The uncertainty of causes for canonization and intercessory prayer.
#11
I thought canonizations were infallible.

"In honor of the Blessed Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and the growth of Christian life, with the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Our Own, after lengthy reflection, having assiduously invoked God’s assistance and taken into account the opinion of many brothers of ours in the episcopate, we declare and define N. to be a Saint, and we enroll him in the Catalogue of the Saints, and we establish that in the whole Church he should be devoutly honored among the Saints.  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Seems pretty infallible to me.
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#12
Canonizations are indeed infallible.
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#13
(07-06-2012, 08:01 PM)Axona Wrote: I thought canonizations were infallible.

"In honor of the Blessed Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and the growth of Christian life, with the authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and Our Own, after lengthy reflection, having assiduously invoked God’s assistance and taken into account the opinion of many brothers of ours in the episcopate, we declare and define N. to be a Saint, and we enroll him in the Catalogue of the Saints, and we establish that in the whole Church he should be devoutly honored among the Saints.  In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Seems pretty infallible to me.

Indeed, you look at the declaration, and indeed those are infallible.
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#14
I was gonna start a thread on this subject but seems like someone has already done it for me  :P

While I was at Avrille I was exposed to the idea that modern canonisations aren't infallible, the Dominicans are quite open about them not being so to the extent they don't even refer to them in conversation as saints and correct others who do so. They argue that the process has changed so much e.g the private writings of the saint are no longer looked at, much of the responsibility has been offloaded to local bishops etc... That it is no longer infallible. There was a recent article in 'La sel de la Terre' (their thomistic journal) by Abbe c-something (one if the sspx theologians arguing this).

As Pope John Paul 2 canonised more saints than the several centuries of popes before him added together I can kind of see their point, on the other hand theologians have said the following on the subject:

"To suppose that the Church can err in canonizing, is a sin, or is heresy, according to St. Bonaventure, Bellarmine, and others; or at least next door to heresy, according to Suarez, Azorius, Gotti, etc.; because the Sovereign Pontiff, according to St. Thomas, is guided by the infallible influence of the Holy Ghost in an especial way when canonizing the Saints. [Quod. 9, a. 16, ad. 1] " (St Alphonsus) http://www.catholictreasury.info/books/p...r4.php#bk4


'Is the Church infallible in the canonization of Saints ?Most certainly.

It is proved,

1. By the acceptance on the part of tho whole Church of the solemn decrees of canoni--zation which the popes have published for sev-eral centuries. K such decrees, or any of them were false, the universal Church would have ap* proved error.

2. The opposite opinion would subvert all the cultus of the Saints, because if it could be once admitted that the Church had erred in any particular instance, every body might doubt of the legitimacy of the cultus of any, even the most distinguished Saints.

3. The opposite opinion would expose the Church to the contempt and reviling of heretics, and of the demons, which would be contrary to the promises of Christ, and dishonourable to God.

4. The opposite opinion would destroy the note of sanctity in the Church, for it would ad-mit that she could pay religious cultus to the damned, Grod*s enemies and the companions of the devils.

5. The Church is infallible in the common doctrine of morals ; the canonization of Saints pertains to the common doctrine of morals, and so falls under the infallibility of the Church.

6. The authority of St. Thomas,* is in favour of this. In the passage cited he says that the canonization of Saints is something between things which pertain ad fidem, and things which pertain ad facta, and that the Church is infalli-ble in such matter, because the honour we pay to the Saints is a kind of profession of f^ith, because the pope can only be certified of the state of any of the faithful departed by an in-stinct of the Holy Ghost, and because Divine Providence preserves the Church in such cases from being deceived by the fallible testimony of men.

7. Sixtus v., in the last consistory for the canonization of St. Didacus, spoke for an hour in assertion of the infallibilitj of the decrees of canonization, but it may be said that he was then speaking as a private doctor; yet even so, his opinion is of great weight.

8. Besides the Thomists, the Scotists also de-fend the pope's infallibility in the decrees of can-onization ; so that these two rival schools agree in this particular; and among modems Bellar-mine and Suarez may be mentioned as asserters of the same.

9. In canonizations by private bishops before the Holy See reserved it to itself errors have been discovered; but none has been discovered in all the very numerous decrees since that time.

