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Are Canonizations Infallible? Yes and No

The discussion around the infallibility of canonizations comes up from time to time, and with the approaching canonizations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII we see it naturally being revisited.

Particularly with the lives of Popes, there is always elements of the exercise of the Office or personality that people can reasonably critique. This is true of everyone, but more so with such prominent public figures.

I will not go into the details of any of these criticisms for the above mentioned as any such thing is debatable at best and tangential to my point.

The question is whether canonization is an infallible act and if so, how can it be that people who did questionable things and perhaps even have exercised demonstrably poor judgment be canonized. It is a good question. I think I have an answer.

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19 comments:

Patrick Archbold said...

I believe it is held by the Magisterium that an infallible pronouncement is still infallible, even if the supporting information used to come to that conclusion is later discovered to be inaccurate. In which case, the Holy Ghost would prevent the pronouncement itself from being infallibly declared if it was itself in error.
Although, I'm not a fan of the relaxed canonization process and the rush to canonize all the recent pontiffs, I would think the same principle would apply to canonizations. If later on, the miracle used to support the canonization process was discovered to be a hoax, or a secret scandalous act by the person was uncovered, it would not change the reality that the person in question is in heaven and a saint.
Or perhaps that wishful thinking on my end to presume the Holy Ghost to intervene in cases to prevent a serious error.

Patrick Archbold said...

Taken as read, she could have put the child up for adoption where the waiting list is a quarter mile long. But where is the man who provided the DNA? Was he a sleezy perv who got a one night stand? A jilted ex? Who was he and why have we omitted men from the equation. Because the "we can do it on our own' women are now wondering where the man is. I dont know the story, but I know the social narrative that men have been marginalized as fathers through feminism and for not standing up for their roles with chastity and dignity. Its a failure by all involved.
I know. How about realizing that women have babies. Its a huge undertaking and nothing is more noble or selfless. AND men work, toil, sweat, provide and so everytthing possible to ensure th environment is optimum or at least the best they can to permit the raising of children. Yes variations exist, but as long as we know the overall objective, stories like these are minimized.

Patrick Archbold said...

Thank You!
The distorted "disposable human" mindset and behavioral algorithms.
"A failed society".
Praying for both.

Patrick Archbold said...

There also seems to be an subtext of women being too emotional and timid to be responsible for anything: "a young woman — isolated, afraid, depressed" and "vulnerable." Do we often hear people making excuses for male criminals because they're overcome by emotion? So men and women are equal, except that women are more vulnerable and timid than men? If you say so...


Also the "quickly rushed to trial" comment is odd. A speedy trial is a right guaranteed by the US constitution. Would they have preferred it drag on for years before finally coming to a decision, especially if she was found innocent at the end?

Patrick Archbold said...

There is a great homily on Romans10Seventeen.org that directly deals with this topic, titled "It is Really Not So Hard to Become a Saint."
The specific issue of canonized saints and infallibility starts at the 7:25 mark but the whole homily is excellent. (As are all the homilies on Rom.10:17.)

http://www.romans10seventeen.org/audio-files/20131101-It-Is-Really-Not-So-Hard-to-Become-a-Saint.mp3

Based on this homily (which cites the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia and various Doctors of the Church, as well as the actual documents of Canonization), I don't think heroic virtue is necessary for canonization, nor does canonization imply a life of heroic virtue.

I strongly encourage everyone to take the time to listen to the homily.

Patrick Archbold said...

"He is free to roam the streets with no cares, responsibilities or consequences for his actions —" In other words, demonstrating who the contraceptive/abortion mentality benefits the most.

Her real crime was that she didn't go someplace where, minutes before birth, someone could run a pair of scissors into the child's brain. After all, a baby really wouldn't have been killed then and the whole thing would be moot.

Patrick Archbold said...

I had the same thought. Would the commenters have been so sympathetic if someone killed their child?
Horrible. There was help but she ignored it.

Patrick Archbold said...

It will just get worse when Hillary Rodham Clinton is our next president... thanks, surely to the "catholic" voters... Lord have mercy on us all.

Patrick Archbold said...

Yes, women have babies. That is a biological necessity, considering that men do not possess the required organs to pull it off. Regardless of the fact the only women can give birth, both men AND women are completely physically equipped to work, toil, sweat and provide for their children. The fact that some women choose to commit heinous crimes to their newborn children should provide them with no more sympathy than a drug addition who kills a store clerk during a robbery.

Patrick Archbold said...

Women of weak character, or those who believe they are mistakenly stuck in a loop of 1950s morality may be too emotional. For the most part, that's just a lot of bunk thrown around by defense attorneys. The excuse for male criminals is being "hotheaded" or "blinded by rage". Well, they can all cry for each other......in jail...where they belong.

Patrick Archbold said...

"There are many rooms in my Father's house."

Patrick Archbold said...

She will be out in six years. Peter Singer teaches at Princeton that if you do not want to be a parent you may kill your child for up to six years.

Patrick Archbold said...

Well I guess if I ever get blessed by a voo doo priestess, tell others it was cool, and never retract that, I'll be good to go to heaven and be declared a saint. Phew, that's a load off my mind!

Patrick Archbold said...

I wonder if these letters would be the same if she had murdered a homosexual.

Patrick Archbold said...

Does he really say that? I thought it was 6 months.

Patrick Archbold said...

If you refer to what I think you're referring to, that was not a voodoo priestess. Not all customs from outside the West are contrary to the Faith, you know.

Patrick Archbold said...

There are many examples to choose from.

Patrick Archbold said...

In some orders daily prayers are said for the souls of all of the departed abbots and superiors. In Europe this can be quite a list as some convents and monasteries are hundreds of years old. The idea is that we don't know if these souls are still in need of our prayers.

With this in mind, I fully understand why Rome has such a difficult and lengthy process for canonization. Once the departed is canonized the obvious assumption is they are no longer in need of our prayers.

Patrick Archbold said...

She deserves to be punished, but I don't know that life in prison is the best solution. And though we don't know all the circumstances, most likely the father is just as bad as her and should be punished in the same manner.

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