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Hi. I was wondering if eastern Catholics recognize all the saints Rome canonizes (they may might not commemorate them in a liturgy). And do eastern Catholics recognize all the teachings of the Church of Rome even if theological emphasis maybe different? Thanks

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Christ is in our midst!!

EasternAquyinas2,

Welcome to the fourm.

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Since there is one God, there is one Faith. Since there is one Faith, there is one Heaven.

The difference can only be summed up as, different traditions, the same religion. For example, though Saint Constantine is not commerated in the West (I think), he is objectively still a Saint recognized by the Church. On the other side, see for example Saint Therese Byzantine Catholic Church.

The religion is the exact same, despite word choices such as the issue of "proceeds from the Father and the Son." vs. "proceeds from the Father." The Council of Florence for example settles that issue completely. The only thing that is different is the traditions. The West has the Mass, the East the Divine Liturgy and other Liturgies.

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Thank you

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Originally Posted by Giovanni1
Since there is one God, there is one Faith. Since there is one Faith, there is one Heaven.

The difference can only be summed up as, different traditions, the same religion. For example, though Saint Constantine is not commerated in the West (I think), he is objectively still a Saint recognized by the Church. On the other side, see for example Saint Therese Byzantine Catholic Church.

The religion is the exact same, despite word choices such as the issue of "proceeds from the Father and the Son." vs. "proceeds from the Father." The Council of Florence for example settles that issue completely. The only thing that is different is the traditions. The West has the Mass, the East the Divine Liturgy and other Liturgies.
I think you will find that for us not Florence but Constantinople I settled that issue.


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However, words do mean substantive things.

The Miaphysites and the "Roman provinces" of the Church, meaning Rome and New Rome or Constantinople went their separate ways over . . .one word or one phrase which was, until recently, completely misunderstood as to its/their meaning concerning the "One Divine Nature of God the Word Incarnate."

The West confesses that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (actively) and from the Son (passively). It also inserted the "and the Son" into the Nicene Creed unilaterally when it was understood by the Universal Church that only an Ecumenical Council could have (but wouldn't have) done that.

We have been through all these and other issues here many times in the last few years.

As for Saints, the view has always been that East and West don't question each other's canonization. But there is no canon that says they must both venerate the same saints. Simply none. Plus the fact that there are so many saints who are honoured locally only. Saints not only embody Christian holiness but they also embody the respective spirituality of their own Particular Churches to which they belonged and through which they became Saints.

They are therefore most relevant to the Particular Churches to which they belonged and whose spirituality is celebrated in the Particular Churches' veneration of their own Saints in the first instance whether these are local, regional, national what have you.

We must remember that we belong to the Universal Church of Christ through membership in our Local and Particular Church with its own theological, canonical and liturgical traditions. The Saints whose veneration would be most emphasized would be those who come from and are identified with those Particular Church spiritualities.

So the answer to your question is NO Eastern Catholic Churches do not necessarily venerate all the Saints Rome has canonized nor does it have any obligation to. And the intricacies of canonization n the Roman Catholic Church are . . . complex. For example, Rome canonized the Eastern Catholic Hieromartyr, Saint Josaphat (by Bl. Pius IX) in 1875. However, when Rome canonized him, it did so ONLY for the Eastern Catholic Churches and so St Josaphat was not venerated by Latin Catholics themselves EVEN though Rome canonized him (he was eventually added to the Roman calendar in 1888).

Particular Eastern Catholic Churches may, in Synod, decide to accept certain new Saints canonized by Rome for liturgical veneration. The issue of acknowledging the validity of Roman canonizations is a separate issue - no EC will ever question that.

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Dear Giovanni1,

Most saints in both East and West tend to be local in terms of their veneration. Rome even allows for the veneration of Beati or Blessed persons whose cultus is NOT approved by Rome or who are not in the Roman calendar of saints.

St Constantine the emperor is a case in point. He truly is venerated in some areas of Italy and Spain but not in the universal Latin Church. In the Byzantine church, one would scarcely be able to find a parish where the icon of Sts Constantine and Helen does not figure prominently.

So it really isn't a matter of who is or is not in heaven. It is a matter of which saints are most relevant to particular Churches and religious communities which accounts for their specific cultus in them.

The rule is that only local or Particular church authority may approve the liturgical veneration of saints and which are to be listed in their respective calendars.

