He was another lunatic protestant who printed (or still does though he must be in his 80's now), violent anti-Catholic tracts!

He was arrested more than once for distributing them.

He remins me of the religious mindset of nutjobs like Sarah Palin, Kristine O'Donnell, Glenn Beck, etc. etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

"It's another religion!"

Funny, I agree with him. Orthodox Catholicism IS another religion, Deo gratias.

Giles.

Duarte said...

Usum not tollit abusus.

That there were plenty of abuses is undeniable and regrettable. That they ought to be eliminated is unquestionable. That legitimate veneration of relics should on that account be ended together with the abuses is in itself another abuse.

Johnny Domer said...

This is called "Throwing the baby out with the bathwater."

Ma Tucker said...

This is so silly. Of course venerating false relics is bad. Who would question criticism of such abuse? However true relics are venerated by Catholics and quite rightly so. Intercession by these saints have been the source of many miracles for us and it is quite natural to elevate the body(or part thereof, or clothing etc) of a man or woman whom God has elevated. If God has graced the life of a Saint it is natural that we should reflect that in our devotions. Underlying this position of course is an assumption that Catholics hold venerable those who serve God most diligently which, in the case of Fr. Anwar, may be one assumption too far! Well the poor misguided soul can rest easy. If this is typical of his thinking he need not fear any veneration of his own relics.

LeonG said...

Let us consider some of today's praxis. Funeral services that idolise and eulogise known unrepentant sinners; others that play the pagan and demonic rock music preferred by the deceased; NO services that have presbyters dressed as clowns, teddy bears and similar paraphernalia. We have seen "balloon masses", "halloween masses" & uncountable other versions. One church has a corner reserved to St Judas Iscariot; others have stations of thre cross whose images resemble unidentified demonic arrivals on planet earth; some churches celebrate sodomy and sodomisers in special Sunday "gay masses". Further, a trip into some church book shops will offer tomes on New Age practices, crystals, tarot cards; protestant books on how to rebel against Catholicism; another set of editions will override church authority on places of supposed Marian apparitions and make unvalidated statements assuming everything therein is authentic.
There are also official church celebrations of Luther the heretic
reborn as a righteous man while those of higher rank praise African animistic shaman for their "respectful" religious praxis. These are even invited into hallowed Roman Catholic lieus such as Assisi to carry out their pagan and polytheistic rituals.

Therefore have matters really improved that much today since the councils of the 1960s? It would appear they have become distinctly worse.

Cruise the Groove said...

Warped twisted and the possibility of a deranged mind.
I will pray for his soul.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, miracles through the bones of the saints, is something attested to in Holy Writ :

II Kings 13:21
And some that were burying a man, saw the rovers, and cast the body into the sepulchre of Eliseus. And when it had touched the bones of Eliseus, the man came to life, and stood upon his feet.

Fr Paul McDonald

Anonymous said...

Perhaps he was a contributor the a Bob Jones produced textbook. I remember previewing a copy of a high school text in 1984 that among other lies accused Catholics having "feathers from the wings of the Archangel Michael."

But why get exercised by these people? It is obvious that they are not Catholic. Besides, if Martin Luther was such a great "reformer" why not join his religion?

Anonymous said...

The great reformer Martin Luther, appalled by aberrations committed on relics, fiercely took issue with the Catholic Church.

Fr. Anscar calls Martin Luther as "the great reformer"! Considering the fact that he openly claims that he is an "honorary Lutheran", I am not at all surprised. Does this prove that the version of the liturgical reform that he espouses is actually Protestant? If this were so, why do we listen to him and consider him a liturgical authority? Philippine Bishops, open your eyes! Defend the deposit of faith that has been entrusted to you! His mentor Adrian Nocent remarks that "Its another religion!" when he hears of stories of relics, private apparitions and saccharine devotions. Rightly does he say so because his religion aint Catholic. It's Protestant!

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"But why get exercised by these people?"

Because they still exercise a lot of influence in the Church. The book from which these quotes come is dedicated to, and was launched in the presence of, Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and the Filipino liturgical establishment. Chupungco himself is the standard-bearer for the forces now trying to frustrate the implementation of Liturgiam Authenticam

Christopher J. Paulitz said...

Venerating relics is "another religion" but liturgical dancers, women distributing Holy Communion and half-naked parishioners in the churches is all fine.

Father Anthony Cekada said...

