FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Infallible canonizations
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Speaking with a theologian this last weekend, he informed me that canonizations are indeed infallible if the infallible language (the ex cathedra wording) is used in the decree.  This language is clear , timeless, Traditional and irrefutable.

For the upcoming canonizations, will the decree possess the infallible language or will it contain that notorious VII ambiguous language? 

Lets wait and see what we will have to deal with when it happens.
(04-24-2014, 12:36 PM)onosurf Wrote: [ -> ]For the upcoming canonizations, will the decree possess the infallible language or will it contain that notorious VII ambiguous language?   

The current rite uses the same preceptive and definitive language as that before Vatican II (definitive and preceptive decrees are held to be infallible):

Examples:

Pius XII's canonization of St. Maria Goretti

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 deligeratione praehabita, et divina ope saepius implorata, ac de Venerabilium Fratrum Nostrorum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalium, Patriarcharum, Archiepiscoporum et Episcoporum, in Urbe exsistentium, consilio, Beatam Mariam Goretti, Sanctam esse decernimus et definimus ac Sanctorum catalogo adscribimus : statuentes ab Ecclesia Universali illius memoriam quolibet anno die eius natali, sexta nempe iulii, inter Sanctas Virgines et Martyres pia devotione recoli debere. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x...ti_lt.html

Benedict XVI's Canonization of St. Kateri and others

Ad honorem Sanctæ et Individuæ Trinitatis, ad exaltationem fidei catholicæ et vitæ christianæ incrementum, auctoritate Domini nostri Iesu Christi, beatorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli ac Nostra, matura deliberatione præhabita et divina ope sæpius implorata, ac de plurimorum Fratrum Nostrorum consilio, Beatos Iacobum Berthieu, Petrum Calungsod, Ioannem Baptistam Piamarta, Mariam a Monte Carmelo Sallés y Barangueras, Mariam Annam Cope, Catharinam Tekakwitha et Annam Schäffer Sanctos esse decernimus et definimus, ac Sanctorum Catalogo adscribimus, statuentes eos in universa Ecclesia inter Sanctos pia devotione recoli debere. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
http://sjsrector.blogspot.com/2012/10/ad...tatis.html

Note, elsewhere in the current rite, this petition is made to the Pope:

"Most Holy Father, Holy Church, trusting in the Lord's promise to send upon her the Spirit of Truth, who in every age keeps the Supreme Magisterium free from error, most earnestly beseeches Your Holiness to enroll these, her elect, among the saints."
http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2012/10...-back.html

This is essentially a shortened version of a post I made on the formula for canonization here if you're interested:
http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/inde...sg33893512
Huh? Then why does John Vennari dedicate a portion of his article in the most current Angelus to discussing the irregularities of the canonization of St. Josemaria Escriva? Why would the SSPX continue to raise doubts about the validity of canonization process after 1983? Simply because it's novel? I can't see them being that shallow; if it's that cut and dried, it seems to me that they would still say (at least in this instance) "Roma locutus est."
First, the "infallibility" of canonization is not de fide, but the common opinion of theologians. So to reject this without serious grounds would be a serious matter of pride, but not heresy. Given the quality of those advanced for canonization, the new notion of "holiness" absent the notion of "heroic virtue" and the continual short-cutting of the traditional process (which BTW, was not just some legalistic whim, but established by Benedict XIV, who prior to his papacy studied for 20 years the subject of haigiology).

Secondly, we should note that a particular formula is not what makes something infallible. Rather what makes a statement infallible is that it concerns the proper subject matter, comes from the authority who has the proper power, and intends to bind the whole Church.

Thirdly, what do we mean by "infallible"?

Clearly canonization is a different matter than a de fide teaching. We are not obliged to accept a canonization like we are the Assumption, even if something is obliged.

Further, what is the actual subject of such infallibility? Is it the declaration that the person in in heaven? If that is all, then there is no real issue, since none of us has competence to judge such.

