ownership of relics

Question from GemmaRose on 3/18/2008:

Dear Fr. Gantley,

I was reading through some old forum posts and I have a question regarding your 1/8/08 answer to Kathryn’s 1/1/08 question. I’d want to make sure that I understand correctly.

When you said “a major relic intended by that canon” (Canon 1190) and referred to one such as “an entire arm of a saint”, does that canon (which states “relics of great significance”) then refer only to a very large relic, or to a small relic, such as a splinter of wood from the True Cross, which, I would think, would be of “great significance” no matter what its size? And, if so, then is it a sin for me to keep my Relics of the Cross? And if it is, what should I do?

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 3/18/2008:
If you have a small relic of the true cross, I see no problem with you keeping it, along with the document of authentication.

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