Tuesday, March 27, 2018

I agree: cut down on the number of miracles needed for sainthood

Fr Maurice Carmody is a scholar and a gentleman whom I got to know when he was parish priest of St Francis' Catholic Church, Stoke, Nelson. He has doggedly pursued the NZ Catholic Church's ambition to have NZ's first saint made, the famous Mother Suzanne Albert. His scholarly researches into the matter have left no stone unturned, and there have been many trips to Rome to press the case. But he has hit a snag, as this report tells us: the Vatican quota of two miracles is too high.

I agree that the quota is too high. There should be no requirement for any miracles to be associated with a person being made a saint. None were required in New Testament times. In fact Paul addressed the whole church as saints of God (Ephesians 1:1), with no mention of evidential miracles. The implication is, of course, that the one and only necessary miracle for someone to become a saint is the miracle of salvation.


Anonymous said...

Hi Peter; I’d agree except the bar is easily reached for Francis’s predecessors.


Jonathan said...

I would have thought that sanctification would be the key requirement. :-) And with that thought, folk may or may not have heard of St Mark Ji Tianxiang, one of my heroes of the faith (July 9), who for the last 30 years of his life was barred from receiving communion. Grace at work both in him and the church.

Father Ron Smith said...

God knows God's own. Saints, surely, are those recognised for their life of Imitatio Christi. These have grown into the life of Christ by their genuine, outstanding love, and devotion to His Presence in the life of others. They are recognised by their peers as 'Alter Christus' - Other Christs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter; I should have made my point clearer. It was a bit too nuanced. Pope Francis has doubled the number of saints canonised by Pope St John Paul II and JP2’s pontificate was a long one. Consequently, Pope Francis must be applying a different approach albeit requiring two miracles. In fact, Pope Francis canonised Pope John XXIII, JP2, and will canonise Pope Paul VI. Now that mainstream historians accept that Pope Pius XlI was not a Nazi appeaser, he is also a likely candidate. Pope John Paul I ( the smiling Pope) is also on the short list. Pope Francis has canonised multitudes of non-papal Saints as well. So, the cynic in me says the bar is lower for Popes, but Pope Francis‘s numbers indicate otherwise. As for the two miracles, Catholics can pray on the ever open line for Mother Aubert to intercede. I recognise that many Anglicans will find that unscriptural, but that is precisely how JP2 met the criteria. Someone prayed to him after his death.

Finally, is the Lord‘s gracious act in saving you and multitudes and me enough to be a saint. My own view is yes.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Nick - that is clearer. Your initial remark was capable of multiple interpretations :)