Non-Catholic saints

Since non-Catholic Christians who are validly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church, albeit imperfectly - since they are members of the Mystical Body of Christ- would it eventually be possible for the Church to recognize and even canonize non-Catholic saints?

*** Unitatis Redintegratio***

“The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church-whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church-do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body,(21) and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.(22)”

I highly doubt that the RCC would canonize someone who was not in full communion with itself. In fact, and I could be wrong, but I think it is impossible to become a saint without being within the church perfectly. Then again, I could be wrong, since I am not Catholic.

If a person is a Saint, they’re Catholic by virtue of the fact that everyone in Heaven is Catholic, whether they were before they got there nor not.

That said, the Church cannot declare someone outside of the Church a Saint because they were not in full Communion with God’s will on Earth. A good example of this would be C.S. Lewis. I think that most people, Protestant and Catholic alike, agree that he is probably in Heaven due to to depth of love he had for our Lord; but since he wasn’t Catholic there’s always the possibility that he knowingly chose not to be (it being easier to stick with his Protestant faith than to make the switch), which would mean that he knowingly rejected the fullness of God’s will and was not in communion with God when he died. While I doubt this is the case, it’s enough reasonable doubt to mean that we cannot in good conscience declare him a saint.

I think personally that the Pope should canonize non-Catholic saints to show solidarity in healing the wounds of separation especially the canonizations of:
Saint Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd
Saint Susie Jackson
Saint Ethel Lee Lance
Saint Depayne Middleton-Doctor
Saint Clementa Pinckney
Saint Tywanza Sanders
Saint Daniel Simmons
Saint Sharonda Coleman-Singleton
Saint Myra Thompson

Just my own :twocents:

Do I hear an :amen:…

We don’t know what sort of faith life those individuals had. Furthermore, they were killed for being Black, nor for being Christian (unless something’s changed in the investigation), so they technically can’t be considered Christian Martyrs either.

There’s still the problem that they were not in full communion with God’s Church. We have no way of gauging their culpability for that, so we simply cannot claim that they were innocent (or guilty) for it, which means we could never canonize them.

keep in mind, declaring someone a saint isn’t just some earthly way of remembering someone, it’s am absolute declaration that they are in Heaven, with God, and that they lived lives (or, at least died) in exemplary Christian fashion. The saints provide examples of how we should live our lives, and how to put God above all else. While I certainly hope that those individuals are with God, we simply cannot hold them as saints simply because they were killed in a place of worship.

“Everyone in heaven is Catholic?” How is that different from, say, the Mormon practice of retroactively “baptizing” the dead? Among other things, such a statement would seem to do violence to the memory of the 6,000,000 Holocaust victims - in effect saying to the Jewish community “Hey - they’re OURS now.” How does such a viewpoint square with Nostra Aetate?

It’s not calming them as ours, it simply the result of everyone in Heaven being united with the will of God and in the fullness of his covenant with humanity. Since we, as Catholics, believe that Catholicism is the Earthly expression of this union with God’s will, it stands to reason that we would consider all souls in Heaven Catholic by virtue of being united with His Will.

I mean no insult by it; it’s not like I’m saying they were somehow “lesser” for having been Jewish or whatever they were.

If a human person is in heaven, they are a Saint.

Unless they were God before, during and after becoming Human, then they would be God, regardless of location. (There isn’t a Saint Jesus, assuming He is in Heaven, per what has been revealed)

Certainly there are persons who were Non-Catholics on Earth, living in God’s light in Heaven. Considering some specific teachings, the martyrs in the ME these days seem to qualify. Being tortured and killed so others might live is a truth that seems to be pretty close to Jesus’ heart.

The robust process through which human persons can officially be called Saints by those still living in time, on Earth, doesn’t dictate where someone is located after death.

To name a Saint for us Earth dwelling folks to look up to, and learn about is a slow process. In order to ensure that any intercession (miracle) is the Will of God. Thus giving confidence on the location of the person being in Heaven.

