Choose style:

Author Topic: "anullment" of sainthood  (Read 6339 times)

Resurrexi

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,104
  • Gender: Male
Re: "anullment" of sainthood
« Reply #30 on: July 30, 2009, 09:04:pm »
How does this apply to saints who are deemed to have been "fabulous"?

"It is also commonly and rightly held that the Church is infallible in the canonization of saints, that is to say, when canonization takes place according to the solemn process that has been followed since the ninth century." (CE, "Infallibility")

Right, and JP2 changed the process so...

What determines the infallibility of canonizations is not the process, but the formula (and intention).

The formula used for canonizations is still essentially the same.

Pope Pius XII used this formula to canonize St. Louis de Montfort.
"Ad honorem Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis, ad exaltationem Fidei Catholicae et Christianae Religionis augmentum, auctoritate Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, Beatorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli ac Nostra, matura deliberatione praehabita et divina ope saepius implorata, ac de Venerabilium Fratrum Nostrorum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalium, Patriarcharum, Archiepiscoporum, et Episcoporum in Urbe existentium consilio, Beatum Ludovicum Mariam Grignion a Montfort, confessorem, Sanctum esse decernimus et definimus, ac Sanctorum Catalogo adscribimus, statuentes ab Ecclesia Universali illius memoriam quolibet anno die eius natali, nempe die vigesima octava aprilis, pia devotione recoli debere. In nomine Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen."

John Paul II used this formula to canonize St. Josemaria Escriva:
"Ad honorem Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis, ad exaltationem fidei catholicae et vitae christianae incrementum, auctoritate Domini nostri Iesu Christi, beatorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli ac Nostra, matura deliberatione praehabita et divina ope saepius implorata, ac de plurimorum Fratrum Nostrorum consilio, Beatum Iosephmariam Escrivá de Balaguer Sanctum esse decernimus et definimus, ac Sanctorum Catalogo adscribimus, statuentes eum in universa Ecclesia inter Sanctos pia devotione recoli debere. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti."
« Last Edit: July 30, 2009, 09:16:pm by Resurrexi »
Vita brevis breviter in brevi finietur,
Mors venit velociter quae neminem veretur,
Omnia mors perimit et nulli miseretur.
Ad mortem festinamus; peccare desistamus.

QuisUtDeus

  • Guest
Re: "anullment" of sainthood
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2009, 09:37:pm »
How does this apply to saints who are deemed to have been "fabulous"?

"It is also commonly and rightly held that the Church is infallible in the canonization of saints, that is to say, when canonization takes place according to the solemn process that has been followed since the ninth century." (CE, "Infallibility")

Right, and JP2 changed the process so...

What determines the infallibility of canonizations is not the process, but the formula (and intention).

Well, the CE article says it is the process.  Given the statements so far - the CE vs. you - which one do you think I believe is right?  No offense, I'm just sayin...  But if you have something else, it would be interesting to see.

You will also note the formula makes reference to the process:

"matura deliberatione praehabita"

So, Pius XII was referring to a different process than JP2 wasn't he?  They were intending to canonize based on the result of different processes, so in a sense their intentions were different as well.

Bonifacius

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,379
Re: "anullment" of sainthood
« Reply #32 on: July 30, 2009, 10:18:pm »
I thought canonization was considered infallible?  ???

I have heard that the process of canonization has changed after Vatican II that makes it no longer infallible. It is not as meticulous as it once was and it is fast tracked. I have heard that Opus Dei saved the Vatican from bankruptcy during the scandal crisis and Pope John Paul II canonized their founder not long after. I have not checked the aforementioned information that I heard (which was from a priest) but if anyone wants to correct me feel free to do so.

