Relics and Hankies |

TBC Staff

Bogus Beliefs

“. . . German Jesuit Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer reports that he has rediscovered the legendary veil of Veronica, with which Jesus wiped his face on the road to Calvary . . . . A small piece of stained pale cloth kept in this tiny village has long been regarded as a sacred icon with wondrous properties by Father Germano, head of its Capuchin monastery.” (“Zenit Daily Dispatch,” Rome, June 3, 1999).

[TBC: Catholicism has been rightly criticized for the unbiblical practice of relics, although this practice is still popular as the above excerpt demonstrates. For years, however, Protestant evangelists have done similar things with their promotion, and sale of, prayer handkerchiefs, prayer rugs, and other items said to have miraculous properties. This has proven to be a profitable scam for cults and “religious” organizations such as St. Matthew’s Church which recently distributed paper prayer rugs nationwide].

“I searched the Internet for ‘Saint Matthew’s Churches.’ What I found was that this “nonprofit” organization had reaped $26 million in 1999, the last year it made its tax records public, according to an article published April 27, 2003, in ‘The Tulsa World.’

“Yep, I said $26 million.

“The operation is the brainchild of one Rev. James Eugene Ewing, a sharecropper’s son and a former tent-show evangelist who operates his mail ministry from a mansion in Los Angeles. Saint Matthew’s has no churches in Tulsa (or apparently anywhere else), but it does have two telephone numbers, the article said -– both of which are answered by machines that deliver a religious message.

The World said that Ewing, now 70, had invented the concept of “seed faith” donations and had shared the idea with such well-known television evangelists as Oral Roberts” (McCoy, “The Shroud of Tulsa,” Jan. 14, 2004,