Universally though, as Father Sergius Keleher reiterated to me on many an occasion (+memory eternal!) , "We don't question each other's canonizations."

When the Kyivan-Ruthenian Church came into communion with Rome in 1596, the only saints the members of this Church could honour from their Orthodox patrimony was Sts Boris and Hlib. Only later were others brought in.

The Roman Calendar today lists them in its calendar by their baptismal names "Sts Roman and David." Also Sts Volodymyr and Olha are listed as "Sts Basil and Helen." And of course Sts Anthony and Theodosius of the Kyiv Caves Lavra.

When St John Paul II beatified Bl John Duns Scotus OFM, this particular saint had already enjoyed a local cultus in Italy for a few hundred years, having been beatified by the local Italian bishop . . .

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What the question was specifically asking was the veneration of Western Saints in Eastern Churches, the answer that I gave was yes because it is the same religion and that it doesn't matter what rite you are, that you can venerate any canonized Saint.

Traditionally speaking, you would name a church after a Saint of the same rite or history, so as I gave in the example, naming a church Saint Therese Byzantine Catholic Church is not generally something that would be done like naming a Latin Church say after Saint Volodymyr. As you say, it is a matter of the Saints that are relevant to that Church.

The thing is, it would be strange to accept all the people every Orthodox jurisdiction canonizes, for example, I highly doubt you will ever find a Byzantine Catholic Church named after Alexis Toth.

Yes, Rome does allow for the veneration of Beatified people such as permitting the veneration of Charlemagne in certain areas in Germany in the past, but it is not permitted that this becomes a universal norm, the thing is that those Beatified already have miracles behind them.

The whole definition of a Saint is who is in Heaven, I was referring to objective veneration, as in, can an Eastern Catholic ask for the intercession of Latin-Rite Saints, and trying to describe that this is only one religion, if the Church says that a person is in Heaven then that person is a Saint. It's for the same reason why the Ukrainian Catholic Church commemorates an Ethiopian (i.e., Alexandrian-Rite) Catholic Saint on August 28. It is not as if a person objectively is somehow not a Saint and cannot be venerated if they are not the same rite.

It too would be much easier to acknowledge that for example Saints Borys and Hlib are Saints since they lived before 1453, then and only then did the Orthodox actually split permanently, not fully in 1054, even at this time many people still thought they were part of one Church because of how information travelled (for this same reason you can even in Italy have people commemorating like four different Popes at the same time as I think there have been stories of).

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Dear Giovanni,

You are right that the Eastern Catholics certainly recognize all the saints Rome canonizes, but you are wrong if you are suggesting that they somehow have a liturgical cultus in the East which they do not, at least not automatically.

When you say we are the same "religion" - yes, we adhere to the same faith. But you'd never know it to observe how the West liturgizes as compared to how the East worships.

Religion involves much more than a simple set of shared faith statements. It has more to do with spiritual culture and how that faith is expressed, the spiritual, liturgical and devotional emphases that are differently placed, not to mention the fact that the Eastern Catholics are organized into Particular Churches rather than simply rites. Several Particular Churches may share the same rite and spiritual culture, with distinctive differences etc.

However, the inclusion of saints canonized by Rome into the Eastern Catholic Calendars for liturgical commemoration and veneration is . . .up to the Synods of the various EC Particular Churches.

That has more to do with religious culture than with religious faith. The saints of the West belong to their own spiritual Latin culture and, as such, are not culturally relevant to the EC Churches. There are exceptions of course, but such exceptions are based on the popular veneration any given Western saint enjoys within an EC Church e.g. St Therese of Lisieux who is in the Melkite Horologion.

The Ukrainian Catholic Church has its own liturgical calendar of saints and only its Synod has the power to include additional entries or to establish feastdays such as the recently announced feastday of the icon of the Mother of God of Perpetual Help in July.

So while the Roman Catholic Church inscribes its universal Saints into its own calendar for public veneration by all Latin Catholics - the same simply does not obtain for Eastern Catholic Churches, despite the fact that they share the same basic faith.

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Dear Giovanni,

Also, I might add that the definition of a saint is more than just a definition that a person is in heaven. It is an ecclesial recognition that the person being given the honours of the altar led a life of heroic virtue and who is, first and foremost, "canonized by God" ahead of any act of churches here on earth.

