Does refusing to pray to saints amount to separation of the Body of Christ?


For many non-Catholics, there is a strong refusal to pray for saints’ intercession for a variety of reasons, especially seen in other forums. Since we are members of the same Body as those in heaven. Does not this insistence actually put a separation between the earthly and heavenly saints?


I don’t think so.


Marco, I think it’s a question of refusal or preference. IOW, if, say, a Catholic prefers not to employ the intercession of a particular Saint, that Catholic (one hopes!) isn’t denying the authority of the Church to teach vis-a-vis the efficacy of doing so and fully supports those who do seek the intercession of the Saints. For a non-Catholic, the separation, or, better, that lack of full unity, arises from a definite refusal to do so because one denies the authority of the Church and her teaching in this regard and is thus out of full communion with the Church, thus with all who comprise the full Body.


I agree. What I mean is not someone who simply chooses not to, although they think it’s ok. I mean someone who actively denies it as a possibility, maybe even calls it sinful.


Gotcha, Marco; unfortunately, we see a lot of this denial around here. So, while they are not fully separated from the Church because of this denial, their very denial keeps them from coming into fuller and more fruitful union with the Church. Besides their issue with the teaching authority of the Church, there is the further problem of a lack of understanding of the depth of Christ’s union with His People and thus the union His People have with each other in Him be they on earth or in Heaven.


**No, because they are not separated from Christ, the Head. To be united with the Head at all, is in some manner to be united with the Body; whether one intends or adverts to the latter or not. **

**Objecting to prayer to the Saints is entirely compatible with holding to God. The lesser type of communion is a result of the more important, which can flourish without it. Prayer to God is essential - that to the Saints is not; it’s a bonus, for God is well able to work without working through His Saints (or any other creature). We cannot survive without God - no creature is as necessary as that. **


I agree, but isn’t someone who actively denies the possibility of praying to saints unwittingly saying that we are not united with our heavenly brethren.


Not necessarily. The possibility could be - & is - denied for a variety of reasons:

*]the dead in Christ have no contact with those on earth
*]the soul dies with the body
*]contact between the living & the dead is not impossible, but it is sinful to seek it
*]Prayer to the dead is impossible because it implies that the dead are omniscient
*]Scripture does not prescribe such a practice among Christians, & it is forbidden for that reason[/LIST]There are sure to be other reasons for denying the possibility.

Of the reasons given, some are compatible, others not; in practice, the reasons against will depend on the doctrine of the body in question: for instance, SDAs do, but most Evangelical bodies do not, believe that soul & body die together.

Impossibility & possibility can be of more than one kind: something can be impossible in one way, but possible in some other way. An argument that prayer to the Saints is possible because it does not imply any communication of incommunicable Divine Attributes to creatures, won’t answer objections to the possibility based on prudential grounds or grounds derived from the Bible (such as the prohibition in Deuteronomy 18).

So it is a complex matter :slight_smile:


I think so, definitely. The eye is saying to the hand, I have no need of you. Denial does not make them less connected, though. We are one Body, and all members one of another. It wounds the Body, but does not change the facts. I notice that most evangelicals do not accept the Apostles’ Creed on the subject of the communion of saints.


That certainly supports what I am suggesting here. Although it sounds more deliberate than what I am suggesting. Kind of sad.


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