The post-Vatican II liturgical legislation, accordingly, downgraded the place of relics in worship, and intentionally complicated matters for those who wanted to retain the practice.

• The diocesan bishop now "decides the suitability" of enshrining relics in the altar.

• Relics must now be large enough to be recognizable as parts of human bodies. Such relics, of course, are very difficult to obtain.

• Martyrs' relics are no longer required — and it was the early Christian practice of celebrating Mass over a martyr's tomb that led to the tradition of enshrining martyrs' relics in every altar.

• It is now forbidden to place relics in the mensa (table) of the altar.

The new liturgy, said the liturgist John Emminghaus, "pays no attention to the presence of relics in the altar."

More "continuity" with the past…

Anonymous said...

I was so curious I "googled" Chupungco to see his stats.

He is indeed an old man, over 70+, who has been waving the flag for the Vatican II garbage and even worse things since 1969 (41 years!!).

He can join the ranks of other infamous oldies who tried to wreck the Catholic Faith:
Hans Kung, 82, Fr. Charles Curran, 77, Sr. Joan Chittister,74, Sr. Teresa Kane
73, Archbishop Piero Marini (the youngest of them all), 68, Cardinal Virgilio Noe, 88, Bishop Trautman of Erie (the infamous holdout against the "new" Novus Ordo in the USA, 74, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, 84, Abbot Notker Wolf, 72 (unfortunatly, the head of the world-wide Benedictine Order), Cardinals Martini SJ,83,Kasper,77,Re,76,Rosales,78, Sodano,82,McCarrick,80, Keeler,79 and Bertone, SDB,75!!

There's more, but their age range is the same....you get the point!

Anonymous said...

For them, veneration of true relics is from another religion. Indeed it is: it is the Catholic religion. Perhaps these guys belong to different religion, a non catholic one, and they want all of us to swallow and believe that what they present to us is the true religion before it apostised during Constantine's time. Sounds familiar with the thesis of another local nut-case, Felix "Manalo" Ysagun.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

I initially intended to put the following commentary in the original post:

This quote, far from being made up of idle words, exposes a very real and active movement that has caused great damage to the cult of relics in the Philippines.

In one of Metro Manila's most prominent and imposing churches, there are no relics exposed for veneration, but there is a whole cabinet of them in the small museum in the cloister walk. This cabinet, in addition to numerous first-class relics of saints, has the pectoral cross of a canonized martyr-bishop. However, the relics are displayed merely as museum pieces; there is no kneeler in front of the cabinet, and no signs of veneration.

I frequently visit Manila's most famous ecclesiastical museum, and in one of its exhibition areas there is a large fragment of the skull of a Roman-era martyr. In at least three of my visits there I saw the reliquary placed in the same cabinet as samples of wine and agricultural produce from Spain.

And, in one of my visits to one of Metro Manila's Catholic universities, I went to the sacristy and -- to my profound shock -- found that the "table" being used in it to hold miscellaneous things is no other than the old main altar of one of the chapels, with the enormous altar stone (presumably with relics) still intact. I later learned that it had been consecrated in 1965. Most of the altar stones in that university have also been pried out of the altars and have simply disappeared through the years.

Anonymous said...

"Besides, if Martin Luther was such a great "reformer" why not join his religion?"

Father Anscar Chupungco has admitted that he is grateful to be declared as an honorary Lutheran and is influenced by their liturgy. Beats me why the local clergy continues to allow themselves to be subjected to him.


http://www.valpo.edu/ils/assets/pdfs/chupungco1.pdf

Article 9 said...

"and did even more so in popular medieval folk superstition"

Folk superstition would be a better term for the syncretism that is prevalent in modern times. The medieval period was the height of Catholic civilization. Abuses surrounding relics and even the plague do not come close the the absolute decay and corruption that exists today.

How can one be excessive in their devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Fatima; to the Miraculous Medal, the Brown Scapular, to the Sacred Heart? Has lexetlibertas been to Rome? It must be painful to see such excessive/obsessive attention devoted to the enshrinement of sacred relics (the True Cross, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.)

"I'm not dissing a respectful belief in miracles (apparitions included), or the veneration relics and images." Oh, but you are. Very UnCatholic.

Anonymous said...

This is the liberal counterpart to H. E. Williamson's remark to Castrillon-Hoyos: "Your Eminence, it's two religions!"

http://www.sspx.org/discussions/rome_sspx_campos.htm

Jack said...

