A white robe worn by Pope John Paul II has been cut into 100,000 tiny fragments which are being distributed for donations as religious relics to aid prayer and achieve miracles, reports the London Times. The operation is run by the Diocese of Rome and is causing concern in the Vatican, which has sought to discourage the centuries-old practice of venerating holy relics.
The diocese is seeking sainthood for Pope John Paul II, and is calling for evidence that praying to him has brought about miracles. “Wars were fought over the hunt for relics in the Middle Ages,” said a bishop who is skeptical about the effort. “No one can say whether venerating relics aids prayer.”