Why Did Protestants Destroy Relics?


Why did Protestants destroy relics? For instance, yesterday was the feast day of St Andrew. He was an Apostle. Yet, even though he’s an Apostle of our Lord, his relics were destroyed by protestants. Why?
I am not looking for an apologetic nor am I meaning to attack anyone, I simply want to know why they do stuff like this to the saints, even to an apostle?


at that time people were pretty messed with messed up ideas. Also anything associated with the catholic church was seen as something that needed to be done away with. Sometime ago a friend told me of a protestant church that needed its new members to stamp upon a picture of the Virgin Mary before their so called baptism… it doesn’t make a difference to Our Lady but this is pure hate without a logical reason.


If your friend factually knows which church this was, please find out and identify them to us here. If something like that is factual it needs to be identified.


I don’t know. I know that Calvinists, which would include John Knox, were iconoclasts. They, like Muslims, take the commandment against graven images wrong. They take it to mean you can’t create images of actual living things. Muslims take it to the most extreme in forbidding images of any living thing including animals and plants in any context. This is why Muslim art is geometric. Calvinists (at least the forbears) aren’t as extreme. They just prohibit images of living things in a religious context.

As to why they’d destroy the remains of the dead I can’t answer that but I think it flows from the iconoclasm.


For the same reason someone came on here yesterday carping about why do we “take our eyes off Jesus” to focus on Mary. Some Protestants had/ still have some misbegotten notion that venerating an intercessor is idolatrous.

Also, people were just jerks and enjoyed robbing, killing, and smashing things up in the name of God, who hardly approves of such behavior. Catholics were just as guilty of this as the Protestants, Muslims, and everybody else. Let’s hope and pray we don’t end up back in that situation.


I suspect they erroneously believed that the holy relics had become objects of idolatrous worship by Catholics and wrongly thought they were justified in destroying them, after the example of good King Hezekiah who destroyed the holy bronze serpent, which God had commanded Moses to make and used to cure snakebites, after the Israelites began making it the object of idolatrous worship. (See 2 Kings 18:4; Numbers 21:8-9)


Its one of those breakaway groups of another breakaway group that prey on people & get to join them by offering them money & stuff like that.


So if they are so off the wall and weird why even bring them into this discussion. Is it for the sole reason of being polemic?


I have no idea what they think they would be accomplishing. Interestingly enough, the Catholic Church ordered the bones of John Wycliffe (martyred for is faith) dug up and burned years after his death. Same thing…what was accomplished?


I suspect they were trying to “burn the heretic” or something like that if that happened, similar to effigies, except instead of burning a doll, it was his real dead body I guess.
But I don’t think protestants hate the apostles, but destroying the relics of one so close to our Lord surely does a disservice to the entirety of Christendom. Other saints’ relics may have been seen as particularly Catholic or something silly like that, so I could partially kinda understand that.
I think the other guy might be talking about that Lutheran Church that was celebrating the reformation by having members smash an image of Mary but it was digital or something, and then after smashing the image the word Reformation would come out.


Maybe not the best thing to do but Wycliffe was a heretic. St. Andrew was an Apostle. Even the people who destroyed his relics thought he was an Apostle.


The reason I mentioned about this group was because there still exists groups & so called churches who have a irrational hatred towards things that are catholic. Obviously they being small may seem insignificant but they are spreading their influence among those vulnerable… I don’t see any reason for polemics here…


I wonder why the Catholics burned Joan of Arc alive or had the Cadaver Synod? It seems like an ultimate disrespect to the saints. Relics are verifiable fakes in any case I’ve seen, so destroying them is just destroying an idol.


…but Wycliffe was a heretic. But he wasn’t killed for being one, he died of a stroke. Somehow I have trouble seeing Jesus commending His Church for desecration of his remains thirty years after his death.
It must be quite a shock for those Church leaders to upon their entrance be greeted in love by John Wycliffe.


Are you saying it’s idolotrous to have remains?
And that they are fakes anyway?


Burning Wycliffe’s remains may have been wrong.

This is presumptive.


So you approve of someone destroying something that does not belong to them?

And your inference (accusation?) of Catholic idolatry is less than constructive here. If you insist on bashing Catholics for keeping relics of saints (which is biblical) by insisting they are fake - and you have shown ZERO proof of that - there are numerous Protestant websites out there that would happy to listen to you rail against the Church for doing so.

Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. (2 Kings 13.20-22)

When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. (Mark 5.27-29)

God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. (Acts 19.11-12)


The burning of St Joan of Arc although given a religious appearance had a political motive behind it as declaring her a witch & apostate would make the king of France lose his support and prestige as she was instrumental in his coronation and supporting him in his rightful claim.
The same abt the Cadaver Synod, it was politically motivated rather than religious… I wont get into the details of both the incidents though

Secondly relics are not used for worship, this is a wrong protestant view and opinion. The early church has always venerated relics… and I say again ‘VENERATED’ not worshipped relics of saints. In the bible in the Acts of the Apostles it says about how people would try and touch something to the Apostles so that they could be used to heal people… Acts 19:12… these were ultimately relics. The bible has many other instances as well.

About relics being fake, one has to take care… that’s why relics come with a document of authenticity if they are in the cases. Destroying them just coz you don’t agree with their usage & declaring them later fake isn’t really a strong argument or reason.


It’s idolatrous if they are fake (which they are).


did you check any of the relics you say are ‘fake’? Just curious to know :slight_smile:
calling something fake does not make it fake but yeah if you do have proof about it being fake then that will be great…

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