St. Uriel and Saintly Infallibility


So, I’m a Latin-rite cradle Catholic. It wasn’t until recently that I even knew about Eastern Catholics. I knew about the Orthodox Churches that were not in communion with Rome, but I had no idea that there were “other” types of Catholics.

Some time ago, I remember hearing (when being told about Papal Infallibility) that one of the few infallible teachings that we regularly see is when the Pope declares a Saint. I know that there was no Canonization process for the archangels, due to them being mentioned in Scripture as being in Heaven. The thing that gets me is this St. Uriel that the Orthodox Churches venerate. To my understanding, the Orthodox Churches have a longer Biblical Canon than we do. And the archangel Uriel is mentioned in one of those “extra” books.

I figured that the list (or litany, or whatever) for the Orthodox Churches are probably quite different than that of the Catholics’ due to Saints having been canonized on both sides since the split. I was then informed that the Catholic Church (at least the Latin part of the Catholic Church) had denounced veneration of Uriel, due to his biblical source being from a book that the Catholic Church considers apocryphal. Then recently, a Byzantine Catholic Church which I had ‘liked’ on Facebook made a post mentioning St. Uriel.

My question is this: if the recognition of an entity as a ‘Saint’ is infallible, and the Holy See has denounced the teaching that an entity is a Saint, and the Eastern Catholic Churches are loyal to the Holy See, how can they venerate a Saint, whether human or angelic, that is not recognized as such by the Holy See?

Please do not read this as an attack against Eastern Catholicism, instead, I hope to be educated on the subject. Perhaps I’m mistaken about one of my definitions?



There is a Catholic cathedral in Manila in the Philippines that is a shrine to all 7 Archangels and displays named statues of all of them, including St. Uriel and three other in addition to Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

Since this is an old and somewhat prominent cathedral (former President Marcos was married to his wife Imelda there), I get the impression that the Holy See is not too worried about devotions to St. Uriel these days. I’m pretty sure I have seen a statue of him in an old Catholic church somewhere in Europe too.

Edited to add, closeup of the St. Uriel statue,_Manila.jpg


Not to change the topic, but Eastern Catholics traditionally use the Biblical Canon of their Orthodox or Assyrian sister Church, not the same Canon as Latins – and the Church universal has no issue with that.


I think you are bringing together two separate issues. Yes (as far as I understand) the canonization of a saint is infallible. However, the Church warning believers to not recognize a particular angel, may be more a matter of discipline than an infallible “teaching”. Therefore an individual or community who venerates the “false” angle, is not necessarily contradicting a dogma or doctrine, but is instead rejecting a church discipline…which is still serious, but not heretical.


Right, this is sort of like the decision to take St. Christopher off the calendar.
Some people think he never existed, but he has long been venerated as a Saint, even before the canonization process was formalized.

Anyway, everyone residing in heaven is a saint.
Your grandparents may be saints. Are they on holy cards? Likely not.
But they are in the communion of saints nonetheless.


It is my understanding that Uriel is venerated by Byzantine Catholics and Uriel is mentioned on November 8, Synaxis of the Holy Angels feast day.
Hopefully, some Byzantine Catholics will comment and correct errors.


That is correct.


Important to remember and consider. Thanks for posting this.


I don’t think anyone said that he was not venerated.
The thread is about which rites consider him a Saint and how they arrived at that.

As was said earlier, the prohibition of venerating those not mentioned by name in the Canon was due to a trend of “angel” worship in a past century. If you read the link.


I was just making a comment, specifically about the Synaxia of The Holy Angels feast day. I understand what the thread is about.


Okay, this leads me to another sticking point. The Latin Church and the Eastern Churches have different canons? How is that possible? If we’re one Holy Catholic Church, then how can there be discrepancies between what the individual rites consider the inspired word of God?


You have to remember that being in “communion” does not mean “all being the same”. Sameness is not “communion”. Eastern Catholic Churches have valid Liturgy, tradition, and theology that is specific to their own Rite.
You might not know this but, something else for you to consider is that in regards to Canon Law, the Eastern Catholic Churches have their own, the CCEO, The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (which has it’s problems, but I digress).

I’ve probably done a poor job in making this comment , but I thought I’d chime in.
Hopefully someone else will be more articulate in their answer, and will correct any errors I may have made.


There can be variances because the variances coexist from the beginning of the Church, without breaking Communion. We are not Biblical literalists/fundamentalists that rely on the letter of the Bible, but rely on the Church’s proper judgement. The same could be asked by a Liturgical fundamentalist - how can the Church have different Liturgies – she can because she has.



The Catholic Church is a communion of Churches; we share the same faith, although we express in differently due to where each of the Churches is from (cultural), therefore how we see God and relate to Him (our spirituality) is different and our Liturgy as well.

I think the same can be said for the Scriptures.

Hope that makes sense.


I’m confused too. Different liturgy and canon law is easy because the hierarchical Church has the power to adjust public worship and set laws. Scripture is the source for doctrine, so I don’t understand how a book can be simultaneously Sacred Scripture and not Sacred Scripture. If scripture exists within objective realities, how can a book not be doctrinally infallible for me but infallible for somebody else?

This obviously would have been successfully addressed a long time ago. Is there somebody here that can further explain this or link to something that does? I would be okay with a lengthy explanation if necessary.


I need more help.

How I am picturing this with my limited knowledge, is that for one person, X sacred text is infallible, and for another person, the same sacred text is not infallible. How can this be possible? It doesn’t parallel with two different liturgies in my mind.

Can somebody give a link to explain this, or just more thoroughly explain it themselves? It obviously would have been addressed when reunion took place.


The texts were not “fixed” until very recently in history, and even to this day there is diversity about the Patristic Traditions.


It doesn’t seem contrary to Catholic Faith to hold that there are some other texts which God inspired as He did the Latin canon. It also doesn’t seem to be an article of Faith that those texts are inspired - the only ones all Catholics must give assent to are the ones defined at Trent (remember that Luther was REMOVING texts).



So what you are saying, is that the canon defined at Trent is what Catholics must recognize as inspired, but this doesn’t exclude other texts from - in addition to the necessary canon - being used in the liturgy or published in certain editions of the Bible.

Is this correct?

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