In the Telegraph, Melanie McDonagh sings the praise of religious relics and their uncanny healing powers.
As it happens, the Church is fairly nuanced about relics. You venerate them as the remains of those who were holy in life, not as objects of worship. Thomas Aquinas argued that God may work miracles in the presence of those relics but it’s not bones that do the healing. And some people do obtain benefits from visiting relics or a shrine. Lourdes is littered with discarded crutches and we can argue the toss about whether it’s a result of psychosomatic healing or divine help. But a remarkable number of those miracles of healing have been independently verified by doctors with no church connections. And that’s a fact.
To which a reader replies,
Lourdes is littered with discarded crutches, but not a single prosthetic limb.