That's just wishful thinking on the part of some rad-trads who don't like certain saints and beati who have been canonized and/or beatified of late.  It's hogwash.  If you asked the recent popes if their canonizations were just as authoritative as the pre-conciliar ones, they'd say yes.  So they're good.  I wonder if the rad-trads who think this way still acknowledge modern canonizations that they like.  For instance, do they call Padre Pio "St. Pio"?  If they do, they either recognize modern canonizations as such or else make themselves the authorities to determine if any given canonization is good.  Do they write "Blessed Pius IX" but not "Blessed John XXIII"?  Because both were  beatified at the same time by the same pope.
Being partly of Norwegian extraction, I enjoy lutefisk.  Now there's some stinky fish.  Hence my high stink factor. 

http://www.cornellsociety.org

Bonifacius

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,379
Re: "anullment" of sainthood
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2009, 10:24:pm »
Quis, when the Pope says "we define" and invokes the most solemn authority of his office on a matter like this, his word is good.  Canonizations were infallible then and are now. 
Being partly of Norwegian extraction, I enjoy lutefisk.  Now there's some stinky fish.  Hence my high stink factor. 

http://www.cornellsociety.org

SCG

  • Gold Fish
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12,646
  • Country: 00
  • Downton Addict
Re: "anullment" of sainthood
« Reply #34 on: July 30, 2009, 11:03:pm »
That's just wishful thinking on the part of some rad-trads who don't like certain saints and beati who have been canonized and/or beatified of late.  It's hogwash.  If you asked the recent popes if their canonizations were just as authoritative as the pre-conciliar ones, they'd say yes.  So they're good.  I wonder if the rad-trads who think this way still acknowledge modern canonizations that they like.  For instance, do they call Padre Pio "St. Pio"?  If they do, they either recognize modern canonizations as such or else make themselves the authorities to determine if any given canonization is good.  Do they write "Blessed Pius IX" but not "Blessed John XXIII"?  Because both were  beatified at the same time by the same pope.

 :thumb:
Not all those who wander are lost. -- J.R.R. Tolkien


spasiisochrani

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,153
  • Gender: Male
Re: "anullment" of sainthood
« Reply #35 on: July 30, 2009, 11:04:pm »
What determines the infallibility of canonizations is not the process, but the formula (and intention).


If that were the case, why do an investigation at all?  

The more I think about this, the less likely it appears that canonizations are infallible, although they can be regarded, for all practical purposes, as morally certain.  A cursory search of the web turned up two articles denying that canonizations are an exercise of the infalllible magisterium.  I don't vouch for these sites, but the arguments make sense to me:

Quote
Papal Infallibility and the Canonization of Saints


Currently, it is the opinion of a majority of Catholic theologians that the canonization of Saints by the Pope is an exercise of papal infallibility. The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints (CCS) supports this opinion. And some Bishops also believe and teach this idea.

Now there is some difference of opinion among these theologians as to which assertions, related to canonization, would fall under papal infallibility. Is it merely the assertion that the Saint led a holy life, died in a state of grace, and now dwells in eternity with God? Or does it extend to the assertion that the Saint did not spend any time in Purgatory and so went directly to Heaven upon their death? Both claims raise the question as to what kinds of truth can be defined under papal infallibility.

First Vatican Council

The First Vatican Council exercised the infallibility of an Ecumenical Council to define papal infallibility:

Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, for the glory of God our Saviour, the exaltation of the Catholic religion, and the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the sacred council, We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in the discharge of the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, is, by the divine assistance promised to him in Blessed Peter, possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that His Church should be endowed in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals; and that, therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, irreformable. But if anyone—which may God avert!—presume to contradict this our definition, let him be anathema.
(First Vatican Council, Pastor Aeternus, chap. 4.)

Notice that when the Pope exercises this infallibility, “he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church.” Again, the Pope is endowed by God with this infallibility “in defining doctrine regarding faith or morals.” This infallible conciliar definition clearly teaches that the Pope cannot define any and all truths on any and all subjects. The scope of papal infallibility is limited to a certain range of truths. The truths that are defined under papal infallibility must be doctrines, and they must regard faith or morals. Any truths that are not doctrines of faith or morals cannot be taught under papal infallibility, no matter how certain those truths may be, because the infallible definition of the First Vatican Council taught that papal infallibility has such a limit.

Is the canonization of a Saint a doctrine of faith or morals? Is it a teaching of the Church “to be held by the universal Church” that each and every Saint who was canonized by a Pope: led a holy life, died in a state of grace, and now dwells in Heaven forever? Is it infallibly true that no Saint canonized by a Pope has ever passed through the sufferings of Purgatory, however briefly, on their way to Heaven?

Second Vatican Council

The Second Vatican Council reaffirmed and clarified the infallible teaching of the First Vatican Council on the extent of papal infallibility.

