Catholic Answers Director of Apologetics, Tim Staples, explains Church teaching regarding the fate of the "good thief".
Tim Staples is Director of Apologetics and Evangelization here at Catholic Answers, but he was not always Catholic. Tim was raised a Southern Baptist. Although he fell away from the faith of his childhood, Tim came back to faith in Christ during his late teen years through the witness of...
"We do not worship, we do not adore, for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the Creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore Him whose martyrs they are."
~ St. Jerome ("Ad Riparium", i, P.L., XXII, 907) writing on proper Catholic veneration of relics.