Fr. Charles Grondin recently said that human remains “should not be scattered or separated” in response to a question about cremation, saying cremains “are to be buried in a similar manner that a body would be.”
Why, then, do we separate saints’ remains and put them on display in glass reliquaries? We even have separate feast days for the transfer of St. John the Baptist’s hand from one place to another and multiple feasts for the finding of his skull, which has pieces throughout the world in addition to being on display in large part in Rome. Bone fragments of various saints are placed into altars or sewn into antiminsions.
How is this commiserate with the dignity we demand for human remains? Why do we not keep the saints’ remains together and bury them just the same as we do for Great Aunt Olga?