And this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. (Lumen Gentium, n. 25)

The extent and limit of papal infallibility, and of any and all infallibility given to the Church by God, has the same extent and limit as the Deposit of Divine Revelation, that is, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. Truly, then, no Pope or Ecumenical Council has the ability to add any truths to this infallible Deposit of Faith. It is therefore a matter of faith and the clear teaching of the Second Vatican Council that the Magisterium can never, in any of its functions, whether infallible or not, teach any truths not found in some manner within that Deposit of Faith. For the purpose of the Magisterium, of which papal infallibility is one function, is to guard and to expound the truths Divinely revealed in Tradition and Scripture, not to attempt to add to such truths.

The term ‘faith and morals’ is often used to refer to the truths of Divine Revelation. However, no truths, even if they are related to faith or to the Church, can be taught by the Magisterium at all, neither fallibly nor infallibly, unless they are found within Tradition or Scripture. Now if one uses a narrower definition of the term ‘faith and morals,’ as is often the case in usage, then there are truths asserted by Divine Revelation which are beyond faith and morals. In this case, it must be understood that all truths asserted by Tradition or Scripture are part of Divine Revelation, are infallibly true, and can be taught by the Magisterium. But if one extends the definition of the term ‘faith’ to extend to all the truths of Divine Revelation (for whatever is revealed by God on any subject within that Revelation is certainly, in some sense, a matter of faith), then the extent and limit of the teachings of the Magisterium would be termed ‘faith’ or ‘faith and morals.’

The whole moral law is certainly found, at least implicitly in Tradition and Scripture. Truly, even the single act of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross for our salvation contains the whole moral law implicitly. And the entire moral law is a part of the truths of faith. But, even though morals are included in the things of faith, it is usually and aptly expressed as ‘faith and morals,’ not because morals are separate from the faith, but in order to give that part of the faith a special emphasis.

This teaching of the Second Vatican Council on the limits of infallibility is a definitive teaching of an Ecumenical Council. This teaching meets all five criteria for an infallible teaching by a Council. (These five criteria are nearly the same as the five criteria for papal infallibility, except that it is the Bishops with the Pope who exercise this charism, not the Pope alone, and they exercise it in a Council or other gathering.)

The criteria are as follows:
1. ‘the Body of Bishops together with him [the Pope]’
2. ‘when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church’
3. ‘defines a judgment’ or ‘definitions’
4. ‘they pronounce it in accordance with Revelation itself’
5. ‘which all are obliged to abide by and be in conformity with’ (Lumen Gentium, n. 25).

These five criteria tell us:
1. who exercises infallibility (the bishops and the Pope)
2. when they exercise it (when acting as teachers of the Church, not as private persons)
3. how they exercise infallibility (by defining or pronouncing a teaching, i.e. by giving a definitive decision on doctrine)
4. what can be taught infallibly, its extent and limits (truths of the Deposit of Revelation: Tradition and Scripture)
5. who must adhere to these infallible teachings (the universal Church).

The teaching of Vatican II on the infallibility of the Magisterium meets all five criteria for an infallible teaching. Therefore, it is the infallible teaching of the Second Vatican Council that Magisterium, whether it is acting by means of papal infallibility, or by means of a gathering of the Body of Bishops with the Pope, or by means of the Body of Bishops dispersed through the world yet united with the Pope, can teach infallibly only to the extent and limit of the teachings found within the Deposit of Divine Revelation. No truths whatsoever can be taught by the Magisterium, if such truths are found outside of the Sacred Deposit of Faith, namely Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. This limit is the infallible teaching of the Second Vatican Council and whoever denies it denies a certain truth of the Faith.

The Canonization of Saints by the Pope

The cause for canonization of a Saint requires an examination of the facts of that person’s life. If witnesses are still alive who knew the Saint personally, they provide testimony. Copies of the Saint’s writings, sometimes in their own handwriting, are examined, along with records of that Saint’s life. Lastly, evidence of a miracle, received after praying for that Saint’s intercession, is presented. The evidence is frequently in the form of a miraculous healing, so that medical testimony or other evidence is examined. Without such evidence, the cause for canonization could not go forward, and no conclusion could be reached about that person’s sanctity.

