Can non-Catholics be saints?


#1

During a discussion on the beautification procees of Pope John Paul II a catholic asked, " And why can’t a non-Catholic be a saint, too? Look at Martin Luther King and all those everyday Gentiles memorialized by trees at Yad Vashem. "

How about it folks? Why are only Catholics considered for sainthood?

Terri


#2

Speaking as a person who knows very little about the RCC’s teachings about that:

Because it is a process of the Catholic Church to recognize those who certainly went to Heaven. We may personally believe that some others received that positive judgment, but the Catholic Church does not, as an institution, bother itself with that matter.


#3

[quote=mom 07] And why can’t a non-Catholic be a saint, too? Look at Martin Luther King and all those everyday Gentiles memorialized by trees at Yad Vashem. "
[/quote]

Interesting question. The Church teaches that even those who lived prior to the incarnation, Moses, Abraham, Enoch, Noah, Elijah etc. could have been “Catholic” in the sense that the Catholic Church is the body of Christ in the world, and that they are indeed saints. I don’t know about MLK, not to say any thing bad about him, I really don’t know that much about his life, to me he was more interested in secular justice than a heavenly reward, I simply don’t know enough about him to comment.

[quote=CCC] God chooses Abraham
59 In order to gather together scattered humanity God calls Abram from his country, his kindred and his father’s house,16 and makes him Abraham, that is, “the father of a multitude of nations”. "In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."17
60 The people descended from Abraham would be the trustee of the promise made to the patriarchs, the chosen people, called to prepare for that day when God would gather all his children into the unity of the Church.18 They would be the root on to which the Gentiles would be grafted, once they came to believe.19
61 The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the Church’s liturgical traditions.
[/quote]

Even though there was no “Catholic Church” in the world there has always been Jesus, so there has always been a mystical “Catholic Church” in heaven. But what of those after the incarnation… hmmm… I suppose technically anyone who is a saint is actually Catholic, even if he doesn’t identify with the Catholic Church, I’m thinking of people who haven’t heard the Word and accepted it.


#4

There are saints and then there are Saints. All christians who die and enter into heaven are saints. Those the church canonize are Saints.

So to answer your question, it is possible (even if remotely) according to Church teachings for a non-Catholic to be a saint. However it is very unlikely that such a person would ever be canonized and named as a Saint.


#5

As Jerusha points out, the Catholic Church doesn’t say who is not a saint, they simply recognize those they are sure are saints. I doubt they would seriously investigate a non Catholic. That doesn’t mean the person is not a saint in heaven, but why would the Church bother investigating them?


#6

[quote=mom 07]During a discussion on the beautification procees of Pope John Paul II a catholic asked, " And why can’t a non-Catholic be a saint, too? Look at Martin Luther King and all those everyday Gentiles memorialized by trees at Yad Vashem. "

How about it folks? Why are only Catholics considered for sainthood?

Terri
[/quote]

The Church has always taught that even non-Catholics can be Saints. Saints are people in heaven and purgatory who can pray on our behalf. However, since salvation can not be attained outside the Mystical Body of Christ which is the Church, we can not canonize people outside the physical Church on Earth. The Church has to be certain that the person is in Heaven. Since, people of other religions are in schism, heresy, or apostacy from the physical Church their salvation is in jeopardy. So, it is a matter of making sure the person is in Heaven. Even Catholics have to perform miracles after death in order to be considered for sainthood, which is the case for Pope John Paul II.


#7

[quote=Roman_Army]** Even Catholics have to perform miracles after death in order to be considered for sainthood, which is the case for Pope John Paul II.**
[/quote]

Hmmm… Not to be overly picky but I don’t believe saints have to “perform miracles” after death (as if they had that power…) I believe the requirement is that miracles have to be performed by God and be attributed to the saint’s intercession in heaven.
In His love,
Rhonda


#8

[quote=Roman_Army]Even Catholics have to perform miracles after death in order to be considered for sainthood, which is the case for Pope John Paul II.
[/quote]

This is only required for canonization, for Sainthood, but is not necessary for sainthood. (Upper and lower case are important here just like Tradition and tradition, and Catholic and catholic.)


#9

A Saint by definition is someone who has practiced “heroic virtue” throughout their lives. In addition, multiple FIRST CLASS miracles MUST be associated through the person in question for them to be considered for the canonization process. Without this process, one cannot become a Saint.

Non-Catholics are not known to practice heroic virtue as we see Catholic Saints always have in the wrtings of the Saints. And FIRST CLASS miracles are never associated with non-Catholics historically, hence the reasons why you will never see non-Catholic Saints.