With the possible exception of depositing the relics of saints into the altar or antimension, I can think of no place in the liturgy that actually calls for the veneration of relics by rubrics.

Surely their public veneration is an extra-liturgical pious devotion.

sjgmore said...

The irony of all of this is that these people who are so clear-sighted about the abuses of the veneration of relics are the ones perpetrating the liturgical abuses of the present that future generations of Catholics will look back on in embarrassment.

It's astounding to me how many people can point out the deficiencies of the past, and dwell on problems that no longer exist, all while actually participating in the ridiculous liturgical scandals of the present.

Anonymous said...

The 'great reformer' Luther is a heretic!
Consider instead the example St. Francis a true Catholic reformer.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"With the possible exception of depositing the relics of saints into the altar or antimension, I can think of no place in the liturgy that actually calls for the veneration of relics by rubrics. Surely their public veneration is an extra-liturgical pious devotion"

In the Mass of the Classical Roman Rite we have the following:

1) The prayer "Oramus te", accompanied by a kiss to the altar stone, shortly after the priest has ascended the altar steps

2) Whenever incense is used, the relics present on the altar / gradines are to be specifically censed as well after the priest has said the Introit and during the incensation of the altar at the Offertory.

Furthermore, there is the (now almost-disappeared) practice of solemnly exposing on an altar the relics of a saint on his feastday.

Anonymous said...

"...it is another religion."

Straight from the horse's mouth.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Chupungco certainly has a point in denoucing some terrible abuses, although as some pointed out, "abusus non tollit usum". In my humble opinion, Fr. Chupungco's stance (the Filipino Bugnini) would only be strengthened if some trads insisted on defending indiscriminately all things "preconciliar". It is obvious that the Church as it stood in the mid XXth century needed a reform. The trouble is that Vatican II gave it a revolution rather than a reform. And Chpungco is a prominent figure of that revolution.

Anonymous said...

Chupungco is a heretic and kisses himself in the mirror and the memory of Bugnini his Master!

Anonymous said...

If one truly believes, also through false relics the lord delivers graces, I was told by a prelate in the early 1950s.

Fratellino said...

Well, Chupungco will be dead before too many more years go by, and the relics will still be with us, and we'll still be venerating them, and much to his chagrin we'll probably find some more to morally represent those that we have lost. Plus there are plenty of new relics of new saints, such as St. Andre of Montreal's heart. So, with apologies to the gospel according to Ira Gershwin, "HA! HA! HA! WHO'S GOT THE LAST LAUGH NOW?"

SamGamgee said...

Veneration of the Spirit of Vatican 2 is an even sadder chapter.

Pot calling the kettle black methinks.

Anonymous said...

He is a heretic, simply speaking.

My. The pagans in Rome were disgusted by the use of relics by Christians. First note that there were relics that early on. Second note is that it was one of the few things of actual Christianity that the pagans found extremely abhorrent.

+Chupungco never has studied the early Church I suppose...apparently Christianity for its whole history up until the protestant heretics was wrong about relics

Jack said...

\\1) The prayer "Oramus te", accompanied by a kiss to the altar stone, shortly after the priest has ascended the altar steps

2) Whenever incense is used, the relics present on the altar / gradines are to be specifically censed as well after the priest has said the Introit and during the incensation of the altar at the Offertory\\

Apparently we interpret the phrase "liturgical veneration of relics" differently.

Elsewhere, I did refer to a prayer where the priest invokes the prayers of the saints whose relics are enshrined in the altar--but not all altars, alas have relics. It's the altar itself that is kissed, not the relics.

The relics exposed on the altar or gradine are censed, yes. But so would a bishop or other prelate presiding from the throne.

My point is that there is NO service that says, "Relics are brought out for public veneration."

And please understand that nothing I said is to be interpreted as condemning the veneration of holy relics.

Joe B said...

I refuse to believe that a feather was genuinely venerated as a relic by Catholics. Luther's claim that if all the claimed relics of the True Cross were put together it would be larger than the True Cross was proven to be a lie, and I call whoever the source of this claim is a liar, too. Show me some proof.

Geremia said...

The Communion of Saints is one of the best parts about being Catholic, and dulia of relics can be very beneficial in strengthening one's faith.