For Eastern theology on the saints, miracles attest to the fact that God acknowledges that a person is a saint rather than being "matter" to be used by church authorities to determine that a given person is a saint and so should be canonized etc.

It is a subtle difference but an important one in my (Eastern) view.

As for St Alexis Toth - I would not be surprised to see an EC Church named after him in fact. He tried in every which way to serve his Ruthenian people here and was thwarted in doing so and even rejected by Archbishop Ireland, and this despite the fact that he had received letters of commendation from his EC bishop who sent him here! It was the Ruthenian people who urged him to become Orthodox and serve them as an Orthodox priest in accordance with their own ritual and canonical traditions, something which he did. I'm surprised that Archbishop Ireland hasn't had a cause for canonization started for him by an Orthodox jurisdiction, given the great number of EC converts he gave to the Orthodox Church in America.

I've also seen icons of the Pillars of Orthodoxy in Ukrainian Catholic churches and monasteries which include St Photios the Great (also formally in the Byzantine Catholic Calendar - we just missed his feastday) and St Mark of Ephesus who refused to sign the documents of the Union of Florence. He actually came to Florence inclnined to union with Rome as long as Rome would agree to the original Nicene Creed without the Filioque as a minimum condition for unity. Rome refused and we know the rest of the story. Hopefully, one day soon Rome and the entire West will see fit to return to the original Creed without the Filioque as inscribed on papal tablets at Rome in both Latin and Greek.

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It seems that it turns out that you don't know the story with the Filioque clause. The only reason it exists is because of how Latin works, what Filioque means is not the same as Pater et Filio, if it said Pater et Filio that would be an issue as that says that the Holy Spirit literally proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Church insists on it in Latin because it means an entirely different thing than it is claimed to be. In the Latin-Rite Greek Churches the Filioque doesn't exist. The only reason it was put into the Creed was because of Arianism in Spain.

If they refused to sign the Documents of the Council of Florence, if they absolutely knew and understood correctly what was written. I would say they are heretics, you should read it yourself. Certainly if you deny what the Filioque is implying you would be a heretic, the Filioque is not stating that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as if the Father and the Son were two different entities.

Please see, https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/ecumenical-council-of-florence-1438-1445-1461

I don't think causing a schism and deposing a lawful bishop characterizes one as "heoric virtue"

To put it simply, people are canonized because of virtues as well, but only because they must be first in Heaven to be Saints. Unless there are Saints who are not in Heaven, I put it simply and that it is how it is.

For the same way many Saints if instead they disobeyed their lawful superiors in times of calumny or persecution would likely not have ended up Saints, for the same reason Alexis Toth will never be canonized. Traditions aren't anything when compared to matters of eternal salvation. What he literally did is split away from the Church because a bishop forbid him to serve as a priest due to an unjust reason. If such a thing could classify one as having "heroic virtue" I wonder on what planet does making many people split away from the Church, a decision which still has effects to this day, just because one experienced something that was unfair, classify as virtue.

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Dear Giovanni,

First of all, thank you so much for walking me back from the abyss of heresy!

Seriously though, you don't know me or my theological and other academic background nor how long I've been studying these issues. That is fair ball. I would only ask that you might wish to avoid terms like "heretic" in any discussion of the differences between Eastern vs Western theological paradigms. Also, your approach in the discussion, namely, "read this (and you will see it my way)" is intellectually, well, silly.

If things were theologically settled between East and West on the rational plane, as you said, then either the East is being stubbornly heretical as it persists in its "schism" or, as Roman Catholic-Eastern Orthodox theological commissions have discovered, we must delve more deeply into each other's theological "a priori's" and see if a genuine unity doesn't already exist, even if it is expressed differently.

So when you say the "Church" what you mean, at least to us Easterners, is the "Latin Church." And that means the Western Church with its own Particular (and quite legitimate) theological perspective and, I will say, "culture" even though that word can and has been much abused and misunderstood in contemporary times (and on this Forum as well).

With respect to the Filioque, the Orthodox East has a quite different approach to the issue of the Procession of the Most Holy Spirit where it emphasizes, correctly, the "Monarchy" of the Father as the Fount of Divinity. Roman Catholic Trinitarian theology or Triadology also agrees here as it teaches that the Spirit proceeds "Actively" from the Father and "Passively" from the Son. In the doctoral course I took on this subject, the professor said that if Roman Catholics actually taught that the Holy Spirit proceeded "Actively from both the Father and the Son - this would be heresy from the RC stance. The Latin Church forbids such teaching in any event.

