Ten priests. Six religious. No lay people. Sixteen heroic and saintly people, no doubt. But for a good example for the lay life in the world, ho hum.
Perhaps priests and religious, due to a higher “profile”, tend to draw more paeyers for intercessions than do lay folk.
No, it’s that the causes of priests and religious are supported by an organized bureaucracy (i.e. their dioceses and congregations). Without that bureaucracy, intercessory prayers are formally useless for the official cause of sainthood. Perhaps every diocese in the United States should be required to support the cause of one lay person from that diocese for sainthood. And if a diocese couldn’t find one, what might that imply about the state of the diocese?
It is the work of the Holy Spirit who introduces us to this perfect soul and inspies us to faithfully interceed for their Cause for Canonization. We do what we can, the best we can. There is no conspiracy. There should be no forcing of congregations. This is a personal and gentle call to love.
The process is designed to favor religious and clergy. Not conspiratorially, but functionally. Causes for such are easier to process, because there is typically greater documentation of, and testimony about, the facets of life have typically been the focus of investigation for sanctity. Diocese and religious orders are better able to assemble and retain and put forth such documentation and testimony. We should accept that, for centuries, the heroic virtue of married people was suspect among those who took obligations of celibate continence – one of the more dubious inheritances from aggressive interpretations of St Augustine (not his fault directly), whereby any marital act was considered liable to taint of concupicense – and the processes that grew up in this climate were not designed to counter this contextual suspicion.
Do you really believe this is how God works? Saints of God are beyond the workings of Augustine or his descendants. Your brain has spoken now what does your heart say?
The making of a saint is a work of God’s grace.
The workings of the canonization process are not entirely informed by grace from soup to nuts, but a process informed by human strengths and weaknesses. It serves the Church and God poorly to pretend otherwise.
That’s my heart speaking, not my brain, btw. My faith loves the Church, not in spite of her human flaws, but including them. And that’s how Christ died for us. Seems like the right pattern for faith, hope and love.
Liam, I’m sorry to be so naive. I read too much St. Therese of L9sieux.
The “I’m sorry I am too pious for you” rhetorical gambit is not a very pious one.
You asked for the reaction of my heart. I gave it to you. You don’t have to agree with it any more than I agree with yours, but please do Piety a favor and don’t use it as a cloak for mere disagreement.
My reference to St. T. was my idea of humor – she was child-like and I was naive. No cloaking involved. No piety.
I’m aware of the canonization process. It has its purpose. I trust it. However, I stand firm in saying, we pray for the cause of canonization.
My heart says that God is waiting for the Catholic Church to recognize St. Martin Luther King, Jr., among others, and that the rest of this is nonsense.
Making Saints by Kenneth Woodward gives some good insight into the saint-making process, including an interesting discussion of the causes of both Cardinal Newman and Archbishop Romero.
It reveals the “politics” behind much of the process.
Interestingly Pope John Paul II wanted more married saints. He also had the episcopal conferences of the world send in the names of “martyrs” for the celebration of the millennium. I don’t know how many on this list were lay people but, if I remember correctly, some non-Catholics appeared. I think maybe even Martin Luther King, Jr., may have been mentioned. (Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t have the resources to check this here in Honduras.)
The question for me is when will the Vatican recognize Archbishop Romero of El Salvador who is, for many people already, San Romero de las Americas.
As much as one can appreciate the sentiment and even argument, the scrutiny of the Church’s protocols as I currently understand them, exist for precisely individual souls such as Dr. King’s, and mine as well. Unless contravened by officials on a higher pay grade than ours.
But if drMLKjr should be so acclaimed, then I’ll advance an exponentially weirder proposal, canonize “Malcolm X,” true Muslim, while we’re at it. They were both God’s men, tho’ fatally flawed, as am I.
The most of me gets the communion of saints, and it’s righteous and true. But the part where the historical (his-story) church acclaims “St. Somebody” is muddled and muddied enough so that I’m comfortable just regarding that calendar and litany as I do those who receive “Honorary Doctorates.” Think about that. Some and many fools have PhD’s after their names. Others have Hon. Doc after theirs, and in their number are both fools and geniuses as well. Do we need to count them?
You know lay folks can’t be saints easily. After all, they do that (yuck) sex stuff and all.
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