Regarding lexetlibertas, there is an "OBSESSION that so many 'conservative' and 'traditional' Catholics have for private revelations"? Where do you glean this from the excerpt of Fr. Nocent? Thanks

dcs said...

"Also, that the holy bodies of holy martyrs, and of others now living with Christ,-which bodies were the living members of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Ghost, and which are by Him to be raised unto eternal life, and to be glorified,--are to be venerated by the faithful; through which (bodies) many benefits are bestowed by God on men; so that they who affirm that veneration and honour are not due to the relics of saints; or, that these, and other sacred monuments, are uselessly honoured by the faithful; and that the places dedicated to the memories of the saints are in vain visited with the view of obtaining their aid; are wholly to be condemned, as the Church has already long since condemned, and now also condemns them." (Council of Trent, Session XXV, my emphasis)

Jordanes said...

Thanks for the cite from Trent, dcs. That Chupungco has deemed it a compliment to be called an honorary Lutheran is alarming enough, but his railing against the veneration of saints' relics is explicit heresy.

Joe B, I believe it was Calvin who made that bogus claim about the relics of the Holy Rood, and I read somewhere that all the known relics of the Holy Cross put together don't even amount to a tenth of the whole Cross. Whether Luther or Calvin said it, or both, they undoubtedly just pulled their claim out of their nether parts.

Anonymous said...

The veneration of Images and Relics was pronounced by the 7th Ecumenical Council. It is a therefore infallible pronouncement and cannot be recinded.

The bones of saints, like that of Icons contain "the Gifts of the Holy Spirit."

In order to understand this fully, one must understand the Pronouncement made at the 7th Ecumenical Council:

"We define that the holy icons, whether in color, mosaic, or some other material, should be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on the sacred vessels and liturgical vestments, on the walls, furnishings, and in houses and along the roads, namely the icons of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, that of our Lady the Theotokos, those of the venerable angels and those of all saintly people. Whenever these representations are contemplated, they will cause those who look at them to commemorate and love their prototype. We define also that they should be kissed and that they are an object of veneration and honor (timitiki proskynisis), but not of real worship (latreia), which is reserved for Him Who is the subject of our faith and is proper for the divine nature, ... which is in effect transmitted to the prototype; he who venerates the icon, venerated in it the reality for which it stands."

Anonymous said...

The veneration of Images and Relics was pronounced by the 7th Ecumenical Council. It is a therefore infallible pronouncement and cannot be recinded.

The bones of saints, like that of Icons contain "the Gifts of the Holy Spirit."

In order to understand this fully, one must understand the Pronouncement made at the 7th Ecumenical Council:

"We define that the holy icons, whether in color, mosaic, or some other material, should be exhibited in the holy churches of God, on the sacred vessels and liturgical vestments, on the walls, furnishings, and in houses and along the roads, namely the icons of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, that of our Lady the Theotokos, those of the venerable angels and those of all saintly people. Whenever these representations are contemplated, they will cause those who look at them to commemorate and love their prototype. We define also that they should be kissed and that they are an object of veneration and honor (timitiki proskynisis), but not of real worship (latreia), which is reserved for Him Who is the subject of our faith and is proper for the divine nature, ... which is in effect transmitted to the prototype; he who venerates the icon, venerated in it the reality for which it stands."

lexetlibertas said...

Actually, there do seem to have existed medieval relics of Saint Michael's feathers. See:

http://books.google.com/books?id=VIPQAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA179&lpg=PA179&dq=%22Saint+Michael%22+%2B+feather+%2B+relic&source=bl&ots=anmCXDVOi8&sig=rJDW1IjJXEEIGKDmQyCIikK0JsE&hl=en&ei=ngK8TLS2IMGclgeKmZGZDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Saint%20Michael%22%20%2B%20feather%20%2B%20relic&f=false

Josephus Muris Saliensis said...

Most apposite post today, from the Pope's Letter to Seminarians:

4. I urge you to retain an appreciation for popular piety, which is different in every culture yet always remains very similar, for the human heart is ultimately one and the same. Certainly, popular piety tends towards the irrational, and can at times be somewhat superficial. Yet it would be quite wrong to dismiss it. Through that piety, the faith has entered human hearts and become part of the common patrimony of sentiments and customs, shaping the life and emotions of the community. Popular piety is thus one of the Church’s great treasures. The faith has taken on flesh and blood. Certainly popular piety always needs to be purified and refocused, yet it is worthy of our love and it truly makes us into the “People of God”.

