In Scotland, apparently sacrilege is sanctioned. In the name of history, curiosity, or perhaps a museum making a few extra bucks this archaeological season, the graves of several churchmen, identities (names) unknown, were dug up, and artifacts were given over to a museum... including a crozier head, chalice and other doubtlessly blessed and sacred objects.The article in question
So those bishops have had their graves desecrated and robbed, and sacred vessels which one must have holy orders to even lay hands on, have been subject to the sacrilege of being handled by common men, and finally have ended up property of a museum when in fact their true owner (the Church) is still quite alive.
The practice of digging up bodies has long been the norm in the field of archaeology. It is perhaps a necessary evil in some cases. Some city decides to build something, only to discover as they dig up the ground for it, that they're building through an old indian village. Obviously, if we never built on the site of old civilizations, we would probably not be building at all. Up turns bodies buried in times long past, of people whose names we can't possibly learn. One thing is certain... they can't stay there if the city is building a subway through the area. So the bodies are moved. That is understandable. SOMETIMES... (and this is the best case scenario) they are reburied instead of ending up in a drawer in the bowels of some museum. In Egypt or the middle east, grave looters will certainly not respect the resting places of fellow men. Again, in such a circumstance, it would be a considerably good to have the bodies moved... but to a GRAVE, not to a museum. Just think. Some day people may be legally unearthing YOUR loved ones, picking and poking at their bodies, robbing their graves of your sentimental tokens of love and faith, and putting them all on display somewhere. Nice thought, huh?
Well, if the indians held some tribal thing so sacred that only their chief priest or whatever could hold them, you can bet there would be a cry of outrage if one finger of one archaeologist touched that item. It would probably end up in the papers, and the tribe to which it belonged would probably sue whoever dug it up. When it comes to Catholics, it doesn't seem to matter that the body and blood of Christ were once in that chalice and upon that "plate" as they so ignorantly called it. The silence on the part of the Catholic community is deafening. Even if they had simply identified the bishops and left all as is, perhaps that would have been understandable. But the graves of several consecrated bishops have been unearthed and robbed, and all the world won't bat an eye as the sacred vessels, property of the Catholic Church by obvious rights, are made museum pieces alongside voodoo talismans, chamber pots and artistic representations of ape men.
We must just pray that one day those who are in power in the Church have the decency to put an end to this sacrilege, and protect the graves of it's own.
I cannot help also to wonder when mankind began to think it an acceptable thing, to dig up and rob the dead in the name of science and what amounts to gross, unbridled curiosity. Perhaps in this day and age when the thought of death is so foreign and "unnatural" that people are traumatized by a loved one's funeral, the concept has become novel to the point of it's meriting the rank "tourist attraction." You will notice that in history, short of those who engaged in human sacrifice, gruesome torture or the meditation of eternity, people have never before taken to keeping the bones of the dead in plain view. Now we do it as an excuse to rob the dead and as a morbid spectacle.
I think that anyone who would go to see the bodies of the dead on display at a museum (note, I am not talking about the pious enshrinements of the incorrupt bodies of the saints for honor and veneration, which is of utmost respect and dignity) need to get out more (preferably to the local cemetery and afterwards to a good priest), and those who dig up the bodies need to spend more time at home, studying something of eternal importance.
Meanwhile, let us pray in reparation for the sacrilege of the holy vessels and the desecration of the blessed graves. (And perhaps pray for their occupants)