The decision of the Church on the canonization of a Saint is necessarily and almost entirely dependent on the claims of fallible human persons and on a subjective evaluation of evidence that is not certain. This evidence and testimony establishes their sanctity, and its degree, and its perseverance, and its manifestation in reported miracles due to their intercession. But none of this evidence is infallible. None of this evidence is found in the Sacred Deposit of Faith (Tradition and Scripture). But the Magisterium is absolutely limited to teaching the truths found, explicitly or implicitly, in Tradition and Scripture. Therefore, the Magisterium is completely unable to teach that any person is a Saint (except for those persons mentioned in Tradition or Scripture). Neither the Pope himself, nor the entire Body of Bishops united with him, can teach that such a person is a Saint. The Pope cannot teach this infallibly, under papal infallibility, nor can he teach it even fallibly, under the Ordinary Magisterium. Likewise, the Bishops united with the Pope, even in an Ecumenical Council, cannot teach that such a person is a Saint. For the Magisterium is unable to teach truths found entirely outside of the Deposit of Faith.

Now the Saints who are mentioned in Tradition and Scripture, such as Saint Peter the Apostle, are a separate case. Since their lives and holiness is attested to in infallible Divine Revelation, the Church can infallibly teach their holiness and can infallibly declare them to be Saints. But most Saints have lived long after the canon of Scripture was closed. For unless the life of a Saint is a part of Sacred Tradition (e.g. the mother of the Virgin Mary), or unless a Saint is mentioned in Sacred Scripture (e.g. the father of the Virgin Mary, called Heli), such a Saint’s canonization cannot be considered a part of the teachings of the Church, nor of the Magisterium, neither infallibly nor fallibly.

A Judgment of the Temporal Authority

Instead, such canonizations fall under the Temporal Authority of the Church (not under the authority of the Magisterium itself, which applies only to teachings from the Deposit of Faith). The Temporal Authority of the Church is never infallible and it does not teach, but it can make practical rules and judgments. In the case of Saints, it judges that a person lived a holy life, most probably died in a state of grace, and therefore most probably dwells in Heaven. As to whether or not any of the Saints ever had to pass through Purgatory, however briefly, the canonization of a Saint does not determine the answer to that question.

A true Saint may well have to pass through Purgatory, briefly, because the will of God sometimes prefers a man to enter a situation where he might perhaps sin more (but only venially), and also do more good, rather than to avoid all possible situations where any sin might be found, and so be prevented from doing significant good. (If you hide under your bed all day, you might sin less, but you will not do much good.) An infant who dies in infancy has no personal sins, but only original sin, or the remnant of original sin that is left after his baptism. A Saint who dies in old age has personal sins, perhaps more than a few, yet he has done very much more good than the infant, and so, despite his greater sins, he has a higher place in Heaven. Therefore, some Saints may pass through Purgatory and still be true Saints.

A Saint’s sanctity might not be at its height at the hour, or even in the year, of his death. The holiest portion of some Saints’ lives was not their youth. Saint Augustine misspent his youth and his early adult years. Similarly, some Saints might decline in holiness in the latter years of their life. A missionary who suffers much in his work may reach a degree of holiness which he cannot maintain to the same degree later in life, due to changes in his circumstances and his retirement from active life. Some Saints find it easier to be holier in active service to those in need, and others in contemplative service before God. A Saint who was holy during one part of his life, might be less holy in his last days, if he is forced to change from an active life to an inactive one, or vice versa. Therefore, some Saints may spend some brief time in Purgatory, in order to reacquire, as it were, their past holiness.

Answers to Questions

Is the canonization of a Saint a doctrine of faith or morals? No, it is a judgment and decision, make by proper authority in the Church, that a person lived an exemplary holy life and was faithful to the teachings of Christ and His Church. Canonization is not a teaching, so it cannot fall under the teaching authority of the Church.

Is it a teaching of the Church “to be held by the universal Church” that each and every Saint who was canonized by a Pope: led a holy life, died in a state of grace, and now dwells in Heaven forever? No, no one is obligated to believe, as an article of faith, that a particular person (someone not referred to in Tradition or Scripture) is a Saint. There is no obligation under the sacred assent due to infallible teachings of the Sacred Magisterium, nor under the ordinary assent due to the fallible teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium. Judgments of the Temporal Authority of the Church are, in some sense, binding on the faithful, but they are not in the realm of belief and faith, because the Temporal Authority issues rulings, not teachings.

