Historic Pope’s bone dumped in rubbish received by Archbishop at Westminster Cathedral
Archbishop met waste removal boss after 'amazing' discovery
22 June, 2018 — By Tom Foot
A PIECE of St Clement’s bone found dumped in rubbish is now resting in more serene surroundings – Westminster Cathedral.
The 2,000-year-old bone was discovered by an environmental waste clearance company during a waste haul in central London.
It was in a red and gold, wax-sealed case, but its historic significance was not realised until several days later. Research showed that the bone was originally owned by Westminster Catholic Cathedral and it was handed
over to Archbishop George Stack this week by Enviro Waste owner James Rubin.
Sophie Andreae, the vice-chair of the patrimony committee of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said: “Although very little is known about the life of St Clement, it would appear that he was the third successor to St Peter in Rome. This is recorded by the early Christian writer Tertullian (c155-240 CE). Relics are important to Catholics because they are part of the physical remains of a saint after his or her death. Somehow contact with a relic imparts to us a unique link to the divine.
“We are delighted that the relic of St Clement, third Pope after St Peter, is finding a home among the displays of the Treasures of Westminster Cathedral exhibition.”
Mr Rubin and the Archbishop
Pope St Clement is considered to be the first apostolic father of the church. He was known as St Clement of Rome and was Pope from 92 to 101 AD. It is said he died in 110 AD at the age of 75.
Mr Rubin said: “You can imagine our amazement when we realised our clearance teams had found bone belonging to a former Pope – it’s not something you expect to see, even in our line of work.
“After launching our appeal, we were overjoyed to have the cathedral come forward. Choosing an appropriate resting place was very important to us. Therefore, finding out that Westminster Cathedral was the previous owner was amazing. We think this is the best and safest place for the bone due to its importance to the church and to ensure that it won’t get lost again.”