Saints in Orthodox & Anglican communions

A few questions I have:

1 I understand the autocephalous churches in the Orthodox communion declares their own saints. Are these saints automatically transferred to the other Churches? Are there saints canonised by one Church and rejected by another? How would the Orthodox Churches outside of the Russian Orthodox Church then see Nicholas II, who seems to be canonised largely on political grounds.

2 Why did the Orthodox Church canonise Constantine when he was baptised by an Arian? Is it true that Byzantine Catholics also revere him as a saint?

3 I remember some time back (1994 or 1995?) somebody in the Anglican Church wanted to expand the list of saints. What became of it? The list included non-controversial ones like Francis of Assisi and controversial (to my eyes at least) ones like Ignatius of Loyola - how do you justify accepting someone as a saint when he explicitly rejected being in communion with you?[/LIST]

It is true that St. Constantine, Equal to the Apostles, is revered by Byzantine Catholics

But not in the Western Church. Does this mean we have different list of saints in East and West?

Also, how does the Church justify including Constantine when he was baptised by a bishop understood to be holding non-orthodox views?

Yes, we do have different lists of Saints. As to your last question, I don’t think the Church ever considers at whose hands someone received baptism when considering whether or not to canonize him/her.

Thanks, RyanBlack. I guess the baptism by Eusebius was an expediency, being at his death-bed and the Church was charitable enough to assume the orthodoxy that was in his mind at that point in time.

In that case, why did the Western Church not revere him, considering the pivotal role he played even in the West?

I presume when the Eastern Churches rejoined Rome, they came in with their own list of saints. Are these lists subsequently vetted by Rome and, if so, were there any saints that were dropped?

When the Pope canonise a new saint, does it go automatically into the lists in each Eastern Churches or is there a parallel process to accept the new saint?

When the Vatican last ‘trimmed’ the list of saints (eg., St Christopher), was that only for the Western list only or for the Eastern list as well?

Generally there is mutual recognition of canonized saints. I’m not sure if there is a formal process, but, for example, the Patron Saint of my Church (canonized by the Orthodox Church in America about 30 years ago) appears on the Greek Calendar. Likewise, St. Nicholas of Russia is accepted as a saint (an interesting side note to that, all those who died with him were also canonized as Passion Bearers, including one Roman Catholic)

2 Why did the Orthodox Church canonise Constantine when he was baptised by an Arian? Is it true that Byzantine Catholics also revere him as a saint?

We are not responsible for the sins, or erroneous beliefs of those who baptize us. Yes St. Constantine did seem to have Arian leanings, but he did accept the conclusions of the Council of Nicea on the matter (it was his eldest son who created problems for the church).

Thanks, you mean his family was also canonised?

I presume parishes can only take on the name of the saint in the list of the local church.

In Asia, we say that the third generation will lose the family fortune. Yes, his son did create a lot of problems, not just for the Church. He lost the fortune of Christian wealth & understanding which his grandparents nurtured and his father made great.

Family and loyal servants who were with them in exile.

I presume parishes can only take on the name of the saint in the list of the local church.

I presume so, but as I said, saints from other Churches are generally added to those lists without much question.

In Asia, we say that the third generation will lose the family fortune. Yes, his son did create a lot of problems, not just for the Church. He lost the fortune of Christian wealth & understanding which his grandparents nurtured and his father made great.

Constantius II was one of many bad Christian rulers who would try to exert power over the Church. I’m not sure he really lost the fortune of Christian wealth and understanding, after all it was during his reign that the Cappadochian Fathers rose to prominence.
His son, Julian, was worse and even he could not undo what his grandfather did.

There is no mechanism to “reject” a Saint. “Canonization” is simply the process of allowing, under Canon Law, the public veneration of a Saint.

If one autonomous church canonized a Saint, it simply means that Saint has a public feast day. Members of other Orthodox, are free to privately venerate the Saint, and to petition for public veneration in their home church too.

In fact, any person known to have lived a holy life may be privately venerated… that’s how Saints become nominated for public veneration!

Baptism, with proper form, is valid and it does not matter who performs the baptism.

Your question about Nicholas II. Do you not think that in the Catholic Church that people have been canonised for political reasons?

I accept what you say.

Doing some research today, there are apparently over 10000 named saints throughout the Catholic Church but no one seems to have completed a definitive head-count. Any surprise that there will be skeletons somewhere? So far, I think we have cleaned up our calendar and at least on our calendar, we have people who were canonised for ostensibly religious reasons, conspiracy theories notwithstanding.

From what I understand from Orthodox members is that there is no formal canonization process like in the Roman Catholic Church. It is generally history and popular acclimation that eventually leads to people becoming saints. Even for Czar Nicholas II, many Russian Orthodox had already considered him a martyr of the faith during the Communist Revolution. It was perhaps inevitable that once the USSR fell, that a free Russian Orthodox Church would canonize him. Although I don’t know how “politically motivated” it was - Nicholas II was a pious Christian and died as a martyr.

Same would go for Alexander Solzhenitsyn. His original offense was speaking against the deification of the current despot. He he wrote many pages about the persecution of religious people.

In Orthodoxy Saints are glorified and not canonized. The difference is wide. In Orthodoxy the recognition of Saints comes from the ground up when people start having devotion to a local, eventually the devotion spreads widely and expand to national churches. But not all churches celebrate exactly the same Saints. There are Russian Saints, Greek Saints and Arab saints.

In Rome the process is different. Saints are canonized from the top down, with a complex process that involves Devils advocates, a number of miracles required and a lot of research into the life of the potential Saint.

With Anglican/Episcopal who knows. They just add people to the calendar without canonization or glorification. There are two catagories of Saints in Anglicanism, the red letter Saints and the black letter saints. Red letter Saints are mostly people mentioned in the bible, while black letter saints can literally include anyone like Florence Nightingale and Martin Luther King.

This is my understanding.

To expand on your point, I believe that bishops can bless the local glorification of saints not yet glorified by the particular church. For example, St. Eugene Rodionov has not been officially glorified by the Russian Church, but he has been locally glorified by bishops within the Russian Church and (two, I think) churches have been constructed in his name. I believe he’s mentioned during the liturgy on his feast day(s) by those parishes that venerate him.

Beyond that, generally the church’s synod will announce church-wide glorification, and often other churches will add them to their registry of saints. I’m not sure of any saints actually rejected outright by other churches, although I’m sure there’s at least some even if locally.

In Rome the process is different. Saints are canonized from the top down, with a complex process that involves Devils advocates, a number of miracles required and a lot of research into the life of the potential Saint.

IIRC, Rome got rid of the Devil’s advocate a while back.

To expand on this point, this does not mean that (for example) the status of a person’s glorification in the Greek church is “rejected” by the Russian or Arab church. Each local church simply chooses to focus its attention on its own saints.

There is no process of de-canonization to my understanding. They remove the name of the saint from the calendar, but that does not mean the person is no longer a saint.

But the top only becomes aware of the potential saint because of local veneration. It is initially bottom up, but then becomes top down.

Makes sense. :slight_smile:

Where are the Anglicans in this? No response? How about it GCK? I would love to know how people like MLK Jr, Florence Nightingale and King Charles the Ist got on the Anglican calendar.

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