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September 26, 2006



The canon says it's forbidden to sell SACRED relics. What's sacred about his car?

John E

Perhaps a good reason not to canonize until many years after death.

"When JPII is canonized..."

A bit presumptious, eh?

Esperanto Christopher

The car belongs in a church. Somewhere, sometime, there will be a St. JP2 Church which should have the Holy Coupe prominently, but reverently, displayed.


What if the car has had repair work done on it?.
Would those original parts that were removed from it(say alternator)-be consider "relic"?.

Ed Pie

Only if the parts are "of a sufficient size as make clear that they are parts of the human body the Popemobile."


Is "sufficient" analogous to "necessary" as pertaining to "being"?
In other words a wind-shield is "of a sufficient size", but not "necessary" where as an alternator is "necessary"- though smaller!.
Never mind!.


Along those lines, it seems like another factor might reasonably also be involved in the paperclip example: few of the paperclips owned in life by a hypothetical Pope Saint Benedictus XVI would be positively identifiable as such (and people are rather cavalier about the ownership of paperclips anyway); this is probably less true of a car. This is true also of many actual third-class relics -- many objects will have come in contact the body or tomb of a saint at one time or another without that fact necessarily being noticed or ultimately remembered.

On the other hand, if someone is selling paperclips as Paperclips Once Owned By Pope Saint Benedict XVI, I think that's pretty clearly not okay.

J.R. Stoodley

I'm not a big car person, but it seems to me that a car is sufficiently personal to be considered a second-class relic even with Jimmy's more limited definition. Something like paperclips though that the saint wouldn't even recognize as his or hers were he or she here perhaps should not count.

Seperately, while I agree that is persumptuous to say "When JPII is canonized" it is true that an established cultus of a saint was once considered necessary to have first before considering canonization. This is still reflected in the fact that we still need miracles performed through the intercession of the person after their death, which assumes that people are praying for the persons intercession before even beatification.

J.R. Stoodley

If you yourself touch the tomb of a saint do YOU become a thrid class relic?


"since traffic in sacred things is sinful,"

So, if the pope gets cannonized, and I drive his old VW, then it's immoral to be stuck in traffic? :-)

"Get out of my way, holy car coming through!"


"When JPII is canonized..."

A bit presumptious, eh?

I agree. It is not for the laity to canonize saints, but the Holy Spirit. Popularity does not equal sainthood. Consider the tens of thousands of blesseds, all with miracles attributed to them, who are not canonizes. To vault Pope John Paul over them all because you and several thousand of your buddies said so is the height of presumption.

Pope John Paul had great personal sanctity, but there were many, many problems which some of his actions brought about. While I must imagine he did not intend them, the unceasing and damaging nature of ecumenism as practiced during his pontificate has reaped rancid fruit (as we just saw two weeks ago when his successor Pope Benedict was flamed for quoting a guy from the 14th c....who told the truth, namely, that Islam is a hateful and violent error!

Do you think Ven. Pius XII or St. Pius X would have received that reply? Certainly not, because they put up with no nonsense regarding ecumenism and "esteeming Islam." There is nothing to esteem about a faith whose "holy" book demands that Allah's curse be on Christians (Sura 9:5).

I think that things are moving way too fast for the canonization case for Bl. Pope JPII. It is an emotional reaction, when it really should be something that is carefully and objectively considered. The process ought to take many years of careful examination. Not this great leap of "santo subito" and "JP the Great"... Not every Pope, even some of the more historically significant ones (and there is no doubt about JPII's historical significance!), is a saint. And very few Popes are honored as "the Great." Honestly, I really don't think that objectively speaking, you can put JPII on the same level as Pope St. Gregory the Great or Pope St. Leo the Great.

Meg Q

Do you think Ven. Pius XII or St. Pius X would have received that reply?

If they lived today? Sure they would. It's the answer anyone gets for criticizing Muslims one eeny teeny bit, no matter how "ecumenical" you are - or are not.

J.R. Stoodley

Bl. Pope JPII? Did I miss something?

Brother Cadfael

Honestly, I really don't think that objectively speaking, you can put JPII on the same level as Pope St. Gregory the Great or Pope St. Leo the Great.

Objectively speaking, I honestly think you're wrong. FWIW


You've got to be joking...

St. Leo the Great was a staunch defender of orthodoxy and opposed several dangerous heresies. JPII went out of his way to make nice with heretics, participated in Jewish worship, and kissed the Qur'an.

St. Gregory the Great reformed the Liturgy to bring it a greater dignity and air of holiness, whereas JPII did little to cease the steady erosion of the Liturgy and the devolution of it into something resembling Protestant worship.

How you can put JPII in the same category as either of those two "Great" Popes is beyond me!


If I am not mistaken before Vatican II, only 4 Popes in the entire history of the church were cannonized as saints. Since Vatican II, specifically JPII and his Saint Machine, ALL of the Popes after Vatican II-John XXIII, Paul VI, JPII and even JPI (can you believe that?) have either been beautified and or on their way to sainthood. Now what does that say today about JPII who cannonized more saints in this pontificate that all of the other Popes in the past 500 years?


"If I am not mistaken..." You are. Look at any list of popes.


Actually, there are only two: Pope St. Leo the Great and Pope St. Gregory the Great.

Even such other great saintly popes like St. Pius V did not get the appellation "Magnus" ("Great")... so why JPII?


Isn't Nicholas I sometimes called "the Great"?

J.R. Stoodley

bill912, Yes, Nicholas I is often called the great


Many, many Popes are called saints, including all before AD 496, with the exception of only Pope Liberius (352-366). Of course as you probably know these early saints were not canonized, but popular devotion does not really distinguish between early saints and late, canonized saints.

Also, the fact that a canonization does not, or at least certainly should not, mean that the process will go any further. I have a hard time believing the Holy Spirit will let JPI, or even Paul VI, be canonized.

Some Day

That would be a very wierd, somewhat 3rd class relic.

J.R. Stoodley

Oops, the first sentence of the last paragraph of my last post should read "Also, the fact that a process for canonization has been opened does not..."


Is it a sin to BUY a relic?

The Masked Chicken

I am not a canon lawyer, but ordinarily, in order to buy a relic, it must be sold to the person and the person buying it then becomes a cooperator in the original sin.

That being said, there are some people who try to skirt the law by selling the container and not the relic. In my opinion, those people are playing with fire.

There is also the case where someone sees a relic up for sale and buys it so as to prevent further sinning - should the relic try to be sold later for an even higher price - or even blasphemy involving the intention of the buyer with regards to the relic (if it is known). A case can be made for double effect in this case, since one is not buying the relic as a possession, but as a means of protecting it from abuse. This would excuse form sin, but I would have to let an experienced canonist make a judgment on whether double effect could be applied in this case.

In general, try to avoid situations where money and relics are mixed.

The Chicken


Is it a sin to BUY a relic?

My instinctive thought would be to see the morality of selling and buying relics as akin to taking and paying bribes. The OT condemns those who take bribes but not those who pay them, because sometimes cooperation with an unethical demand is necessary for a greater good. Likewise, individuals who have sought to sell, e.g., consecrated hosts on eBay have committed objectively grave sin, but I don't think those who have offered to buy them (with the intent of turning them over to a priest) have necessarily done anything wrong at all. I'm not sure that buying a relic might not likewise be at times an act of piety.

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