CatholicIreland.net, an Irish “Catholic” news website, has launched a poll, asking its audience “Should 21st century Catholics venerate the relics of saints?”. As of July 8th, the results are 80% yes and 20% no. (Source: http://www.catholicireland.net/21st-century-catholics-venerate-relics-saints/)
In actual fact, the opinion of these voters is irrelevant – the Catholic Faith is not something that can be decided on in an online poll. Also, what 21st century Catholics believe in should not be different by a single iota to what 3rd, or 12th century Catholics believe in. The reason is simple: God does not change, so the Faith cannot change.
From the Deharbe Catechism:
Object and Rule of Faith
Are we certain of the truths which the Church teaches?
We are most certain of the truths which Holy Church teaches, because Jesus Christ has pledged His word that the Church shall never be deceived.
What, therefore, must the Catholic believe?
He must believe all that God has revealed and the Catholic Church proposes to his belief, whether it be contained in the Holy Scripture or not.
The Church is considered to propose a truth to our belief when she recognises it to be revealed by God, and commands us to believe it.
From the Baltimore Catechism:
The First Commandment (On the Honour and Invocation of the Saints)
Q. 1204. Does the first Commandment forbid us to honor relics?
A. The first Commandment does not forbid us to honor relics, because relics are the bodies of the saints or objects directly connected with them or with our Lord.
Q. 1207. What veneration does the Church permit us to give to relics?
A. The Church permits us to give relics a veneration similar to that we give images. We do not venerate the relics for their own sake, but for the sake of the persons they represent. The souls of canonized saints are certainly in heaven, and we are certain that their bodies also will be there. Therefore, we may honor their bodies because they are to be glorified in heaven and were sanctified upon earth.