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Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? #227823
03/22/07 01:11 PM
03/22/07 01:11 PM
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Dear Friends,

Is the RC system of canonization of saints outdated (and some even say "scandalous") in some respects?

There was a report given to Pope John Paul the Great about this suggesting that the large amounts of money needed to achieve a full canonical investigation into a saint's life and miracles etc. can mean that poorer countries aren't having their saints promoted as quickly as better off ones.

Also, some say that, more and more, the scientific investigation into purported miracles is becoming less "scientific" - the fact that there is no medical/scientific explanation of a person's cure TODAY does not mean that there can't be one in future etc. More and more scientists are refusing to cooperate with the Vatican in this venture as well.

What is wrong with the Orthodox way of canonizing saints?

Alex

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #227838
03/22/07 02:42 PM
03/22/07 02:42 PM
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I think part of the problem is that Pope John Paul II canonized everyone but the Vatican janitors. biggrin He canonized more saints than his predecessors did in hundreds of years. I believe he was somewhat responsible for making the canonization process more lenient. Also, the whole process seems to me to require less scrutiny of the "saint" than was true in previous times. If anything, I would like to see a return to a more careful analysis of the person's life and the requirement of more convincing evidence that the candidate is actually a saint worthy of canonization.

Last edited by byzanTN; 03/22/07 02:45 PM.
Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: byzanTN] #227848
03/22/07 03:37 PM
03/22/07 03:37 PM
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I found St. Fanourios's canonization interesting example. I think it is an awesome testimony to our love of Christ and his siants in the icons. The only thing known about him, was from a perfect icon when all else was burned to a crisp around it...

The flexibility of the Orthodox Church in its selection of saints is made evident in the canonization of a saint about whom next to nothing is known.

What litle there is remains shrouded in mystery, all of which makes this particular saint the most unique, certainly, in the annals of Christendom. His name is known, at least, but even if it were not, the same reverence could be accorded him because, like the unknown soldier at whose grave a wreath is placed annually, he lies in honored glory "known but to God."

This saint's name, however, is known. It happens to be Fanourios, which, though it may not be a household word, is much better
remembered by the faithful of Orthodoxy and the Eastern sector of Christianity than a good many more obscure saints whose biographies have been written in detail and who fill mere pages in Church literature than the mysterious Fanourios.

Fanourios has been revered as a saint (his feast day has been celebrated for more than 500 years) considerably longer than the lesser saints, and his name invoked in prayer quite possibly as often as some of the major saints. This is all the more remarkable when is is considered that it is not known when or where he was born, what he did in his lifetime, in what manner he served the Lord, or what he did for his fellowman. But there is mute testimony that he died the death of a martyr after having been horribly tortured, and in addition to mystery there is a aura of divine manifestation in the man whom nobody knows.

A fortuitous discovery by nomadic pagans, not Christians, brought to light this unheralded saint when a roving band of Arabs, who had pillaged the island of Rhodes uncovered amid the ruins of an ancient church a group of icons, among other artifacts. All of the icons were in a state of decay or near ruin with the exception of one, which appeared as new and as fresh as though it had been painted the day before. This icon was discarded by the Arabs, ;who failed to attach any importance to it. At a safe distance a group of monks hiding in the rubble observed this phenomenon and waited patiently until the Arabs had left the scene, whereupon they rushed to reclaim this fantastic image in its remarkable state of preservation.

They beheld a clearly outlined face of a saint with the name inscribed in what appeared to be fresh lettering that spelled out "Fanourios" and on closer examination fell on their knees at what they saw. Drawn about the saint were twelve distinct frames in each of which Fanourios was shown enduring a cruel form of torture in a realism that suggested the artist must have been witness to the atrocity. They rushed back to see if any of the other icons were in as perfect a state, but although they were all of the same basic design, size, and shape, all of them were quite ancient and quite indistinct. After careful scrutiny it was finally concluded that this icon of fanou4rios had, indeed , been one of a group that had been exhumed after untold centuries and that its freshness was a divine manifestation of the complete saintliness of this man about whom they were now determined to learn more.