LeonG said...

It is vastly preferable to venerate saintly relics in the liturgy than to have semi-naked, body-painted, girating, didgeridooing aborigines upstaging a supposed canonisation ceremony which is taking place in what used to be Roman Catholicism's most venerated lieu.

What shame the post-conciliar church brings upon us all. What scandals.

Joe B said...

Lexetlibertas,

Thanks for narrowing the claim.

I suspect there was a feather and a claim that it was of Saint Michael, but as for veneration, I think and hope not. The claim is authored by a traveling author who reports much without any investigation, and this seems to be the only mention of it historically, although I stand to be corrected about that.

I also see the feather in question was three feet in length (likely an Ostrich feather, since those are also mentioned), and I can find absolutely no indication of any real veneration of it. Nobody seems to have fallen for the claim. No people present, no processions, no ceremonies about it. The author finds it obscurely, and it apparently survives not. The author simply reports the claim of a monk who exhibits signs of mental instability in an environment which would suggest that might be preferable to sanity. The report takes place in roughly the 1780s. But again, the feather seems not to have attracted a following.

I just think Catholics in general are a little better at discerning what is worth their veneration than these claims suggest. I can see veneration of a false relic since similar true relics do exist, but a feather of St Michael? A bit of a stretch, I hope.

Thanks for the pointer.

Joe B said...

Thanks for the pointer.

The claim is from an obscure book written by an traveling author in roughly the 1780s, who hears the claim from a monk and reports it without any critical investigation. The monk seems quite odd. His living conditions seem depressing.

The feather is three feet in length. It is probably an Ostrich feather, since those are mentioned in the chapter.

But there is only a single claim. There is no mention of any persons venerating it, no processions, no ceremonies, no written testimonies about it by the monks. In short, I doubt any Catholics fell for the claim, and that's my hope as well.

Certainly I can see Catholics venerating false relics of bones or materials since true ones certainly exist and the testimonies about their effectiveness are indisputable, but a feather from Saint Michael - I hope not. We should not give such claims more credibility than they earn, and this one earns little as yet.

lexetlibertas said...

Leon G:

There's no place in traditional Catholicism for racism. There's nothing sexually provocative about aboriginal dances, or in the way traditional peoples around the world walk around scantily clad. The virtuousness of modesty is both universal and objective, but what constitutes modesty is culturally subjective; there's a world of difference between a PlayBoy centerfold and a Discovery Channel documentary about the Guarani.

The festivities you refer to were not done AT the canonization Mass. And yes, playful festivities in front of major churches on major religious occasions is VERY traditional, in both Latin America and the Mediterranean.

Some rad-trads needs to seriously reconsider what Belloc meant when he said, "The Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith"; he was making an observation about Europe's spiritual heritage, not suggesting that Catholic Christianity in intrinsically European in liturgical--let alone paraliturgical--form!

Astigarraga said...

And now I shall go as a pilgrim to the Cathedral of Cologne, to venerate the relics of the holy Magi who left everything to follow the star which was guiding them to the Saviour of the human race. You too, dear young people, have already had, or will have, the opportunity to make the same pilgrimage.

These relics are only the poor and frail sign of what those men were and what they experienced so many centuries ago. The relics direct us towards God himself: it is he who, by the power of his grace, grants to weak human beings the courage to bear witness to him before the world.

By inviting us to venerate the mortal remains of the martyrs and saints, the Church does not forget that, in the end, these are indeed just human bones, but they are bones that belonged to individuals touched by the living power of God. The relics of the saints are traces of that invisible but real presence which sheds light upon the shadows of the world and reveals the Kingdom of Heaven in our midst. They cry out with us and for us: "Maranatha!" - "Come, Lord Jesus!".

BENEDICT XVI, Papal Welcoming Ceremony on the Poller Rheinwiesen bank in Cologne (August 18, 2005)

Anonymous said...

"There's no place in traditional Catholicism for racism. "

There is not one element of `racism` in this post. This banal hypersensibility is downright ridiculous.

Joe B said...

Lexitlibertas,

Not only are you insulting people who could care less what race a person is, but they are serious Catholics too, which means you must have drunk too much libertas if you think you are going to sell nudity indulgences for social causes on this blog.

Neal said...

