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Author Topic: RC Saints  (Read 2074 times) Average Rating: 0
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crocodilina
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« on: December 30, 2006, 12:32:50 PM »

Hello everybody
The question is adressed especially (but not only) to the RC:
Being in an orthodox enviroment I often people saying: "The papists[sic] canonise saints very easily, even when there are not any proofs of someone's saintity" And they quote as an example some Stepinach (not quite sure about spelling  Huh)
Could someone make clear this to me?

Thank you in advance
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 12:43:26 PM by crocodilina » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2006, 12:46:16 PM »

That doesn't sound right because the Roman Catholic process for canonising a saint is complex and centralised - I think there's a Vatican Congregation (office) for the Causes of Saints. Ever hear the expression 'devil's advocate'? That comes from this process - legend has it (and it may be true or at least used to be) that a cleric in that office had the job of trying to dig up any dirt on the candidate that suggests he or she is not in fact a saint.

It's like with private revelation/visions and messages like Lourdes and Fátima. People accuse the RC Church of encouraging credulity about these things to make money (like the abuses in the Middle Ages) but it's really exactly the opposite - very few of these pass the church's test of disproving hoaxes and determining if the messages are against doctrine or morals. And if they're approved you still don't have to believe in them!

Serbian Orthodox hate Aloysius Cardinal Stepinac, the Croatian RC primate of Yugoslavia, for his alleged rôle in the ongoing feud between Orthodox Serbs and RC Croats. He's accused of supporting Nazi-backed Croatian atrocities against Orthodox Serbs during World War II. (There were Croatian Franciscan RC priests who committed them.) He became a kind of Cold War anti-Communist hero to Roman Catholics outside Croatia after the war when Marshal Tito made Yugoslavia Communist (well, Tito's independent, non-threatening version of Communist). That's why some call for his canonisation.

Saints didn't have to be perfect their whole lives - look at St Paul, or St Mary of Egypt in the Orthodox tradition for example. They say you can go to hell imitating the faults of the saints.

The Orthodox version of declaring sainthood seems more open to the apparently miraculous and of course is less centralised - I think a bishop can locally approve somebody for veneration. The synod of an independent church of the Orthodox communion - either a national church like Greece or Russia or a group like the OCA or ROCOR - formally canonises that church's new saints and announces it to the other Orthodox churches, who accept it.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 01:42:55 PM by The young fogey » Logged

crocodilina
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2006, 12:59:18 PM »

Thank you young fogey for your reply. Actually, in the orthodox Church, there have to be many miraculous healings and apparitions before someone is being declared as a saint; and, then, it is necessary  a synodical desicion of the Church of Greece ;we have recent examples os SS Raphael, Nikolaos and Eirini in Lesvos island.
Could someone give us more information about the reasons of Stepinac canonisation? Were they any reports of miraculous healings/apparitions? I suppose there have to be, but I would like to have more specific information about..
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lubeltri
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2006, 01:05:18 PM »

Right, the process is unbelievably complex, even after the 1983 streamlining by John Paul II.

The Devil's Advocate was abolished in 1983, though the various tribunals still hear testimony from critical witnesses among the scores of witnesses they call.

The Devil's Advocate role is still used sometimes, though---journalist, author, and self-described "anti-theist" Christopher Hitchens played that role during the process of Mother Theresa's beatification.
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lubeltri
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2006, 01:07:10 PM »

Could someone give us more information about the reasons of Stepinac canonisation? Were they any reports of miraculous healings/apparitions? I suppose there have to be, but I would like to have more specific information about..

Any canonization requires at least 2 confirmed miracles. The Vatican looks at miracles from the point of view of skepticism. All scientific/naturalistic explanations have to be ruled out first. That necessarily involves testimony from doctors and other experts.
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crocodilina
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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2006, 01:14:28 PM »

Any canonization requires at least 2 confirmed miracles. The Vatican looks at miracles from the point of view of skepticism. All scientific/naturalistic explanations have to be ruled out first. That necessarily involves testimony from doctors and other experts.

