Can canonisation raise one from hell?

Might be a silly question, but…

Given that:
*]We don’t know the state of anyone’s soul at death, and
*]Anyone with an unforgiven mortal sin at death is going to hell, and
*]The Church has the power to “bind and loose”, and
*]Anything bound on earth will be bound in heaven,

is it possible that the Church might occasionally canonise someone who is in hell? In that case, would the canonisation raise them to heaven?

Pax Christi!

No, canonization does not raise anyone out of hell, or place someone in Heaven. It merely declares, infallibly, to the Church Militant (those alive in the world- you and me) that so-and-so is already in Heaven. It does not place the soul there.

Binding and loosing only applies to souls in this life. Never to souls passed on and judged. No one can do anything for the damned.

Souls in Purgatory can be aided by the prayers and sacrifices of the Church Militant, but those souls are not in hell; they are on their way to Eternal Joy anyway. We simply aid them on their journey.

The damned are, unfortunately, always damned.

God bless.

But part of the canonisation process requires proving that the person performed a miracle when someone prayed for their intercession. I can’t imagine it’s possible to perform miracles if you’re stuck in hell. So arguably if a person fulfils the miracle criteria then it’s proving they are in heaven.

Canonization illuminates us to what already is (that a person is in Heaven praying for us); it doesn’t create anything.

Canonization illuminates us to what already is (that a person is in Heaven praying for us); it doesn’t create anything. If you’re in the dark and you shine a flashlight on a tree, it doesn’t mean that the flashlight created the tree.

Canonization is an acknowledgment that someone is in heaven. It does not move a person who died in mortal sin from hell to heaven.

Cannoninzation is an affirmation that someone is fully alive in heaven. It has nothing to do with hell which is final. It affirms that the person had lived a holy life by investigation. Being in hell or going to hell in final. someone isn’t rescued from hell by this process. This is misplaced thinking and quotation of scripture.

I think your definition of the binding and loosening power of the Church is far too broad. As I understand it, this only extends to the Church’s ability to alter disciplines while it seems to me that your definition allows the church to alter objective reality at her whim. This is something that even the Church does not say about herself, otherwise all her pontificating about the impossibility of female ordination would be false. Think about it for a minute. If something the Church did actually caused something that normally is in the purview of God Almighty, then the Church would really be forcing God’s hand which would be impossible to do to an omnipotent deity. If the Church could reverse the particular judgement of God on a soul posthumously, then it would follow that she could reverse the Savior’s design of an all-male priesthood, downright abolish a particular sacrament, change the matter of baptism from water to mud… the sky is the limit.

This would also call into question every dogma of the Church and give credence to an oft given critique of the Church: that the Church creates dogmata out of whole cloth rather than recognizes or defines dogmata as true statements whose truthfulness are independent of the definition of the dogmata! Is the Blessed Virgin Mary immaculately conceived because the Church defined her to be so (i.e. was she retroactively made immaculately conceived after previously not being immaculately conceived) or did the Church merely recognize that Mary had always been immaculately conceived?

Still having trouble with this one. How are these two statements taught by the church reconcilable?

  1. No one knows the state of anyone’s soul at death.
  2. The Catholic Church can infallibly declare the state of one’s soul by the process of canonisation.

The first statement is true in general; it is not meant to be applied absolutely, otherwise we would have to doubt the state of the souls of infants who have been baptized. It is more of a guide; we do not know absolutely the state of a soul at the moment of death; appearances can be, and often are, deceiving.

After the requisite miracles that are necessary for one to be canonized, the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, declares that a certain person is in Heaven. God sometimes gives us good grounds for hoping that a particular person had a good death e.g. they made a humble confession and shed tears of contrition; a pious soul had a revelation that so-and-so is in Purgatory etc.

I hope this helps.

God bless.

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