the Orthodox have an incorrupt saint!
#11
(03-06-2016, 12:53 AM)Melkite Wrote:
(03-06-2016, 12:26 AM)Beardly Wrote: It seems that most Catholics have a funny idea of how incorruption works. All incorrupts eventually start looking mummified. Archbishop Dmitri died a few years back, so it's no wonder, for an incorrupt, that his hands still look like hands. Give it a few decades, or a century, and he'll look like the other incorrupt saints. Incorruption is a sign, not a substitute for faith.

Then they are no more saintly than pagan Incan princesses or Egyptian kings.

That's absurd in at least two ways. First, the pagans were intentionally mummified, with embalming procedures designed to give the appearance of real incorruption. The Orthodox, however, do not embalm, and generally take few steps to ensure the preservation of dead bodies.

Second, and more importantly, your attitude betrays exactly the kind of magical thinking I'm arguing against. In addition to denying the antecedent (incorruption implies sanctity, not the other way around), you are also making the exact same mistake as those in the Brothers Karamazov who, upon seeing that Elder Zosima was not incorrupt, doubted his sanctity wholesale.

Incorruption is a sign, meant to strengthen faith. It is not meant to take the place of faith. Strangely, everyone was on the same page regarding what incorruption looks like until some point in the relatively recent past, when they started putting wax masks and and hand-coverings on Catholic incorrupts (Padre Pio, et al.) in order to avoid freaking out pilgrims. Since most people were  (or really still are) unaware of the wax coverings, I think this caused the idea that incorrupt saints look like they just died a few days ago. In reality, Catholic incorrupts too look like mummies.
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#12
I understand that just because someone is not incorrupt does not mean they are not a saint.  I just mean, if these incorruptibles are not truly incorrupt (i.e., if they're not actually incorrupt, they're just decaying at a slower than normal rate, but probably from some natural cause), then there is no reason to think they are any saintlier just because their body is taking longer to decompose.  The whole purpose of the miracle of incorruption, if true, is to show that God can do the impossible, right?  If God is everything Christianity claims him to be, then I imagine he is not the God of half-assed miracles.  True incorruption would be a miracle.  Slower than normal decay is at best a half-assed miracle, and probably nothing more than a natural process.
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#13
No matter how incorrupt a body is, it won't look like they were alive. Corpses don't eat, drink, etc.
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#14
(03-06-2016, 07:48 PM)Melkite Wrote: I understand that just because someone is not incorrupt does not mean they are not a saint.  I just mean, if these incorruptibles are not truly incorrupt (i.e., if they're not actually incorrupt, they're just decaying at a slower than normal rate, but probably from some natural cause), then there is no reason to think they are any saintlier just because their body is taking longer to decompose.  The whole purpose of the miracle of incorruption, if true, is to show that God can do the impossible, right?  If God is everything Christianity claims him to be, then I imagine he is not the God of half-assed miracles.  True incorruption would be a miracle.  Slower than normal decay is at best a half-assed miracle, and probably nothing more than a natural process.
Hmm. I think that incorruption is a sign from God that the incorrupt is worthy of serious consideration.

Take Giuseppe Sarto (Pius X) as an example. He was gifted with miracles in his own lifetime... should be a sure sign for his contemporaries... and he is preserved incorrupt... should be a sure sign for his successors.

Incorruption (other than pickled, dried or frozen corpses) is entirely inexplicable. No one but a few Catholic saints have ever presented as an examinable example of the phenomenon.
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#15
(03-06-2016, 06:51 PM)J Michael Wrote: Didn't someone, and for the life of me I can't remember who, say something like, "God makes saints; the Church sometimes recognizes them"?  Or something like that...
Blardy good thing too! If all saints were incorrupt we couldn't get around without stepping on them.

