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Rome Reports

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Vatican reminds of prohibition of relics' sale, exposition without authenticity certificate

The Vatican has published updated guidelines for preventing abuse of the relics of saints and the blessed. 

The rule, which is called “Relics of the Church: Authenticity and Conservation,” highlights the prohibition of the sale of relics, reinforces recognition protocol, states the process for obtaining certificates of authenticity and protects the consent of the heirs of the saint or blessed. 

Through these instructions, the Vatican reminds that relics cannot be “exposed for veneration by the faithful without a certificate from ecclesiastic authority guaranteeing their authenticity.”

It also insists that relics must only be exhibited where their security is guaranteed and not in profane or unauthorized places. 

Another important aspect is that relics must be “conserved and honored with religious spirit avoiding any kind of superstition” and, above all, preventing their commercialization.

The rule outlines the correct procedure when transporting relics on pilgrimages and reinforces recognition protocol involving the remains of people who could be beatified or canonized. 

For example, it prohibits the dismemberment of significant body parts without permission from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and stipulates the presence of a certified doctor and two witnesses during a relic's extraction. 

These are guidelines that ultimately aim to protect both relics from theft, falsification and fraudulent sale and also the faithful who devoutly venerate them.