Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Pope's Heart Remains with Poland . . . Really: Is this tradition a relic? (pathetic intended pun alert!)

Talmida notes the CNN story that the Pope is to be buried in the Vatican but his heart will travel to Poland and be buried in Krakow, Poland. Needless to say, she is . . . perturbed by this development.

What about other countries? Will they want a piece of the pope? A liver, a kidney, a hand, a foot?

The pope was a human being. His body -- the bodies of all the deceased -- should be treated with more respect than this. He is not some magic creature that we should be snapping off finger bones in order to ward off the plague. This is the 21st century! I'm not commenting on historical relics, but do we really want to be creating more? People sold relics! They fought wars over them! Religious groups stole them and committed worse crimes in order to acquire the best relics for their particular church or order!! This is NOT Christian behaviour, people!

That makes two of us who think it is pretty nasty and gross. If God wanted tongues and heads to be displayed separately, he would have made them that way.

I even have problems looking at sacred heart of Jesus pictures where he is holding his heart in his outstretched hand. It gives me the hibby jibbies. So I pray to the sacred heart without thinking about it.

Hearts need to stay where God put them originally, don't you think?

Oh well, we were doing so well and making such a positive impression on everyone with beautifully symbolic liturgies and rituals, now we have to remind people of the absurdities of Catholic life that sparked the reformation and anti-Catholicism. [Deep sigh] Take it or leave it, this is what we live with as Catholics. (BTW, I do have second class relics of St Martin de Porres)

Well, for the uninitiated, here's info on relics in the Catholic Church:

Catholic Encyclopedia on relics

Catholic Answers on the place of relics in Catholic life.

European Medieval Pilgrimage Project on Relics

Here's an organization called Apostolate for Holy Relics

Here's a site arguing for the appropriatness and scriptural basis for relics

Here's Fr William Saunders on the Devotion to Relics

The Columbia Encyclopedia on relics


Encyclopedia.com on relics


Blogger Ambrose said...

On NPR this afternoon they reported that the heart being transferred in a reliquary to Poland was at that time a rumor. The Pope's final will had not been read yet, and may include that instruction.
I used to live in Kentucky, and this reminded me of the way race horses are interred there. Heck, probably everywhere, but I only ever heard about it in Kentucky. The hooves, the heart, and the head are all that is buried.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Ono said...

"The hooves, the heart, and the head are all that is buried. "

Like Arsenio Hall would say: "Things that make you go, hmmm.

12:36 AM  

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