If the subject of infallibility is more extensive, then there are issues, and we have to consider whether the changes in the process and notions surrounding canonization have any effects on this infallibility.

In reality, it is a huge mess, and something far beyond mere analysis of formula. It touches on very complicated and nebulous theological matter, which eventually will have to be solved by the proper authorities.
MagisterMusicae,

(sorry this is a bit long, but I wanted to thoroughly address your points concerning, if canonizations are infallible, what the object of that infallibility is and whether that infallibility is affected by processes, motivations, etc. )

If canonizations are infallible (and I think they are), I don't see how it could apply to more than the person is in heaven.  All Saints are sinners to some extent or another.  Is the infallible judgment that they did ten times as many good deeds as bad, 20 times as many, etc.? Because of this, even the general concepts that the person must have heroic virtue or holiness and be a model, etc. are ultimately vague and relative. Some saints are obviously more virtuous than others, so some saint must be the least virtuous Saint.  Who is it and can it be possible for a new Saint to be less virtuous than that Saint (I’m not saying any particular proposed Saint would necessarily be the least virtuous)? Sanctity seems to be the only truly objective and fixed criterion--the person is either sanctified in Heaven or not.

As you mention, there is no special formula—the formula is only relevant in so much as it expresses the object of the decree and the definitive and prescriptive nature of it. It only expresses sanctity as the object and is definitive and prescriptive.

The CE article's author on this topic makes this argument:
Catholic Encyclopedia, Canonization Wrote:What is the object of this infallible judgment of the pope? Does he define that the person canonized is in heaven or only that he has practiced Christian virtues in an heroic degree? I have never seen this question discussed; my own opinion is that nothing else is defined than that the person canonized is in heaven. The formula used in the act of canonization has nothing more than this:

"In honour of . . . we decree and define that Blessed N. is a Saint, and we inscribe his name in the catalogue of saints, and order that his memory by devoutly and piously celebrated yearly on the . . . day of . . . his feast."

(Ad honorem . . . beatum N. Sanctum esse decernimus et definimus ac sanctorum catalogo adscribimus statuentes ab ecclesiâ universali illius memoriam quolibet anno, die ejus natali . . . piâ devotione recoli debere.)

There is no question of heroic virtue in this formula; on the other hand, sanctity does not necessarily imply the exercise of heroic virtue, since one who had not hitherto practised heroic virtue would, by the one transient heroic act in which he yielded up his life for Christ, have justly deserved to be considered a saint. This view seems all the more certain if we reflect that all the arguments of theologians for papal infallibility in the canonization of saints are based on the fact that on such occasions the popes believe and assert that the decision which they publish is infallible (Pesch, Prael. Dogm., I, 552).
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02364b.htm

Since the canonization of Saints, considered a definitive judgment of a dogmatic fact, is a derivative of the doctrinal infallibility of the Pope, we can draw out some analogous principles.  For the doctrinal infallibility of the Pope, it is generally held that only the doctrine definitively laid down is infallibly proclaimed, but not necessarily the preceding arguments and reasons presented to prove the doctrine.  For canonizations, the analogous principle would be that the dogmatic fact of the person’s sanctity is infallibly true, but not necessarily the alleged miracles or other reasons that prove it.  Mgr. P.E. Hallett makes this argument in his work on the Canonizations of Saints:
Hallett Wrote:In any case it is only the fact of the saints being in heaven that we are bound to believe and not necessarily the grounds alleged for their sanctity or the miracles asserted to have been wrought in attestation of it. Even in regard to the Church's official definitions it is, strictly speaking, only the defined doctrine itself we are bound to believe, not necessarily the reasons alleged in support of it.
The Canonization of Saints. An outline of the history and the processes of beatification and canonization.  by Mgr. P. E. Hallett, Published by the Incorporated Catholic Truth Society, London, 1952.
http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/canonize.htm

Likewise, the process leading up to the canonization cannot be a condition of the infallibility of the judgment.  Again, looking analogously at doctrinal definitions, at the First Vatican Council many Fathers wanted to condition the infallibility of definitive proclamations of the Pope on him following a particular process of investigation and discernment, but in the official relatio, Bishop Gasser (the relator) rules this out due to the fact that many definitions were given in the past following different processes or practically no process at all. This proposal was also ruled out because all the faithful would have to withhold assent until each person could verify the integrity of the process in each case--and this is morally impossible.