Is it infallibly true that no Saint canonized by a Pope has ever passed through the sufferings of Purgatory on their way to Heaven? No, a person can be a holy Saint and still have passed, however briefly, through the holy and purifying sufferings of Purgatory.

Is the teaching that canonizations fall under papal infallibility an example of an error found in the fallible teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium? Yes it is, because some Bishops have taught this erroneous teaching, having been influenced by the errors of some theologians.

Reply to Objections

1. The wording in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes in a definitive way truths having a necessary connection with them. (CCC, n. 88).

This passage from the Catechism does not conflict with the above article, if the passage is properly understood. It first refers to ‘truths contained in divine Revelation,’ in other words, to truths explicitly taught by Tradition or Scripture. It then refers to ‘truths having a necessary connection’ with the first, in other words, to the truths implicit in Divine Revelation. All these truths are found within Divine Revelation, that is, Tradition and Scripture. So, one way of explaining these truths is to say that there are truths contained in Divine Revelation, and these other truths are necessarily connected to them. But a simpler and clearer way of explaining this is to say that some truths are explicit, and others implicit, in Divine Revelation. Therefore, this passage from the Catechism should not be understood as referring to truths which are outside of the Deposit of Faith, but rather to truths which are implicit in the Deposit of Faith.

Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium all teach from one and the same Deposit of Divine Revelation. The explicit teachings in each differ, for each has a different way of presenting these truths. However, each and every teaching of one and the same Deposit of Truth is at least implicit within each and all of these: Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium. It is not possible for there to be any truth taught by Tradition, which is not also at least implicit in the teachings of Scripture and Magisterium. It is not possible for there to be any truth taught by Scripture, which is not also at least implicit in the teachings of Tradition and Magisterium. It is not possible for there to be any truth taught by the Sacred Magisterium, which is not also at least implicit in the teachings of Tradition and Scripture. For Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium are a reflection of the Most Holy Trinity, which has only one Divine Nature.

2. The secondary object of infallibility

Many theologians claim that the infallible teaching authority of the Church has two objects: First, the truths of Tradition and Scripture, that is, Divine Revelation, and second, those truths necessarily connected with the first, which are termed the secondary objects of infallibility. An example of this point of view is as follows:

The object of the Church’s infallibility is two-fold: a) The primary object of the Church’s infallibility is the formally revealed truths of Christian Doctrine concerning faith and morals. b) The secondary object of the Church’s infallibility is truths of the Christian teaching on faith and morals, which are not formally revealed, but which are closely connected with the teaching of Revelation. Included in the secondary object of infallibility are the following: 1) theological conclusions; 2) dogmatic facts 3) general discipline of the Church; 4) approval of religious orders; 5) canonization of saints.
(Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI, Omaha, NE, Pastoral Letter, Pentecost, 1996,
http://www.cmri.org/96prog5.htm)

There are a number of problems with this view. First, the general discipline of the Church, as well as the approval of religious orders and their rules, are not teachings at all, but decisions and judgments on temporal matters. Such things fall under the Temporal Authority of the Church, not under its Spiritual Authority (the Magisterium). Likewise, the canonization of Saint is not a teaching, but a judgment that a particular person lived a holy life according to the teachings of the Church. And theological conclusions must be based on Tradition and Scripture, in order to be taught by the Magisterium; only then can they be taught infallibly (or even non-infallibly). The term ‘dogmatic facts’ can only be used to refer to a teaching after it has been defined by the Magisterium. Again, such truths must be found, at least implicitly, in Tradition or Scripture.