Here is a page on my site which discusses "what is a Saint?"
protestanterrors.com/saints.htm

Thanks,
BH


#10

Hmmm…I seem to remember some African Anglicans martyred with some Catholics (in the 20th century) and the whole bunch are canonized. Could be wrong but that is my memory so i’ll stick with it. (or Perhaps they are only beatified?)


#11

Buddha was apparently made a Roman Catholic saint in the Middle Ages.

Interestingly enough, Jesus is apparently a Buddhist saint among what is left of the Tibetan Buddhists. They call him “St. Issa.”


#12

It is not considered martyrdom by the Church if someone dies for a false belief or false church (i.e. Anglican) even if it appears the person died for Christ.

Also, if someone is legitimately martyred, it does not mean they will necessarily be canonized by the Church either as the person’s background, writings, lifestyle, heroic virtues etc must still all be reviewed, in addition to first class miracles through the person before or after their death.

BH
protestanterrors.com

[quote=quasimodo]Hmmm…I seem to remember some African Anglicans martyred with some Catholics (in the 20th century) and the whole bunch are canonized. Could be wrong but that is my memory so i’ll stick with it. (or Perhaps they are only beatified?)
[/quote]


#13

Absolutely false.

[quote=BibleReader]Buddha was apparently made a Roman Catholic saint in the Middle Ages.

[/quote]


#14

It is really not the Church’s business to point out non-Catholics who may be in heaven.

Besides, when making examples of Saints, she is telling us of people who have lived as God intended. The ideal virtuousness.

Ideally, everyone would be Catholic…so she is only going to canonize Catholics.

She is not pointing out Heros of Humanism, but rather Heroes of Faith. And there is only One True Faith.

As for Martin Luther King, he wasn’t so holy. Again, a Humanistic Hero…but not a Holy Hero.


#15

[quote=batteddy]Bat Teddy’s post
[/quote]

What more needs to be said? Bat Teddy has given the perfect reply.


#16

can you prove this? show us the link

[quote=BibleReader]Buddha was apparently made a Roman Catholic saint in the Middle Ages.

Interestingly enough, Jesus is apparently a Buddhist saint among what is left of the Tibetan Buddhists. They call him “St. Issa.”
[/quote]


#17

I thought it was common knowledge that the figure of the Buddha (suitably transformed, of course) had become a Catholic saint. In any event, here are some links:

Jewish Encyclopedia

NewAdvent

As far as Jesus being a saint among Tibetan Buddhists, there’s still some debate about that. But it is clear that Jesus is held in fairly high esteem by many Buddhists (thanks in part to the person of Thomas Merton, who became good friends with the Dalai Lama).:smiley:


#18

[quote=bhlincoln]It is not considered martyrdom by the Church if someone dies for a false belief or false church (i.e. Anglican) even if it appears the person died for Christ.

Also, if someone is legitimately martyred, it does not mean they will necessarily be canonized by the Church either as the person’s background, writings, lifestyle, heroic virtues etc must still all be reviewed, in addition to first class miracles through the person before or after their death.

BH
protestanterrors.com
[/quote]

45 Ugandan martyrs…22 were Catholic, 22 were canonized … My memory was wrong apparently


#19

[quote=Ahimsa]I thought it was common knowledge that the figure of the Buddha (suitably transformed, of course) had become a Catholic saint. In any event, here are some links:

Jewish Encyclopedia

NewAdvent

D
[/quote]

The links you give in no way support … “common knowledge that the figure of the Buddha (suitably transformed, of course) had become a Catholic saint.”

So if you are being funny, then I must sing up for a funny bone implant. If you are serious, then you should sing up for a reading comprehension class. In any case, it is not true.


#20

[quote=quasimodo]The links you give in no way support … “common knowledge that the figure of the Buddha (suitably transformed, of course) had become a Catholic saint.”

So if you are being funny, then I must sing up for a funny bone implant. If you are serious, then you should sing up for a reading comprehension class. In any case, it is not true.
[/quote]

From the JewishEncyclopedia site, referring to Barlaam and Josaphat (the very first line):

A romantic tale under this title, giving extracts from the life of Buddha and some of his parables in Christian form, which has led to the adoption of the two titular heroes, as unofficial saints, into the calendar of the Catholic Church, thus making Buddha a saint of the Christian Church.

The story of the royal prince Siddhartha (otherwise known as the Buddha) and his enlightenment traveled from India into Europe, and became transformed into the story of an Indian king converting to Christianity and becoming a veritable saint.


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