OK that's the rules. Something more specific? I have my reasons for asking. For example, someone may find (in the internet, in books etc) about Padre Pio's miraculous healings as about Saint Nectare's (a great Saint of the 20th century, very popular in Greece). What about Stepinac?
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2006, 01:41:32 PM »

Could someone give us more information about the reasons of Stepinac canonisation? Were they any reports of miraculous healings/apparitions?

I don't know.
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lubeltri
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2006, 01:50:23 PM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepinac

This talks about his life.

He isn't a saint yet, by the way. He was beatified in 1998. Blesseds are somewhat different from saints, as this Wikipedia article helpfully explains:

Beatification primarily differs from canonization in this: that the former implies (1) a locally restricted, not a universal, permission to venerate, which is (2) a mere permission, and no precept, while canonization implies a universal precept. That is to say, beatification allows the public veneration of a person as having entered Heaven, while canonization commands it. Beatification is considered to be a step towards being declared a saint, usually following the step of being declared venerable and preceding the step of canonization as a saint. Unlike canonization, most theologians do not consider the declaration of beatitude to be an infallible statement of the Church.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatification
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Veniamin
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2006, 01:59:59 PM »

Actually, in the orthodox Church, there have to be many miraculous healings and apparitions before someone is being declared as a saint

Not true; St. Innocent of Alaska is not associated with any miracles or signs, but is a saint nonetheless, due to his tireless evangelization and missionary work in Alaska.  To the best of my knowledge, my own patron, Heiromartyr Veniamin of Petrograd performed no miracles, either, but was glorified nonetheless.  And let's not forget the countless New Martyrs of the 20th Century.  Miracles are not the sine qua non of sainthood.
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lubeltri
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2006, 03:49:45 PM »

Interesting, Venjamin. We also do this. Miracles are not required for martyrs prior to beatification, though they are for canonization. Confessors (non-martyrs) need miracles prior to both.
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dantxny
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2006, 04:46:46 PM »

Here's a question then.  What is the difference between veneration, beatification and cannonization?  Is someone not in heaven or at a different level?  I never understood the reason to have such differing levels.
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2006, 07:08:11 PM »

Here's a question then.  What is the difference between veneration, beatification and cannonization?  Is someone not in heaven or at a different level?  I never understood the reason to have such differing levels.
Did you see reply #7 in this thread?
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lubeltri
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2006, 07:17:19 PM »

I'll expand a bit on my previous post.

There are four stages:

1) Servant of God

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints investigates the person's life. The person is called Servant of God through this process.

After a time, the Congregation may decide to recommend to the pope that he proclaim the Servant of God's heroic virtue, at which point he becomes

2) Venerable.

A Venerable is someone who the pope has proclaimed to have lived a life of heroic virtue.

At this point, upon the establishment of one miracle (not needed for martyrs), the Venerable can be beatified, and is now called

3) Blessed. This is the recognition by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints that the person has gone to heaven and can be asked for intercession. He or she is given a local feast day that is not universal---the Church gives permission for local public veneration, not Church-wide.

Beatification is not considered infallible. It can be considered along the lines of a private revelation.

After the establishment of another miracle, the Blessed can become a

4) Saint.

He or she is now universally venerated and whose feast day is Church-wide. This is infallible.

Of course, the process is much more complex than the bare bones I've described, and it takes decades, even centuries in some cases.

Here is a summary that goes into some more detail:

http://www.ewtn.com/johnpaul2/cause/process.asp







« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 07:18:22 PM by lubeltri » Logged
crocodilina
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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2007, 07:23:52 AM »

Dear frieds

Thank you for your replies. As a matter of fact, I did think that the Orthodoxy requires "miracles"-it seems that is not obligatory in some cases.
I' ll study it further, anyway...
 
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dantxny
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2007, 12:37:15 PM »

Quote
Did you see reply #7 in this thread?

No, I normally skim and did not pick up on the discussion.  Anyways, thanks lubeltri for your expansion.  It's very helpful.
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