If the term ‘secondary object of infallibility’ is to be used, it must be understood as referring to truths implicit in Tradition and Scripture. Otherwise, the claim that the Magisterium can teach what is beyond Divine Revelation contradicts the infallible teaching of the Second Vatican Council and exalts the Magisterium above and beyond Divine Revelation. This over-emphasis on the ability and authority of the Magisterium, which seeks to devise theological explanations that can extend the Magisterium ever further, tends toward arrogance, and even idolatry, rather than humility. The Magisterium exists to serve God, the faithful, and the Deposit of Faith. The Magisterium cannot teach infallibly, except from the infallible Deposit of Faith given to the Church by God.


by Ronald L. Conte Jr.
March 15, 2005

 http://www.catholicplanet.com/TSM/infallibility-canonizations.htm

Quote
Refuting the Dimonds assertion that canonizations are infallible
 
The Dimonds teach that canonizations are infallible. They even acknowledge the decree that they must deny in order to do so, and then they proceed to deny it:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session 4, Chapter 4, #6: “For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.”

The Dimonds try to use the encyclical of Pope Gregory XVI, Quo Graviora, as a way to prove that the Church's infallibility extends to disciplines as well, and while they are indeed on the right track, they leave out a crucial piece of the quotation:

Pope Gregory XVI, Quo Graviora, Oct 4 1833: “While they contend that the entire exterior form of the Church can be changed indiscriminately, do they not subject to change even those items of discipline which have their basis in Divine law and which are linked with the doctrine of faith in a close bond? Does not the law of the believer thus produce the law of the doer? Moreover, do they not try to make the Church human by taking away from the infallible and Divine authority, by which Divine will it is governed? And does it not produce the same effect to think that the present discipline of the Church rests on failures, obscurities, and other inconveniences of this kind? And to feign that this discipline contains many things which are not useless but which are against the safety of the Catholic religion? Why is it that private individuals appropriate for themselves the right which is proper only for the pope?”

First of all, what are the rights proper only for the pope? These rights are settling doctrinal and disciplinary disputes with an authoritative ruling and defining dogmas. No other earthly power has the right to make a binding decision in these matters, since it is by Divine institution that the pope has these rights.

Now what is pope Gregory referring to in this quote, when he says: “…do they not try to make the Church human by taking away from the infallible and Divine authority, by which Divine will it is governed?”

He is saying that those who would deny the supreme authority of the sovereign pontiff over the Church, not only in matter of faith and morals, but in matters of discipline as well are taking away from the infallible and Divine authority, the Divine will, by which the Church is governed. This does not mean that pope Gregory is defining that the Church is infallible in ALL matters of discipline, but that he is merely reiterating the fact that the pope, though he may err in certain matters, is the representative of Jesus Christ, and that his authority and power come not from himself, but from God, and as such, disciplines instituted by the pope are to be obeyed as though they have come from God Himself.

Furthermore, Pope Gregory XVI is talking here about disciplines, which are bound up with faith and morals, when he says: “do they not subject to change even those items of discipline which have their basis in Divine law and which are linked with the doctrine of faith in a close bond?”

When a pope exercises his authority in a solemn manner for the purpose defining, and thus of binding all of the faithful to obedience in a matter of faith or morals, that is on a point of Divine revelation, then it is a dogma that this exercise is carried out infallibly. It is God the Holy Ghost Himself, who speaks through the lips of the Pontiff.

But is a canonization a point of Divine revelation? Canonizations are certainly bound up with faith and morals in the sense that the pope decides whether or not a person is to be canonized based upon whether or not the evidence shows that they held the Catholic Faith and lived a life of Catholic morality. But the problem here is that they are relying on evidence, which itself is fallible. In order to assert that canonizations are infallible, one would have to assert that the evidence the pope bases his judgment on is also infallible, in much the same way that his judgments on faith and morals are based on the infallible Word of God contained in Scripture and Tradition. Unfortunately for the Dimonds false position, it is the testimony of men that the pope uses to canonize a person, not the testimony of God.

So, is it heresy to say that canonizations are an exercise of pope in his fallible capacity? Certainly not. If it was heresy, then it would have been condemned as heresy, by Pope Benedict XIV when he made the following pronouncement:

Pope Benedict XIV: “If anyone dared to assert that the Pontiff had erred in this or that canonization, we shall say that he is, if not a heretic, at least temerarious, a giver of scandal to the whole Church, an insulter of the saints, a favorer of those heretics who deny the Church’s authority in canonizing saints, savoring of heresy by giving unbelievers an occasion to mock the faithful, the assertor of an erroneous opinion and liable to very grave penalties.” - [Quoted by Tanquerey, Synopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae Fundamentalis (Paris, Tournai, Rome: Desclee, 1937), new edition ed. by J.B. Bord, Vol. I. p. 624, footnote 2.]

