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Taking the Measure of Relics of the True Cross (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Catholic Education Resource Center ^ | Thomas J. Craughwell

Posted on 04/21/2011 8:31:39 AM PDT by Pyro7480

Whenever the subject of bogus relics comes up, you can count on someone saying, "There are enough pieces of the True Cross to rebuild Noah’s Ark!"

Whoever delivers that punch line probably does not know that he or she is echoing the 16th-century Dutch humanist Erasmus....

Clearly, this is a punch line with a pedigree, but is it accurate? the last half of the 19th century, a French independent scholar named Charles Rohault de Fleury assigned himself the task of tracking down and measuring every surviving relic of the True Cross.

...Once he had estimated the weight of the cross, de Fleury calculated the size, or more accurately, volume, of the cross, which came to 10,900 cubic inches. But the total volume of all the fragments he had measured came to only 240 cubic inches. The number surprised him, so he made a generous allowance for fragments that were in private hands or otherwise had not come to his attention, as well as fragments that had been lost over the centuries or destroyed in war or during the vandalism of the Reformation. He multiplied his original number by 10 and arrived at a new figure: 2,400 cubic inches, not even a fifth of the estimated size of the cross upon which Christ was crucified.

In 1870, de Fleury published his findings in a book, Mémoire sur les Instruments de la Passion. De Fleury concluded that if all the surviving relics of the True Cross were somehow reassembled, there would not be enough lumber to crucify a man, let alone build Noah's Ark. The 20th-century English Catholic author Evelyn Waugh, referring to de Fleury's conclusions, said, "As far as volume goes, therefore, there is no strain on the credulity of the faithful."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; cross; relics
Do read the entire article.
1 posted on 04/21/2011 8:31:44 AM PDT by Pyro7480
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: norge; muir_redwoods
I would guess that you're not aware that, as the thread title indicates, this is a moderated thread designated as a Caucus. According to the Religion Moderator's guidelines:

Caucus threads are closed to any poster who is not a member of the caucus.

For instance, if it says “Catholic Caucus” and you are not Catholic, do not post to the thread. However, if the poster of the caucus invites you, I will not boot you from the thread.

The “caucus” article and posts must not compare beliefs or speak in behalf of a belief outside the caucus.

There is no tolerance for posters coming onto a caucus thread claiming that they were once baptized into that belief and therefore are still a member of it due to the belief saying they are - even though they are not active in that belief and notoriously dispute that belief on "open" Religion Forum threads. The same holds for those who claim they are members because of their ancestry even though they are not active in that belief and notoriously dispute it on "open" RF threads.

That behavior is finessing the guidelines, it is flame baiting. No dice.

Also, there is little to no tolerance for non-members of a caucus coming onto the caucus thread to challenge whether or not it should be a caucus. Gross disruption usually follows.

4 posted on 04/21/2011 9:15:47 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If you know how not to pray, take Joseph as your master, and you will not go astray." - St. Teresa)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: muir_redwoods
The point of the search to find all the fragments was to dispel a vast body of ignorance ~ which, up to the time the search was done, could not be dispelled. I've always thought it remarkable that as society got closer and closer to the most modern times all the old shibboleths that'd been used for centuries to attack religion and those whose profession is religion were found to be inadequate to the task.

I suppose there are still some who imagine there are vast numbers of "relics of the True Cross", but, it turns out, there aren't. People were not simply manufacturing them for the gullible and simpleton. It was a far more serious exercise and the count serves to remind us that not everyone stoops to every opportunity to commit bunco!

We also have only two photographic negatives from the Middle Ages or before.

ONLY TWO ~ not hundreds, or millions as might be expected if someone then knew how to do it, that it was easily done, and people would pay good money for a picture ~ After all, in the good old days your own personal court artist was cheaper to keep than any camera!

6 posted on 04/21/2011 9:24:15 AM PDT by muawiyah
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