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Forum LockedThe Relic System

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Loknar View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01-Sep-2006 at 00:34

 First, I would like to say that I am a Christian in so far as I believe in God 100% with no doubt whats so ever.

 

OK here we go.

 

 

In my opinion, the Catholic tradition of relics is simply insane. The ‘True’ Cross? Historically, this was aquired by St. Helna (Constantine’s mother). This was 300 years after the crucifixion. THis is how it happened. Word spread that she was in the holy land to purchase items important to Christendom. Some snake oil salesman told her "the cross? Oh yeah! I got it in my basement."

This is what happened to the cross (it was actually a T most likely). The Romans used it a few moire times until the wood became unstable then they choped it up for firewood. The ‘true’ cross doesnt exist.

The Holy Grail. Doesnt exist. Jesus drank from a commoners cup and even if it was a gold cup as it somehow is (doesnt make sense though when you consider Jesus was not a rich man). As to another legend where the blood was collected...This is simply nuts. In this time why do you need blood? Though, perhaps there was a Jewish tradition which said you must collectith thou blood.

The Spear of Destiny. Another traditoin i dont wish to get in to.

 

I promise you 99.99999999% of all relics are just fakes. They were (and still are?) used for the purpose of making money. Santiago de Compostella for example the holy bones myth. Pilgrims used to go there from all over Europe to spend money. And lets not forget the the church also used to sell ‘passes’ to escape purgatory.

So basically, when I see shows on these relics (the cup, the ‘true’ cross, the skulls of the 3 wisemen) I cant help but think that these shows are pointless. At least, the show should point these facts out in my opinion.

btw, I dont include the shroud of turin. That certainly is a mystery.

 

And lets say these relics exist. I would want them in a meuseaum to. From a religious standpoint, I could care less if they were destroyed. What do they do now?

From the standpoint of a historian, Id like to see these items preserved in a museaum.

Lets take the arc of the covenant. This most likely exists in some Egptian underground chamber and eventually we may discover it. when that happens, I would see it as a historical artifact, not something to worship...



Edited by Loknar - 01-Sep-2006 at 00:40
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JanusRook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jul-2007 at 00:36
Necroposted, by request:

Quote
In my opinion, the Catholic tradition of relics is simply insane. The ‘True’ Cross? Historically, this was aquired by St. Helna (Constantine’s mother). This was 300 years after the crucifixion. THis is how it happened. Word spread that she was in the holy land to purchase items important to Christendom. Some snake oil salesman told her "the cross? Oh yeah! I got it in my basement."


First I would ask how you know this to be fact, but that is petty, and logically your probably right. The thing is though is that God is in all things at all time, and if an object becomes a focal point for the faithful and they worship God through the veneration of the object  then it's authenticity is irrelevant. Christians do not worship the icons, they worship God by focusing on the icons. The spirit within the false relic is the same as in the true relic, so all relics are true relics.

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This is what happened to the cross (it was actually a T most likely). The Romans used it a few moire times until the wood became unstable then they choped it up for firewood. The ‘true’ cross doesnt exist.


The 'true' cross does exist, because the belief in it is true.

Quote

The Holy Grail. Doesnt exist. Jesus drank from a commoners cup and even if it was a gold cup as it somehow is (doesnt make sense though when you consider Jesus was not a rich man). As to another legend where the blood was collected...This is simply nuts. In this time why do you need blood? Though, perhaps there was a Jewish tradition which said you must collectith thou blood.

Where does it say that blood was collected at the crucifixion I am unfamiliar with this tradition?

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The Spear of Destiny. Another traditoin i dont wish to get in to.


Actually extensive research into the Spear of Destiny can trace it historically back to the 800's during the reign of Charlemagne (which in itself is pretty impressive). Also there are bits of Iron in the spear that could not be analyzed so that there is still a chance that that iron is the remaining pieces of the original spear of longinus.

Quote
I promise you 99.99999999% of all relics are just fakes.


Actually seeing as how 99% of all relics have historical documentation and are from mostly well known saints, I doubt the validity of this claim. Very few relics are from the era of Christ, only the most famous are. Various shrines to saints worldwide house the actual reliquaries of said saints, some relics are less than a hundred years old, how could these be falsified?

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They were (and still are?) used for the purpose of making money.


The Church has condemned the practice of selling relics, since it deprives the faithful of the experience of them. However category 3 relics, those trinkets that have been blessed by touching another relic are permitted to be sold as they are not holy in and of themselves.

Quote
Santiago de Compostella for example the holy bones myth. Pilgrims used to go there from all over Europe to spend money.


Of course, back in the Middle Ages serfs were tied to the land they lived on. The only possible way to get out was to go on a pilgrimage, they were essentially tourist traps, but they offered a chance at a vacation for the otherwise downtrodden populace. Of course merchants sold the "theme items" haven't you ever been to a modern souveneir shop.