The same would be true for canonizations. The process has varied greatly over time—even the need for any verified miracles at all has been waived on occasion (e.g. Pius XI’s canonization of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher). As such, we are bound to the public judgment of the Church regardless of the events leading to that judgment, the motivations of those making it, etc.  Again, to use the analogy of a doctrinal definition, we are bound to the dogmatic definition in Boniface VIII’s Bull Unam Sanctam, whether we believe he made it for the care of souls or out of political ambition, or whether the theory of the two swords proved the dogma or was an idea conditioned by the circumstances of its time, and ultimately not tied to the dogma.

To use a canonization example from the same time, and involving the same politics, we can look at the canonization of St. Celestine V.  St. Celestine had treated Philip the Fair very well, but when Boniface VIII ascended to the chair along with allegations he pressured Celestine to resign, he annulled many of Celestine acts that were favorable to Phillip and ended up being a bitter adversary of Philip. Later, when Philip's friend since childhood Clement V was elected, Clement annulled many of Boniface's disciplinary Bulls which had negatively affected Phillip, and severely down-played the practical effects of Unam Sanctam on Philip. Philip pushed Clement to have Boniface condemned as a heretic or at least an impious priest, but Clement said this could only be done by a General Council. He and Philip discussed it among the Cardinals as a possible act of the upcoming Council of Vienne, but Boniface's supporters were too many (and they drew swords and threatened the opposition on top of it!).  Shortly after the Council, Clement V canonized St. Celestine (17 years after his death), who had been imprisoned and allegedly persecuted by Boniface and who had supported Phillip.  It was perceived at the time as a consolation prize for Philip, an implicit judgment on Boniface by the canonization of Celestine, since a direct judgment on Boniface could not be obtained. 

All this, however, is irrelevant to whether the judgment of Celestine’s sanctity was infallible or not.  The very fact that the process, etc. can become messy is the very reason why infallibility and the binding nature of a decree must only concern the public declaration, and not be contingent on the more or less messy process behind it. 
Thanks for the work, SaintSebastian.

My post was more just posing points for consideration, not exactly searching for answers.

I am also disposed toward the common opinion, but I do see problems that follow from it, such as the following:

(04-24-2014, 04:28 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: [ -> ]If canonizations are infallible (and I think they are), I don't see how it could apply to more than the person is in heaven

If that is the extent of the infallibility, then it seems to make canonization something quite trivial.

We do know that there are many more in heaven than the canonized. We also know that there are many in heaven who just barely got there (i.e. they lived a life not to in any way be imitated, but corresponded to a last-minute grace of conversion).

So what is the point of the lengthy process of canonization, which historically investigated the entirety of the candidate's life and works in excruciating detail and also historically instantly disqualified anyone if there was a shread of a doubt about the orthodoxy of the writings or any remaining questions about the persons heroic virtue.

All of that so that one could be infallibly declared to be in heaven, which really could be more or less determined with likelihood by a simple investigation into the person's habits and death (was it likely they died in the State of Grace).

Then again, if it's just a matter of a papal decree, why an investigation at all, if it be infallible.

And then we look at the lives of various "Saints". Compare for instance a St. Fidelis of Sigmarigen to a John Paul II ... if both are infallibly in heaven,

Again, I'm not looking for answers, but asking questions to provoke thought.
MM,

Just wondering about one of your last comments, I thought that a declaration of canonization meant, not that the person was in Heaven, but that the person went straight to Heaven at the moment of death, without passing through Purgatory. Please correct me you all if i am wrong. If this is the case, it would mean that canonization has a purpose, i.e. to bring before the faithful an example of charity that we can follow, not merely the "fact" that a person, sooner or later, at some point, got to Heaven.

