A press briefing was held yesterday, 19 June, at Clergy House behind Westminster's Catholic Cathedral to explain how a relic of an early Pope - St Clement I - was discovered in rubbish collected in central London and given to Westminster Cathedral to form part of its Treasures exhibition.
Pope Clement I served as pope for just over a decade before being martyred around the year 101AD by the Roman emperor Trajan. He was tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea off the Crimea - modern-day Ukraine. As a result he is the patron saint of mariners.
Archbishop George Stack, Chair of the Bishops' Conference Patrimony Committee received the relic of Pope Clement I from James Rubin, owner of Enviro Waste - the company that discovered the bone fragment.
In this briefing, Sophie Andreae, historian and Chair of the Bishops' Conference Patrimony Sub-Committee, introduced the subject to the gathered journalists before Archbishop Stack explained the importance of Pope St Clement to the early Church.
James Rubin then explained how Enviro Waste came to be in possession of the relic and his decision to give it to Westminster Cathedral.
Dr Tessa Murdoch, Deputy Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics and Glass at London's Victoria & Albert Museum was also involved in the process and gave her expert view.
The panel then took questions from journalists.