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And lets not forget the the church also used to sell ‘passes’ to escape purgatory.


Completely independent of relics, the sale of indulgences was based on the concept of the Treasure of Merit, which basically states that every person in this life has a "bank account" of good deeds. We are born with a clean slate, and every act of good and every act of evil goes into our "account". The Treasure of Merit stated that Saints, who had died with extra "good points" were inherited by the Church, who could then dispense these to counteract "evil points" that people had accumulated by sinning. Martin Luther himself always believed in the Treasure of Merit, he only disagreed that the Church had the sole authority to dispense it. Also by order of the Council of Trent the sale of indulgences for monetary value was banned, although indulgences could still be given. Anyway as you can see indulgences have nothing to do with relics.

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btw, I dont include the shroud of turin. That certainly is a mystery.


Actually I believe this relic to be a so called "false relic". I thought the general concensus was it was created by a 13th century French monk?

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And lets say these relics exist. I would want them in a meuseaum to. From a religious standpoint, I could care less if they were destroyed. What do they do now?


They effectively are in museums, how many churches throughout the world contain many magnificent treasures and works of art. Also unlike most museums it is entirely free to walk through the buildings to view these many relics. You just have to understand that most other people there though see them as more than simple art exhibits.

Point well made, if every relic in the world was destroyed would it matter. Absolutely not, the Spirit resides not in any individual object but all around. The relics just make a focus for the petitioner.

What do they do now? Well lets see, in some locales they are the only source of tourism for small communities. They can cause profound psychosomatic responses in individuals who visit them that can completely change their lives. Oh and as to the whole miracles thing, just look at Lourdes, where the Church has confirmed 68 miraculous cures. Now even if this is only a placebo effect, it still has a physiological effect, so relics actually do something. (Although I will admit, Lourdes is a stretch for a discussion on relics* but I chose it because of it's notoriety, various other small shrines with actual relics do the same thing).

Quote
Lets take the arc of the covenant. This most likely exists in some Egptian underground chamber and eventually we may discover it. when that happens, I would see it as a historical artifact, not something to worship...


Why would the arc of the covenant exist in an Egyptian chamber? It was lost when the Babylonians led by Nebuchudnezzar sacked Jerusalem. Modern historians assume that the king destroyed the arc. Anyway, the only half-way reliable claim that the arc still exists is held by the Ethiopian church, where it is contained in their Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum.

So there you go, the misconceptions of what relics are and do may be be insane, but the actual usage and practices of relics have a firm belief in tradition and common sense.

*Can locations even be relics?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The_Jackal_God Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2007 at 17:06
on the one hand, i think the attention and consideration relics have been given was frankly pathetic. they were almost like the first baseball cards, but for saints.

by the time of Luther, it was really shameful and ridiculous. not to mention paying money for indulgences. whenever i saw St. Peter's, i always thought, wow nice, but it wasn't worth losing the unity of Western Christianity. Reformation had that right, though i agree with Erasmus, that it was better to fix the problem from within than to break unity. (and hence, the protestant and now american philosophy, 'once broke buy a new one.')

at the same time, there have been some amazing people throughout history, of different calibres, religious, political, social, martial. It is neat to see the places they walked through and things they touched. On that note, relics are ok as curious reminders of the great people who lived before us and the great things they did which inspire us. As long as they don't overstep their bounds as reminders, they are harmless historical artefacts, and there's nothing wrong with that.

plus some relics are kind of interesting, like incorruptibles, or Julian's blood (the one in southern Italy), the shroud of Turin, or Guadalupe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2007 at 19:25
Originally posted by The Jackal God The Jackal God wrote:

On that note, relics are ok as curious reminders of the great people who lived before us and the great things they did which inspire us. As long as they don't overstep their bounds as reminders, they are harmless historical artefacts, and there's nothing wrong with that.
 
Aye, some of the practices surrounding relics in the Middle Ages were overblown, and since then there has been a correction. Still, relics are often much more than "curious reminders" or "historical artifacts." Often the very reason they are kept as relics is that God, for His own inexplicable purposes, has decided to use them to dispense his grace to us through many recorded instances of healings, visions, and perceptible phenomena. These phenomena include things like Julian's blood (could I have the story behind that? Smile).
 
-Akolouthos
 
P.S. RK47 would have absolutely loved this thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The_Jackal_God Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Aug-2007 at 17:23
whoops, Januarius, not Julian

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Januarius

He retains his feast day, September 19, in the calendar of the Catholic Church and in the new calendar of the Eastern Orthodox Church, despite very limited information about his life and works, primarily due to the reputed miracle of the annual liquefaction of his blood. The dried blood is safely stored in small capsules in a reliquary. When these capsules are brought into the vicinity of his body on his feast day or on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, the dried blood becomes liquid.
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