This is ironic considering its proximity to the canonization of Alfred Bessete (Frere Andre). If you go to his Oratory of St. Joseph, his preserved heart is on display for veneration. But then, he died way back in 1937, and how things have changed since then. I wonder, would he recognize the Church in his homeland now?

LeonG said...

The criticism of the exploitation of pagan symbolism in conjunction with any Catholic ceremonial is not "racism". On many occasions in churches; at papal masses & associated events we have witnessed the scandal of neo-pagan symbolism thrust upon us where it is completely inappropriate - to oppose this is not based on racism. Such an accusation is empty political correctness of the genre we associate with the politically correct establishment that predominates currently. What thorough nonsense.
Last year I was invited to attend several local festivities where I live & work in SE Asia. These were marked by some animistic-type dances and so forth. These were in the proper environment. However, I would not approve of them if they were utilised for any other purpose than were presented at the time. And in association with papal visits; canonisations, Holy Mass or any other Catholic ceremonial, definitely not.

Anonymous said...

and why are we measuring modesty and correctness according to the European standards only? I love Roman liturgy, but there are other cultural expressions too.
Besides, the semi-naked paintings from Michelangelo, for example, look immodest to other people, and they are inside churches!

LeonG said...

My comments have nothing to do with the erotic in the first place nor with racism. It is the originsal complainant who does not understand the nature of my earlier remarks which are perfectly comprehensible to a rational Roman Catholic, as they are to many here validating the points being made. There is no need to explain further for those who seem obsessed with sexual meanings.

Johannes said...

Seconded - Father Paul McDonald's comment.

"...the veneration of images and the relics of saints is a practice which above most others is odious and absurd to the Protestant mind..."

And they say sola scriptura?

LeonG said...

Suggestion of modesty immediately arouses accusations of sexmania as does talk against paganism in being accused of racism. The mind that dreams these connexions can hardly said to be a healthy one. God commands modesty & he was severe with the Jews when they turned to false religion to the point of destroying the Temple and exile to a forein land. Was He racist? Was He sex-obsessed?

lexetlibertas said...

LeonG:

Get a grip. I'm as firm a believer in modesty as anyone; my only point is that walking around half-naked is not *intrinsically* immodest. In fact, no style of dress is. That is determined by both individual psychology as well as community standards, which aren't static.

Secons, there's no such thing as a symbol that is inherently pagan: symbols mean whatever the individual or the cultural context assign them. Literally ALL the rituals and symbols of Judeo-Christianity have pagan antecedents. Painting one's face and dancing is not inherently pagan; neither is making Jack-'-Lantern's, decorating trees, or decorating eggs in the Spring time. These things are only pagan when done to honor pagan deities.

The inverse is also true. Reading a Bible is not inherently Christian, neither is displaying a Bible on an altar. In certain contexts, even these practices can be downright evil. For instance, when heretics and other enemies of the faith abuse the Scriptures to critique Catholic teaching or subvert morality, or when Masons employ the Bible ritually in their rites and ceremonies.

LeonG said...

The only thing which is wrong with veneration of relics is in the disorderd psychology of the liberal mentality. Moreover, when St Paul admonishes us not to be conformed to the spirit of the age, he meant just that - the pagan spirit of a pagan age. This is what we relive in the post-conciliar liberal "springtiome" of the church. Even Somali mohametans have understood this - they can go into any Catholic Church today and do a pagan dance on the new table and nothing happens to them in a syncretic & relativistic church that has lost its way. When Popes and clergy publicly flirt with pagan symbolism and interact with it openly we can quite clearly see the era of the prophet Daniel being relived - abomination and desolation are the consequences. The chief indicators and the archives are brimming over with the objective evidence of a church that no longer understands the need to restore traditional core norms and values which are embodied in the Traditional Latin Mass. Yes, and the venberation of the relics that goes with it.

Carlos Antonio Palad said...

"Even Somali mohametans have understood this - they can go into any Catholic Church today and do a pagan dance on the new table and nothing happens to them in a syncretic & relativistic church that has lost its way"

That lunatic was taken into custody by the police and brought to psychiatric treatment.

LeonG said...

If this is so, then the church authorities might consider acting simiarly with the foolish prebyters, writhing females and their empathic bishops who do hindu and other type dancing, sometimes scantily clad, on the former sanctuary now "worship space" in front of the "mensa". It is tantamount to the same behaviour as the Somali.