But years of research, scanning the archives of centuries and questioning the leading authorities of the day, yielded nothing, and no more was known about Fanourios than the day on which his icon was snatched from the ruins of that ancient Greek church. The torture scenes of the icon provided no clues, and examination of which showed Fanourios being stoned, on the rack, being slashed, behind bars, standing before a judge, tied to a frame, being =burned with candles, tied to a post, thrown to wild animals, crushed by a boulder, holding hot coals, and a demon hovering against a background of flames. All of these horrors conveyed that Fanourios was an apparently indestructible instrument of God and that in itself was sufficient evidenced of his sainthood.

Archbishop Milos of Rhodes concluded that the unblemished icon itself was testimony enough to prove that Fanourios was a man of divine grace, and he petitioned the Patriarch to convene a synod which would officially proclaim Fanourios a saint,
after which there was erected in the saint's memory a cathedral which enshrined the holy icon/ Fanourios, lost for centuries in the ruins of a church, became the patron saint of things lost. To this day his name is invoked when prayers are asked for the recovery of things lost items. He is commemorated on August 27th, The day his icon was found.

http://www.saintfanourios.org/Bios.htm

Last edited by Pani Rose; 03/22/07 03:43 PM.
Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: Pani Rose] #227852
03/22/07 04:00 PM
03/22/07 04:00 PM
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Dear Pani Rose,

I visited Rhodes and I purchased a copy of that icon of St Phanourios which I still have!

Thank you for sharing that!

Alex

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #227853
03/22/07 04:07 PM
03/22/07 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Dear Pani Rose,

I visited Rhodes and I purchased a copy of that icon of St Phanourios which I still have!

Thank you for sharing that!

Alex


You are truly blessed. I think he is such a cool saint. I am always bugging him about stuff. Especially when the Amber Alert appears, he must be wonderful at finding lost children. biggrin

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: Pani Rose] #227856
03/22/07 04:24 PM
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Consider St. Philomena. She has quite a following, but next to nothing is known about her. Some even argue she never existed. If I recall correctly, I read that the miracles attributed to her intercession were a significant factor in her canonization.

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: byzanTN] #227871
03/22/07 06:54 PM
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Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: Dr. Eric] #227873
03/22/07 06:56 PM
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I think that many of the new Saints that John Paul II canonized were martyrs were they not? Most of the martyrs that he canonized were from the XX century, the bloodiest century ever. So it doesn't suprise me that he canonized more.

He reigned for a long time, there was a backlog (or so I've read,) and there were scores and scores of martyrs that deserved to be raised to the altar, especially non-European Saints.

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: byzanTN] #227889
03/22/07 10:31 PM
03/22/07 10:31 PM
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I think part of the problem is that Pope John Paul II canonized everyone but the Vatican janitors.


Dear ByzanTN,

That Pope John Paul II had his staff take the time and expense of canonizing saints, that should have been canonized centuries ago, is to his credit. I was shocked to find that Saint Joan of Arc was not canonized until the 1920's, certainly centuries after her death. No doubt because of miracles that occurred during WW I. (I once read an old book stating how she appeared to a French soldier). wink

All in all, the Vatican was quite slow. frown

God Bless,

Zenovia

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: Zenovia] #227924
03/23/07 10:52 AM
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I will have to agree and disagree with you. Pope JPII did canonize some who were martys and were both neglected and deserving. I suspect the 20th century produced more martyrs than the Romans ever did. However, this glut of new saints is more than I can keep up with. I do wonder if future popes will eventually drop some of them from the calendar. I see both good and bad with Pope John Paul II. He had both great strengths and great weaknesses. I suspect he concentrated on the areas he did well, as most people do. In some instances he differed significantly from the positions held by a majority of his predecessors and was, I think, probably wrong. I did not dislike him, but was also not part of his cult of overly emotional fans. I try to be objective about him and see the strengths and weaknesses, although I personally believe him to have been a good man with the best of intentions. However, I think he may have gone a bit overboard on the canonizations. Perhaps fewer saints who were more significant might have been more effective, but then who knows how history will view those saints. Some that we consider important may not be long remembered, while some of the lesser known may turn out to be more lasting. Time will tell.

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: byzanTN] #227928
03/23/07 11:25 AM
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I don't understand. How can we "go overboard" with saints?