The pope explicitly states that to assert that the Pontiff had erred in a particular canonization MAY NOT BE HERSY! Why would the pope say this? If it is a dogma that canonizations are infallible, then would this not be a heretical statement on his part?

Consider a comparison, using a hypothetical quotation: “If anyone dared to assert that Jesus Christ is a man only and not also God, we shall say that he is, if not a heretic, at least temerarious…”

This hypothetical statement is a heretical denial that Jesus Christ’s nature as the God-man is an infallible, Divinely revealed truth, in that it allows for the possibility that one who denies the Divinity of Christ may not be a heretic. Heresy, remember is any belief that contradicts an infallible, Divinely revealed truth of the Catholic Faith.

The next objection that a person might make is that at the time of Benedict XIV, it was not yet defined that canonizations were infallible. They might propose a different hypothetical, such as: “If anyone dared to assert that the Blessed Virgin Mary was not conceived wholly free from original sin, we shall say that he is, if not a heretic, at least temerarious…”

This statement, so long as it was not uttered before Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, would not be heresy at all, since although it was piously believed by most Christians, yet it was not infallibly defined as being a Divinely reveal dogma.

If this is the argument that the Dimonds wish to pursue in the case for the infallibility of canonizations, then the burden rests upon them to produce the dogmatic decree, whereby this infallibility was defined. But they cannot, since the Church has never made this definition, but has in fact dogmatically declared the opposite:

Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council, Session 4, Chapter 4, #6: “For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.”

The Dimonds assert that a canonization is not a “new doctrine” since this would mean a point of Divine revelation, but in saying this, they admit that it is only in matters intrinsically bound up with Divine revelation concerning faith and morals that infallibility applies, and which is attested to by the above quotation of Pope Gregory XVI, when he says: “…do they not subject to change even those items of discipline which have their basis in Divine law and which are linked with the doctrine of faith in a close bond?”

Simply put, a doctrine is something that is to b

Resurrexi

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,104
  • Gender: Male
Re: "anullment" of sainthood
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2009, 01:03:pm »
What determines the infallibility of canonizations is not the process, but the formula (and intention).


If that were the case, why do an investigation at all?

"The divine assistance does not relieve the bearer of infallible doctrinal power of the obligation of taking pains to know the truth, especially by means of the study of the sources of revelation." (Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 287)

Vita brevis breviter in brevi finietur,
Mors venit velociter quae neminem veretur,
Omnia mors perimit et nulli miseretur.
Ad mortem festinamus; peccare desistamus.

spasiisochrani

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,153
  • Gender: Male
Re: "anullment" of sainthood
« Reply #37 on: August 05, 2009, 01:31:pm »
What determines the infallibility of canonizations is not the process, but the formula (and intention).


If that were the case, why do an investigation at all?

"The divine assistance does not relieve the bearer of infallible doctrinal power of the obligation of taking pains to know the truth, especially by means of the study of the sources of revelation." (Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 287)


That's true, and it makes my point.  The Pope has to investigate the question of whether a proposition is part of the revealed deposit of faith before he can pronounce infallibly on the question.  He can't make up doctrine off the top of his head; he is not an oracle.  In the case of a saint who lived after the close of revelation, there is no question of the person's sanctity being a part of the deposit of faith, so the canonization cannot be the kind of act of the infallible magisterium spoken of by Vatican I.  It seems to me that the reliability of the canonization is dependent upon the reliability of the process.

Resurrexi

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,104
  • Gender: Male
Re: "anullment" of sainthood
« Reply #38 on: August 05, 2009, 02:21:pm »
In the case of a saint who lived after the close of revelation, there is no question of the person's sanctity being a part of the deposit of faith, so the canonization cannot be the kind of act of the infallible magisterium spoken of by Vatican I. 

"The secondary object of infallibility is truths of the Christian teaching on faith and morals, which are not formally revealed, but which are closely connected with the teaching of revelation. (Sent. certa.)