Anyhow, show us the incorrupt remains of Caiaphas, or Muhammed, or Luther, or Calvin or anyone at all you fancy will support your presumed contention that the Catholic Church is not the one and only avenue of supernatural Grace via the Sacraments.
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#16
Well, I've seen some close up photos now comparing him from a few days after his death until the other day when he was reinterred.  It looks as if he is just decomposing slowly.  They also showed the concrete case his coffin was placed in before he was buried; it looked pretty air tight.  Dreher makes the case that it was 105 degrees when he was buried, but even in Texas, the it's in the low 50's 6 feet down.
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#17
(03-07-2016, 03:52 AM)Oldavid Wrote:
(03-06-2016, 06:51 PM)J Michael Wrote: Didn't someone, and for the life of me I can't remember who, say something like, "God makes saints; the Church sometimes recognizes them"?  Or something like that...
Blardy good thing too! If all saints were incorrupt we couldn't get around without stepping on them.

Anyhow, show us the incorrupt remains of Caiaphas, or Muhammed, or Luther, or Calvin or anyone at all you fancy will support your presumed contention that the Catholic Church is not the one and only avenue of supernatural Grace via the Sacraments.

Well, I would doubt you'd find an incorrupt corpse of the folks you've named, but there is this about the late Fr. George Calciu.  Some of the comments (with a couple of links) are, shall we say, "interesting".  :Hmm:
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#18
Incorruptibles are weird. There's an excellent book on the topic, The Incorruptibles.

(03-07-2016, 10:45 AM)Melkite Wrote: Well, I've seen some close up photos now comparing him from a few days after his death until the other day when he was reinterred.  It looks as if he is just decomposing slowly.  They also showed the concrete case his coffin was placed in before he was buried; it looked pretty air tight.  Dreher makes the case that it was 105 degrees when he was buried, but even in Texas, the it's in the low 50's 6 feet down.
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Except that in many, many documented cases, the condition where the body was would actually speed decomposition, not impede it. A burial vault that was repeatedly flooded, for example. The clothing and coffin would be completely decomposed, but the body still intact and pliable, decades and even centuries after. Many were consigned to graves without coffins, such as a custom of some monastic orders, laying directly in rotting matter in the ground, which should have rendered the body to skeletal remains within a few months, but remain intact years later. Or in the case of Saint Andrew Bobola, the manner of his death (mutilation) should help the body putrify quicker. In her book, Ms Crux explains:

Quote:Eighty-eight years after the Saint's death, Doctors Alexander Pascoli and Raymond Tarozzi of the College of Physician in Rome and professors of medicine in the University of Rome, stated in their medico-physical dissertation that the condition of the body would normally hasten dissolution since it was a corpulent specimen covered with livid wounds. The body was mutilated in many ways during the inhuman attack by the Cossasks. The ears, nose, lips, parts of fingers and one eye had been torn from the body. [further graphic descriptions of the types of injuries incurred]... The mutilated body was buried in the summer, in a spot where the ground was moist, and all of which would normally act upon it in a swift and destructive manner.

So for over 320 years, this body, which should have been nothing but dust hundreds of years ago under even perfect circumstances, continues to exist in reliquary in the church bearing his name in Warsaw, Poland. And yet, the body, while "dark and rigid but still well-preserved" has been exposed many times over the course of it's existence to less-than-ideal conditions that should hasten it's decomposition, as well as the state of the body due to his manner of death should have accelerated putrification.

Some Incorrupts do eventually decompose - it's like you say, a very slow decomposition - but why? What does it mean? It's a process that science hasn't provided an explanation for.



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#19
Abbo of Fleury reports that a certain pious woman used to trim the hair and nails of St. Edmund each year on Maundy Thursday. They continued to grow on the holy martyr's incorrupt body.
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#20
He was my bishop and I attended a liturgy he served once and I can promise you, it's an experience I'll never forget. A presence just flowed from him and when he spoke everything stood still. From the moment he walked into the church I felt certain he would be a saint someday. Honestly I fully expected his relics to be incorrupt. If you want to hear him here is a link to one of his homilies from a number of years ago.



http://atlantaorthodoxchurches.org/stjoh..._02_02.mp3
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