Monday, April 28, 2003

On relics and relic distribution
Over at Amy Welborn's blog, there a post about a disgrunltled ex-employee of an oncologist who alleges that her employer distributed slides with samples of the late Cardinal Cooke's blood to devotees of Cooke's canonization cause. ( No direct link available. Please check under "Thursday, April 24" . )

Does anyone know what happened in the case ? Does the American legal system have a position on the ancient Catholic practice of venerating relics ? I believe that giving out relics, third-class ones particularly, is often a part of a canonization cause. ( I once found a card with a third-class relic of "Blessed Martin de Porres" tucked into a volume I had purchased at a Catholic used-book store. ) Do any of the Catholic lawyers out there have the answers ?

Of course, living in Pittsburgh, home of St. Anthony's Chapel , I have a certain fondness for this practice many find so "P.O.D.", as Fr. Sibley would put it. The Pittsburgh Oratory has three first-class relics of St. Philip Neri, including one which is simultaneously a second-class relic of Pope St. Pius X . They also have a first-class relic of Venerable Newman (hair), and three second-class relics of him (two letters and one of his cassocks).

As for what the Venerable himself thought of relics, click here , and here .


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