"This doctrine if a necessary consequence of the doctrine of infallibility which has the purpose of preserving and of truly interpreting the deposit of holy faith. The Church could not achieve this purpose if she could not infallibly decide regarding doctrines and acts which are intimately linked with revelation. She may exercise her power in these matters either positively or negatively by the rejection of error opposed to the truth.

"To the secondary object of infallibility belong: α) Theological conclusions derived from a formally revealed truth by aid of natural truth of reason. β) Historical facts on the determination of which the certainty of a truth of revelation depends (facta dogmatica). γ) Natural truths of reason which are intimately connected with revelation. δ) The canonization of saints, that is, the final judgment that a member of the Church has been assumed into eternal bliss and may be the object of general veneration. The veneration shown to the saints is, as St. Thomas teachers, "to  a certain extent a confession of the faith, in which we believe in the glory of the saints" (Quodl. 9, 16). If the Church could err in her opinion, consequences would arise which would be incompatible with the sanctity of the Church." (Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 299)


What Ott states was confirmed by the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition:

"The second proposition of the Professio fidei states: 'I also firmly accept and hold each and everything definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals.' The object taught by this formula includes all those teachings belonging to the dogmatic or moral area, which are necessary for faithfully keeping and expounding the deposit of faith, even if they have not been proposed by the Magisterium of the Church as formally revealed.

"Such doctrines can be defined solemnly by the Roman Pontiff when he speaks 'ex cathedra' or by the College of Bishops gathered in council, or they can be taught infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium of the Church as a 'sententia definitive tenenda. Every believer, therefore, is required to give firm and definitive assent to these truths, based on faith in the Holy Spirit's assistance to the Church's Magisterium, and on the Catholic doctrine of the infallibility of the Magisterium in these matters. Whoever denies these truths would be in a position of rejecting a truth of Catholic doctrine and would therefore no longer be in full communion with the Catholic Church.

"The truths belonging to this second paragraph can be of various natures, thus giving different qualities to their relationship with revelation. There are truths which are necessarily connected with revelation by virtue of an historical relationship; while other truths evince a logical connection that expresses a stage in the maturation of understanding of revelation which the Church is called to undertake. The fact that these doctrines may not be proposed as formally revealed, insofar as they add to the data of faith elements that are not revealed or which are not yet expressly recognized as such, in no way diminishes their definitive character, which is required at least by their intrinsic connection with revealed truth. Moreover, it cannot be excluded that at a certain point in dogmatic development, the understanding of the realities and the words of the deposit of faith can progress in the life of the Church, and the Magisterium may proclaim some of these doctrines as also dogmas of divine and catholic faith.

[. . .]

"With regard to those truths connected to revelation by historical necessity and which are to be held definitively, but are not able to be declared as divinely revealed, the following examples can be given: the legitimacy of the election of the Supreme Pontiff or of the celebration of an ecumenical council, the canonizations of saints (dogmatic facts), the declaration of Pope Leo XIII in the Apostolic Letter Apostolicae Curae on the invalidity of Anglican ordinations." (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei, 6-7, 11)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 02:23:pm by Resurrexi »
Vita brevis breviter in brevi finietur,
Mors venit velociter quae neminem veretur,
Omnia mors perimit et nulli miseretur.
Ad mortem festinamus; peccare desistamus.

spasiisochrani

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,153
  • Gender: Male
Re: "anullment" of sainthood
« Reply #39 on: August 06, 2009, 08:30:am »
"With regard to those truths connected to revelation by historical necessity and which are to be held definitively, but are not able to be declared as divinely revealed, the following examples can be given: the legitimacy of the election of the Supreme Pontiff or of the celebration of an ecumenical council, the canonizations of saints (dogmatic facts), the declaration of Pope Leo XIII in the Apostolic Letter Apostolicae Curae on the invalidity of Anglican ordinations." (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei, 6-7, 11)

But the canonization of a saint is not directly connected to revelation.  The most we can say is that the investigation of the saint's life reveals that he lived the kind of life that we know (by revelation) would be sufficient to make him a saint.  It is theoretically possible that he was a secret sinner, but we can say beyond a reasonable doubt that he is a saint.  As the above quote says, the sanctity of the individual saint is "to be held definitively, but [is] not able to be declared as divinely revealed". 
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 03:39:pm by spasiisochrani »