Incorruptibility: I'm not buying it


I hope it’s not mandatory to accept the Church’s position on incorruptible bodies, because I find the skeptic position (as outlined here) much more convincing.


the Church does not have a position, at least one that is mandatory belief by all Catholics. Whether or not the body of saint is, or appears, incorruptible is not the reason that person was canonized, or is venerated. They became a saint because of the heroic virtue exhibited during their lifetime, not because of supernatural phenomena or appearances beforehand–seeing visions, stigmata–or after death–incorruptability, fragrance of roses etc. The only supernatural event the Church judges after death in the sainthood process is miracles granted through the intercession of a saint, which are taken as proof of holiness, and those miracles, almost always healings, must be substantiated by independent scientific proof.


Less than a dozen paragraphs that superficially treat without substantiation a handful of instances (but with the obligatory insult about “ignorance”) hardly seem to constitute a convincing position.

– Mark L. Chance.


That is why I chose the words “as outlined” as opposed to “as explained in great detail.”

“Ignorance” is not synonymous with “stupidity.” It refers to the lack of knowledge with regard to a particular area of knowledge. The use of the word in the above linked article is far from what I would consider an insult.


Which Church are you talking about? According to your profile you don’t seem to belong to any!

As for Catholics our salvation is certainly not dependent on our believing in the incorruptible bodies of saints.


Let me offer an Orthodox response here. One of the Church’s primary jobs is to create relics. Why? Because we teach that our salvation is the sanctification of our souls and bodies. This is a primary reason why the Orthodox Church forbids cremation.

The incorruptibility of many Saints has been with us from the beginning and continues still today. Regardless of whether or not you believe it, millions of pilgrims honor the incorrupt bodies of Saints.

Sorry if this wasn’t too helpful.


Does God not use science in many ways, though?
Who cares if the incorruptibility has to do with science. It’s still a “gift”, perhaps that, more than a miracle, to have your body preserved on Earth.


The logic displayed in the article left me aghast, especially as it claims to hold the intellectually superior position.

Some alleged cases of incorruptibility border on the piously fraudulent. For example, a television program showed a corpse in a case of a very lifelike woman the narrator said was the preserved body of St. Teresa of Avila who died in 1582. The corpse was actually that of St. Bernadette Soubirous, who died in 1879.

A factual error - the mis-identification of the body on some television program - is equivalent to fraud?


In addition to numerous saints whose various body parts are kept in reliquaries and venerated by the faithful as proof of life after death or God’s existence or some such thing, there are secular examples that are equally dramatic.

Note the straw man so eloquently set up then knocked down: incorruptibility = proof of life after death, existence of God.

Then comes the bait-and-switch: the issue is no longer the plausibility of incorruptibility, but incorruptibility = holiness, or makes one a saint.

The proof given: King Charles I’s head was incorrupt, King Charles I is not a saint, therefore incorruptibilty means nothing.

Of course, by providing the example of King Charles I’s head, incorruptibility is possible.

The following statement actually supports the Catholic perspective much more than the author’s:

The preserved head was due to accident and had more to do with how it was buried at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor than to any special holiness of Charles I.

Many saints are not incorrupt; incorruptibility does not make one a Saint. In other words, one whose body is incorrupt is not de facto a Saint, neither does decay mean one is not a Saint.


I like how they treat a fine wax mask places over St. Bernadette’s face is the same as sculpting something from raw wax.

I’m just gonna throw this quote out there


Its that first thousand years of being in communion w/ Rome that brainwashed y’all into believing this stuff!


So, as we all know, it takes more than 129 years for a body to corrupt.


If you are interested in a treatment of incorruptible saints so you can compare to your outline, I recommend the book by Joan Carroll CruzThe Incorruptibles complete with photographs.


Science sees different photons of light interspersing in multiple wavelengths produced by the intermixing of oils and water brushed with varying amounts of force and velocity onto a canvas made of fibers interwoven by different production methods to form a shape that approximates a woman in a state of inertial rest in front of various flora a precise distance away.

Religion sees the Mona Lisa.


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