[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. "
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.
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.