It seems to me, though, that a lot of this is weird. I mean a few years ago, trads were not questioning this sort of thing. Now, however, with the canonization of saints who A) excommunicated SSPX bishops or B) ended up with reputations for sanctity even though they celebrated the NO, like St. Josemaria, or C) were popes of doubtful administrative ability (like Paul VI), or that convened VII . . .( you get the idea: either they liked what the SSPX does not like, or they did what the SSPX do not do) we are now going to be asked to doubt the infallibility of something that, traditionally speaking, we always thought was infallible, but which simply is not going the way we thought.

I am afraid we have to just suck it up like good traddies and try to examine the lives of these men and see what we can learn from them. It may not always be clear, but the alternative is to judge the charity of another man declared by the Pope to have been exceedingly charitable. Our Lord said we would be measured with the measure we use to measure others. So I would suggest we back off and celebrate the good in these saints, and recognize that they were better than we are, and ask for their intercession. I think it will be particularly important for trads to ask for the intercession of the popes that witnessed the great 20th century disaster. They were there and they know a lot more about what went down than we do. They see it through God's eyes now. I suspect they will be particularly efficacious in intercessions.
(04-24-2014, 07:45 PM)maldon Wrote: [ -> ]MM,

Just wondering about one of your last comments, I thought that a declaration of canonization meant, not that the person was in Heaven, but that the person went straight to Heaven at the moment of death, without passing through Purgatory. Please correct me you all if i am wrong. If this is the case, it would mean that canonization has a purpose, i.e. to bring before the faithful an example of charity that we can follow, not merely the "fact" that a person, sooner or later, at some point, got to Heaven.

It seems to me, though, that a lot of this is weird. I mean a few years ago, trads were not questioning this sort of thing. Now, however, with the canonization of saints who A) excommunicated SSPX bishops or B) ended up with reputations for sanctity even though they celebrated the NO, like St. Josemaria, or C) were popes of doubtful administrative ability (like Paul VI), or that convened VII . . .( you get the idea: either they liked what the SSPX does not like, or they did what the SSPX do not do) we are now going to be asked to doubt the infallibility of something that, traditionally speaking, we always thought was infallible, but which simply is not going the way we thought.

I am afraid we have to just suck it up like good traddies and try to examine the lives of these men and see what we can learn from them. It may not always be clear, but the alternative is to judge the charity of another man declared by the Pope to have been exceedingly charitable. Our Lord said we would be measured with the measure we use to measure others. So I would suggest we back off and celebrate the good in these saints, and recognize that they were better than we are, and ask for their intercession. I think it will be particularly important for trads to ask for the intercession of the popes that witnessed the great 20th century disaster. They were there and they know a lot more about what went down than we do. They see it through God's eyes now. I suspect they will be particularly efficacious in intercessions.
     


The other alternative is, well, perhaps to seriously start seeing the holes in the "recognize and resist" camp and seriously (though not rashly) consider that maybe, just maybe men like Father Cekada are right and sedevacantism is a possibility. If it's clear that canonizations are infallible, than if we accept Francis as Pope than it would seem we must accept a St John XXIII and, more problematically a St John Paul II "The Great". I for one do not have a crisis of faith in Rome as the True Church but this canonization has me very seriously and carefully considering sedevacantism as a viable option. In my heart I'm town,I do not really accept John Paul II as anything more than a tragic figure that, while he wrote some laudable things, he also wrote and did some things that were so viscerally offensive to traditional Catholic faith and piety it's impossible for me to blindly accept his sanctity much less hold him up as a "Great" on the same level as Gregory and.Leo, much less look to him as a sure example of how to be a Catholic. At heart I find this so incredibly difficult to bear.
When the declaration is made I guess we are to believe that Pope JP2 and John XXIII are in heaven, but the real problem is that they are proposed a models of virtue, which they clearly weren't.
The first by doing crazy things like kissing the Koran, and the second by initiating the biggest disaster the Church has experienced in Her history.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7