VATICAN CITY (Zenit)—The Congregation for the Causes of Saints on December 16, 2017, issued a new Instruction on the handling and authentication of relics, according to Vatican News.
The new instruction, “Relics in the Church: Authenticity and Preservation,” covers the handling of relics during the process that leads to beatification and canonization. It also provides direction for the exposition of relics for the veneration of the faithful.
The new instruction is directed to bishops and others responsible for the handling of relics.
According to the new instruction, relics in the Church “have always received particular veneration and attention, because the bodies of saints and blessed of the Church, destined for resurrection, were on Earth the living temple of the Holy Spirit and the instruments of their sanctity, recognized by the Apostolic See through beatification and canonization.”
The instruction intends to ensure that relics are treated with proper respect and that relics placed for veneration are authentic. It also prohibits the sale and trade of relics.