10. The following very beautiful passage of Benedict XTV. will not be considered without its weight:* "We ourselves, who for the space of so many years discharged the duties of promo-ter of the faith, have seen with our own eyes, as we may say, the Divine Spirit assisting the Roman Pontiff in defining the causes of canoni-zation ; for in some of them, which had advanc-ed so far with a most prosperous course, sudden difficulties never known before have all at once started up, which retarded their hitherto fortu-nate career; whereas in others, on the contrary, difficulties, which seemed insuperable, have been removed and silenced with a strange facility from things which have unexpectedly come to light, and so the causes have attained their desired end."

The judgment of the Church therefore in the Canonization of Saints is infallible. "  (Fr Faber) http://archive.org/stream/anessayonbeati...0/mode/2up

Frankly I find those opinions far more convincing than complaints about the process.
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#15
Canonizations since probably 1170 (Decree of Alexander III), but certainly since 1625 (Decrees of Urban VIII and 1634 Bull) are considered by most theologians to be acts of the magisterium and therefore infallible. Generally almost all hold that because in a canonization the Church is confirming that one can obtain eternal life through the imitation of the virtues of this saint, that it is impossible to canonize a reprobate. However, to deny that someone canonized is a saint is not heresy, because the Church has not defined a dogma in such a decree, only that this person is in heaven and worthy of imitation.

Beatifications have never been considered infallible, firstly because they were not always performed by the Pope (who alone enjoys personal infallibility) and today are usually performed by Cardinals, the cultus is typically not universal, and they are not definitive or prescriptive acts. Thus it is possible, but unlikely, that a reprobate could be beatified.

The problem seems less the question of what happens if a reprobate is beatified, and more, why is the modern beatification and canonization less about "heroic virtue" and more about "personal holiness".

In the former case, however, prayers are always directed to God, through perhaps an intercessory, but always to God. Thus, a prayer to God through a reprobate (mistakenly though to be saved) is still heard, and because it is a supernaturally good act, increases merit and obtains grace.

Yet despite all of the concern, nothing definitive can be said. There can not enough evidence to say that modern canonizations are certainly not infallible, but there are reasons for serious doubt. Only the Church could answer these question definitively, so whatever the theological speculation, no certain conclusions could be reached, even by well-trained traditional theologians. Only the Church, through her magisterium can speak definitively on these questions.

Here is a good study on "modern" Canonization:
http://www.sspx.org/miscellaneous/canoni...aul_ii.pdf (n.b. PDF file)

It is clear that there is something distinctly different about Pope John Paul II's concept of sainthood and holiness. From the study:

Quote:For the Church of Vatican II. what is "holiness"? This is the question at the heart of the problem with the new canonizations. The aspects we have examined reveal to us a new conception of holiness. The new notion influences the Church and her members to such a point that the idea of what holiness really is fades little by little from the Catholic people, and also from the clergy and religious communities. The wave of departures from the priesthood and religious life which followed on Vatican II is a revealing indicator.

Then the study questions if the canonizations are intended to be infallible (a necessary condition):

Quote:The Pope's intention is decisive for determining the infallibility of his acts. In what measure does Pope John Paul II want to accomplish veritable canonizations bearing the mark of infallibility? The different indicators gathered from his speeches and homilies tend to show that his intention no longer is the same as that of his predecessors.

...In the context of the current confusion in the Magisterium. a simple examination of facts cannot be sufficient to determine the Pope's intention. But if one considers his work as a whole, one is obliged to observe that he has always been reluctant to invoke infallibility (as, for example, in the affair of the document refusing ordination to women). How can the Pope will to oblige the body of the faithful to accept the simultaneous placing on the altars of Padre Pio and Msgr. Balaguer? The latter encouraged, and in certain domains, preceded, the reforms of the Council, fatal for the Church; the former spurned them.
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#16
(08-06-2012, 01:12 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: Canonizations since probably 1170 (Decree of Alexander III), but certainly since 1625 (Decrees of Urban VIII and 1634 Bull) are considered by most theologians to be acts of the magisterium and therefore infallible. Generally almost all hold that because in a canonization the Church is confirming that one can obtain eternal life through the imitation of the virtues of this saint, that it is impossible to canonize a reprobate. However, to deny that someone canonized is a saint is not heresy, because the Church has not defined a dogma in such a decree, only that this person is in heaven and worthy of imitation.