I guess one could say the process is a defense for Church leadership so they don’t error on naming a saint who might be in Hell.

Everyone in heaven is Catholic? A bit presumtive, in my opinion. ‘In my Father’s house, there are many rooms.’ John 14:2

I might find it a bit more sanctifying to visit a bit with those Holocaust martyrs, quite actually.

All it means is that all who are saved are saved in and through Christ and his Church, since the Church is God’s sacrament of salvation in the world–that includes non-Catholic Chrisitans and non-Christians alike, for Christ’s redemption was for all humanity, not simply for those who know his name. The Church tells us how this can be in the CCC #817 - 819: # 846 - 848.

I might find it a bit more sanctifying to visit a bit with those Holocaust martyrs, quite actually.

Certainly you might, :slight_smile: but no one gains heaven merely for having been killed for his ethnicity. Millions of people have been killed for that reason down through the centuries, but that doesn’t guarantee any of them salvation.

Well, at least non-Catholics can be recognised as martyrs of the faith, the Pope says:

I think there may be a sense in which some non-Catholics are already recognized as saints. St. Herman of Alaska was an Orthodox missionary to Alaska in 1794 A.D., and I think his feast day is celebrated by the Eastern Catholic Churches with approval from Rome. Unless I’ve missed something, that at least counts as equivalent beatification, and if that’s true then I think it would follow that St. Herman is in heaven and is a saint. The same is true, I think, for several other Orthodox saints.

I’m sure they can be. :slight_smile: But that’s not the same thing as being declared a saint. The process of canonization is long, tedious, invasive, and intense. There are stages beginning with Servant of God, to Venerable, to Blessed to Saint. Besides this, nothing the person has said/written (upon conversion for those who were once outside the Church) can be contradictory to Church teaching. Added to this is the fact that many, if not most other Christian bodies would find it hubris for the Catholic Church to investigate one of their own to the degree required of one of our own people. It’s not as simple as saying that we think they deserve to be added to the canon of saints. People like Corrie ten Boom or Dietrich Bonhoeffer would be worthy candidates, I’m sure, but since they weren’t Catholic their lives can’t be investigated for sainthood, nor would their Christian bodies desire it.

What about saints who lived before the establishment of the Catholic church?

I don’t think that the Catholic Church will ever do that. As others have said they are not in full communion with the church. Also the church needs a level of certainty that that person is in heaven. If the person is not in full communion with the church then we just don’t know and the church cannot canonize someone over who they have a doubt.

There are no saints before the establishment of the catholic church. The first saint was the good thief who was basically declared Saint by Jesus himself. All the other saints came after.

NO, because it is impossible. They probably would object to it anyway. It’s not “easy” for a Catholic to become Canonized. God Bless, Memaw

Well, that’s not exactly how it is. :slight_smile: The Church recognizes the partriachs and prophets of the OT as saints, and many are listed in the Church’s canon and hagiography.

The persons of the OT are Patriarchs as you well said but they are not declared Saints. We don’t have Saint Abraham or Saint Moses. Them and the other fathers of the OT are Patriarchs but not Saints. When they died the doors of Heaven were close to them so they could not enter heaven. They had to wait until Jesus opened the doors of heaven. The good thief is the first saint because he was the first who after death entered to heaven right with Jesus.

Though now that I think about it Saint Joseph died before Jesus and I have never read anything with regard as to him waiting with the other patriarchs :hmmm: but I guess saint Joseph cannot be considered the same as other Patriarchs because he died with Jesus right at his side which would made a huge difference.

I’m sorry but your wrong about that. :slight_smile: They are St. Abraham and St. Moses. They are in heaven because Jesus opened the gates to them. Remember both St. Elijah (celebrated especially in the Eastern Churches and by the Carmelites) and St. Moses appeared with Jesus at his transfiguration. Eternity doesn’t have a time table. We can only speak that way because we are limited in time, but they are there in eternity, and they are saints.

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