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: Wondering] #227929
03/23/07 11:30 AM
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Of course, there are more saints than those whose names we will ever know. I am looking at a more practical application, in that I wonder how many saints we can possibly keep up with. At some point, the calendar gets so cluttered with the more obscure saints that their impact is lost. Perhaps it would be better to note one significant saint and his or her contributions to the faith, than to have a day with several saints about whom little is known.

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: byzanTN] #227931
03/23/07 11:41 AM
03/23/07 11:41 AM
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Dear Zenovia,

The problem with the case of Joan of Arc was the controversy surrounding her death.

She died excommunicated, as we know, even though her case was quickly reopened and the excommunication lifted.

Another problem was, since she was burned at the stake, does this mean she was a martyr? In that case, how could she have been since Catholics killed her?

The same is true with the Cause of the Dominican Jerome Savonarola - who was always honoured by the Dominicans as a martyr.

She was finally canonized (her local cult as a Blessed was solid for years before) but she was never pronounced a martyr. In the Eastern Church, she would be a "Passion-bearer" since she did not die for the faith.

Similarly, although St Thomas More was canonized in 1935, four hundred years after his martyrdom, he was in fact canonized as a local Saint of Rome forty years after his death and that is where his public cultus remained until 1935.

Alex

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: byzanTN] #228023
03/24/07 12:28 PM
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However, I think he may have gone a bit overboard on the canonizations. Perhaps fewer saints who were more significant might have been more effective, but then who knows how history will view those saints.


Dear ByzanTN,

We might perceive some things as being overboard when taken in the perspective of the whole Church, but when taken in the context of a local area, might be quite affective. Basically, some parts of the RCC might have discounted a certain saint, but the influence that saint has, or would have on the area he lived or worked, might be great.

I believe that's why Pope John Paul II canonized so many saints. Saints that were in remote and uninfluential area's of the world, and were waiting for decades, if not centuries to have their canonization process completed. Not doing so, surely must have aroused a sense of bitterness towards the Church, especially in area's such as South and Central American, where the Pentacostals had been gaining such a foot hold.

God Bless,

Zenovia

Re: Is the Roman system of canonization outdated? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #228025
03/24/07 01:10 PM
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The problem with the case of Joan of Arc was the controversy surrounding her death.

She died excommunicated, as we know, even though her case was quickly reopened and the excommunication lifted.

Another problem was, since she was burned at the stake, does this mean she was a martyr? In that case, how could she have been since Catholics killed her?


Dear Alex,

I find the case of Saint Joan of Arc very curious. Here was a Saint that fought for one side in what might be considered a civil war...basically telling the people that God was taking sides. So considering that God is always right, and certainly the accomplishments of Joan of Arc in solving the problem in itself should tend to prove her sanctity, then I can't help but wonder why our Lord, in His Wisdom, chose to have France free from the British?

So unless I'm mistaken in my historical assumptions, (I'm not a historian), and considering the end result, I came to the following conclusion: Had England retained control of France, would the wars have ever stopped? I say this since England was separated from France by the Channel, and taking into account the size and scope of France, there could be no way that it would have been able to impose it's own language and culture on the French the way it did on the Scots and Welsh. Then again, taking it the other way, would the French have been able to impose it's own language and culture on the British, (through intermarriage, etc.),considering the separation of the English Channel? confused

Also, what would have happened when King Henry VIII decided to take control of the Church? Would there have been mass massacres since the French were more entrenched in their faith and towards the Pope than the British?

Of course I'm guessing at all this with my limited knowledge of the times and events. I might be wrong, and stand to be corrected.

One note of interest is that at the time she was being burned, a white dove flew out of the flames, symbolizing the Holy Spirit. The executioners panicked, and felt that they were now lost. shocked


Quote
The same is true with the Cause of the Dominican Jerome Savonarola - who was always honoured by the Dominicans as a martyr.


As for Savanarola, he makes me curious. He certainly didn't sound like a saint, but rather like a Bible thumping Southern Baptist minister. All in all, he didn't deserve to be burned at the stake in Florence and in that sense, is definitely a martyr. The spot where he was burned, is well marked in the square of that beautiful city. frown

Oh, and just to make everyone feel better, I was told by an expert that burning is not painful since the nerves are burned. Rather the pain begins with the healing process. Of course the anxiety and fear one must have when facing that ordeal must be horrific.

God Bless,

Zenovia

Last edited by Zenovia; 03/24/07 01:26 PM.
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