Beatifications have never been considered infallible, firstly because they were not always performed by the Pope (who alone enjoys personal infallibility) and today are usually performed by Cardinals, the cultus is typically not universal, and they are not definitive or prescriptive acts. Thus it is possible, but unlikely, that a reprobate could be beatified.

The problem seems less the question of what happens if a reprobate is beatified, and more, why is the modern beatification and canonization less about "heroic virtue" and more about "personal holiness".

In the former case, however, prayers are always directed to God, through perhaps an intercessory, but always to God. Thus, a prayer to God through a reprobate (mistakenly though to be saved) is still heard, and because it is a supernaturally good act, increases merit and obtains grace.

Yet despite all of the concern, nothing definitive can be said. There can not enough evidence to say that modern canonizations are certainly not infallible, but there are reasons for serious doubt. Only the Church could answer these question definitively, so whatever the theological speculation, no certain conclusions could be reached, even by well-trained traditional theologians. Only the Church, through her magisterium can speak definitively on these questions.

Here is a good study on "modern" Canonization:
http://www.sspx.org/miscellaneous/canoni...aul_ii.pdf (n.b. PDF file)

It is clear that there is something distinctly different about Pope John Paul II's concept of sainthood and holiness. From the study:

Quote:For the Church of Vatican II. what is "holiness"? This is the question at the heart of the problem with the new canonizations. The aspects we have examined reveal to us a new conception of holiness. The new notion influences the Church and her members to such a point that the idea of what holiness really is fades little by little from the Catholic people, and also from the clergy and religious communities. The wave of departures from the priesthood and religious life which followed on Vatican II is a revealing indicator.

Then the study questions if the canonizations are intended to be infallible (a necessary condition):

Quote:The Pope's intention is decisive for determining the infallibility of his acts. In what measure does Pope John Paul II want to accomplish veritable canonizations bearing the mark of infallibility? The different indicators gathered from his speeches and homilies tend to show that his intention no longer is the same as that of his predecessors.

...In the context of the current confusion in the Magisterium. a simple examination of facts cannot be sufficient to determine the Pope's intention. But if one considers his work as a whole, one is obliged to observe that he has always been reluctant to invoke infallibility (as, for example, in the affair of the document refusing ordination to women). How can the Pope will to oblige the body of the faithful to accept the simultaneous placing on the altars of Padre Pio and Msgr. Balaguer? The latter encouraged, and in certain domains, preceded, the reforms of the Council, fatal for the Church; the former spurned them.

The problem is that theologians have already spoken on the issue:

a) some including a doctor of the Church hold it to be heresy to deny that canonisations are infallible, the rest hold it to be proximate to heresy, another doctor of the church St Alphonsus Ligouri is satisfied with simply providing these two opinions when discussing the issue
b) The issue is not so much the process but the special assistance of the holy ghost given to the pope, the problems inherent with the whole church potentially praying to souls in hell, honouring them in the liturgy etc...

By the way I think your dates are off, the first papal canonisation was towards the end of the 10th century AD, 990 and something I believe, I can't see any reason not to believe canonisations to be infallible from this date.

It is true that there could be a defect of intention etc.. but I hardly find the arguments made by the SSPX and the dominicans of Avrille convincing in this matter, firstly because they don't deal with the arguments raised by other theologians and secondly because they exaggerate the degree of the crisis at Rome.
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#17
The first story from the Decameron should be a good answer.  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23700/237...IRST_STORY
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#18
(08-06-2012, 07:34 PM)Josué Wrote: The first story from the Decameron should be a good answer.  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23700/237...IRST_STORY

Where are these stories from?  And is the last paragraph saying that not only are canonizations fallible but that people in "perdition" can be intermediaries if God grants our faith in canonization as meritorious?  That seems, for lack of a more intellectual term, super weird.
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#19
(08-06-2012, 07:34 PM)Josué Wrote: The first story from the Decameron should be a good answer.  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23700/237...IRST_STORY

Of course, the Decameron was on the Index! :)
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#20
lol.  Oh, the Index...anyway I think people might have gotten afield of my original question, since I wasn't asking about the infallibility of canonizations but the implications of fallible beatification.
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