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From Protestant Old Paths

The definition of canonization is given as "The act of admitting a deceased person into the canon of the saints. The RC Church has an elaborate procedure for a person to be canonized. Vatican City published the canonical procedure on September 12th, 1997.

The actual procedure was laid down by Pope John Paul II in the Apostolic Constitution 'Divinus Perfectionist Magister', promulgated on January 25, 1983. It is instructive to understand the elaborate procedure and see how completely it is at odds with Holy Writ. It is my intention to publish the whole rigmarole and then consider what the Word of God has to say about who the saints are and why they are called saints.

  1. "To begin a cause it is necessary for at least five years to have passed since the death of the candidate. This is to allow greater balance and objectivity in evaluating the case and to let the emotions of the moment to dissipate.

  2. The bishop of the diocese in which the person whose beatification is being requested is responsible for the beginning of the investigation. The promoter group ('Actor Causae'); diocese, parish, religious congregation, association, asks the bishop through the postulator for the opening of the investigation. The bishop, once the 'nulla osta' (an official declaration not to be against something or someone) of the Holy See is obtained, forms a diocesan tribunal for this purpose. Witnesses are called before the tribunal to recount concrete facts on the exercise of Christian virtues considered heroic, that is, the theological virtues; faith, hope, charity, and the cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude, and others specific to his status in life. In addition, all documents regarding the candidate must be gathered. At this point he is entitled to the title Servant of God.

  3. Once the diocesan investigation is finished, the documentation is passed on to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The public document for further work is put together there. The postulator (Person who represents plea for beatification), resident in Rome, follows the preparation of the 'Posito' (to put forward the factual basis for argument), or summary of the documentation that proves the heroic exercise of virtue, under the direction of a relator of the Congregation. The 'Posito' undergoes an examination (theological) by nine theologians who give their vote. If the majority of theologians are in favour, the cause is passed for examination by cardinals and bishops who are members of the congregation. They hold meetings twice a month. If the judgement is favourable, the prefect of the congregation presents the results of the entire course of the cause to the Holy Father (Pope), who gives his approval and authorises the congregation to draft the relative decree. The promulgation and publishing of the decree follows.

  4. For the beatification of a confessor a miracle attributed to the Servant of God, verified after his death, is necessary, The required miracle must be proven through the appropriate canonical investigation, following a procedure analogous to that for heroic virtues. This one too is concluded with the relative decree. Once the two decrees are promulgated (regarding heroic virtues and the miracle), the Holy Father decides on beatification, which is the concession of public worship, limited to a particular sphere. With beatification the candidate receives the title of Blessed.

  5. For canonization another miracle is needed, attributed to the intercession of the Blessed having occurred after his beatification. The methods for ascertainment of the affirmed miracle are the same as those followed for beatification. Canonization is understood as the concession of public worship in the Universal Church. Pontifical infallibility is involved. With canonization, the Blessed acquires the title of Saint."

From the above a number of issues need to be considered. Firstly, the person is made a saint because of their works. Secondly, this is confirmed by at least two miracles after they are dead; one as a result of somebody praying to him/her, and the other, after beatification, as a result of the intercession of the person beatified. Thirdly, it is the RC Church that decides who is and isn't a saint. Fourthly, it has to have the "Holy Father's" approval and, according to the document, his "infallibility is involved." Let us then consider these four points from a Biblical perspective.

  1. According to the Scriptures, saints are those who have repented of their sins and have sought and received forgiveness from the Lord Jesus Christ. They are not saints by virtue of their works but by virtue of their faith in the once and for all sacrifice of Christ upon the cross and his imputed righteousness. Hence all believers in the Bible are addressed as saints.

  2. Biblical saints are saints before they die. Their sainthood does not depend on any miracle. Should God be pleased to perform a miracle in answer to prayer, it is not because of any good in the individual.

  3. Thirdly, it is not the Church's prerogative, that is the true Church, to canonize anybody. One of the outstanding characteristics of the RC Church is its usurpation of that which belongs to God alone. This is especially true of the Pope. How well Paul, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, describe the claims of the papacy then future. "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." 2 Thessalonians 2 v4.

  4. If papal infallibility is involved, why the necessity of the prolonged procedures? Why can't the pope, using his infallibility, declare all would be saints to be saints without all the palaver?

The whole thing is a devilish charade which deceives millions, including so-called Evangelicals. Why do they join forces with the Harlot Church when that church's teaching is clean contrary to the Word of God? If they profess to "Love Jesus" as they claim, then they should honour His Word and hate everything that is contrary to that Word. The prophet Isaiah could well have been referring of such people when he declared; "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:" Isaiah 29 v 13. It simply does not add up that those who say they believe the Bible can fellowship with and call them brother who by precept and action teach doctrine of devils.

If anybody wants further information on canonization Roman style go to their web sites.

Pastor David Carson


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