WHAT? The Church tells us who's in Heaven or not?


#1

I don’t know how or where I heard it but I could’ve sworn I heard it sometime on EWTN after Pope John Paul II died that the Church has the authority or something like that to tell us who is in Heaven, Purgatory, or who is right now in Purgatory and is on their way to Heaven…

I’m not sure if I heard that right and that’s why I’m asking…is that true? Wow! If that’s the case, the CC MUST be the TRUE Church Jesus meant!


#2

Paris, what you probably heard was that the Church with its Christ-given authority can say that a given person is in Heaven because of the life that person has led in union with Christ on earth - such as St. Mother Theresa, and now with the cause of sainthood for Pope John Paul II. This is what the process of canonization is all about.

What the Church cannot do is say who isn’t in Heaven.


#3

The church has the power to declare saints. That power sounds impressive, huh? Well not really, its less creating a saint and more giving them the title of saint because they already are one, and have proven it through miracles here on Earth have shown that they are in heaven.

It is God who decides who goes to heaven and hell, and it is he who knows their fate. If he reveals to us that particular brothers and sisters are there with him it is a very joyous occasion, but at the same time he ususally doesn’t tell us if people are in hell or purgatory. Even so I don’t know if Christ gave his church the ability to make such pronouncements. We, as people, arn’t to judge them, we could be there just as easily.

What is seen as power is really submission. A priest has so much power over a parish, but at the same time he has to feed the parish, be a servant of both his parishoners and his bishop. A bishop has such power, but he is responsible for the nuturing of millions of souls. He is a servant of him, and needs to be obidient to the pope. The pope must have ultimate power. In fact his power just is recognizing what God taught, nothing new, truth eternal. He is responsible to serve the whole church. All these people are servants of God, it is not them that are powerful, it is not the Church in and of itself that is powerful, it is God. He gives the gifts to feed his sheep, those who do not will have to face him.


#4

[quote=FCEGM]Paris, what you probably heard was that the Church with its Christ-given authority can say that a given person is in Heaven because of the life that person has led in union with Christ on earth - such as St. Mother Theresa, and now with the cause of sainthood for Pope John Paul II. This is what the process of canonization is all about.

What the Church cannot do is say who isn’t in Heaven.
[/quote]

Not to hijack, but Mother Theresa was canonized?!!! When?!!!


#5

[quote=CheesusPowerKid]Not to hijack, but Mother Theresa was canonized?!!! When?!!!
[/quote]

I second that motion. I knew it was in the works, but when/did it become official.

Eamon


#6

No Mother Teresa is Blessed Mother Teresa, We pray that the miracle/s needed will be soon for Bl Teresa to be canonised


#7

[quote=CreosMary]No Mother Teresa is Blessed Mother Teresa, We pray that the miracle/s needed will be soon for Bl Teresa to be canonised
[/quote]

See, that’s what I thought. Thanks for the clarification.

Eamon


#8

[quote=Paris Blues]I don’t know how or where I heard it but I could’ve sworn I heard it sometime on EWTN after Pope John Paul II died that the Church has the authority or something like that to tell us who is in Heaven, Purgatory, or who is right now in Purgatory and is on their way to Heaven…

I’m not sure if I heard that right and that’s why I’m asking…is that true? Wow! If that’s the case, the CC MUST be the TRUE Church Jesus meant!
[/quote]

Provided, of course, that one accepts:

[list]
*]that the Church does indeed have authority to do this
*]that such declarations are true
[/list]Which is indeed the case, for both statements.

There is a question about what is to be made of declarations of holiness by other Churches (translation: there is an ecumenical dimension to this subject :D). The Orthodox canonise, and so do Anglicans; as do (IIRC) Lutherans (I am not sure though) - St. John of Kronstadt is a well-known recent Orthodox Saint, and the Anglicans put to death with the 22 canonised martyrs of Uganda in 1885/6 appear in the Liturgical Calendar of the Church of England.

At least in the case of the two Protestant Churches, no claim to infallibility seems to be implied. ##


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.