The East, for all the linguistic issues surrounding the Filioque, sees this word as being "confusing" or perhaps, at best, "inadequate" to clearly teach the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father through the Son.

You will recall, from your own theological studies, how the heresy of Sabellianism developed from the Filioque, a heresy the East avoided and opposed by means of its formulation, "From the Father through the Son."

In fact, as your theological studies will bear out, St Thomas Aquinas himself affirmed that "through the Son" is the same as to say what the Latin Church means by "and the Son."

We would only argue that the former is a much clearer and comprehensive statement than the latter.

If that makes us "heretics," then you can begin preparing the wood for the public burnings . . .

I have yet to read of ANY Latin Church document which has ever condemned the Eastern Churches as "heretical" for not accepting the Filioque or its addition to the one Nicene Creed which for centuries the entire, universal Catholic Church accepted as complete and whole sans Filioque. Popes have even opposed including the Filioque into the Nicene Creed because the First Ecumenical Council, whose 1700th anniversary we will celebrate, as you know, in 2025, issued that Creed in the form that the Eastern Churches still continue to use and from a canonical point of view, only an Ecumenical Council could have made any additions or changes to it.

Orthodox theologians have said that the Filioque itself, as you've brilliantly presented it here (I am not being facetious), could be added to the Nicene Creed IF the entire Church, assembled in Ecumenical Council affirmed it upon its theological re-presentation (Fr Prof. John Meyendorff).

The Council of Florence was truly a Latin Council which formed the basis of later Church Unions such as that which resulted in my own Church, the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church. This doesn't mean that there cannot be theological improvements in terms of ecumenical discussions on the issues that divided the universal Church. I would be much more inclined to visit the discussions between Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians as set out in their ecumenical commissions on these matters as well.

In terms of ultimate ecclesial agreement leading to full ecclesial union between East and West,, the removal of the Latin Filioque from the Nicene Creed has always been a "sine qua non" for the Eastern Churches. Let's see what happens in two years time when the Nicene Creed is celebrated by both East and West, shall we?

By removing the Filioque, the West will only be returning to the form of the Creed intended for the Universal Church. It won't be "giving up" or "changing" anything. Father Francis Dvornik SJ in his groundbreaking study on the Photian Schism demonstrates quite conclusively that the Patriarch Photius (who is venerated by the Byzantine Catholic Church and other EC Churches) reconciled with Rome and died in union with Rome. The reason he could do that was because he could come to a full Triadological agreement or, better, that Rome assured him that it did not introduce any Triadological changes to the faith of the universal Catholic Church, including the Creed in its original form as promulgated by the First Ecumenical Council, affirmed as infallible by the major patriarchates of the Church, including, of course, Rome.

For the most part, both East and West today acknowledge the legitimacy of their respective Triadologies and the East does not see the Latin theology behind the Filioque as "heretical." It has always insisted that it does not belong in an ecumenical Creed intended for the entire Church, East, West, North and South. I know of no Roman Catholic theologian engaged with the Orthodox who denies the plausibility of this position.

As for the Saints issue, again, you are looking at it from a quite centralized perspective where Rome canonizes and everyone accepts the saints into their calendars and venerates them. That just does not obtain. Nor does the idea that saints must be of the same faith in order to be in the Catholic calendar. Take, for example, the recent addition to the Doctors of the Church made by Pope Francis - St Gregory of Narek of Armenia.

Can you provide any evidence to suggest St Gregory was a Catholic in communion with Rome? Any at all? If not, how does he come to be a Doctor of the Catholic Church? Any ideas?

There were schisms in the Church over the years and when either these schisms were healed or when groups from the "separated brethren" (aren't you a bit behind the Vatican II times here with your "heresy" talk?) came into communion with Rome, those churches or even regions continued to venerate the saints who were spawned from within those separated churches and ecclesial groups.

Did you know (now you have me talking like you!) that popes have approved for inclusion into the Catholic calendar numerous Orthodox saints who were NEVER in communion with Rome? St Sergius of Radonezh is one that comes to mind but there are others.

Father Frederick Holweck in his "Dictionary of Saints" has a fascinating introductory article where he says that there are saints in the Roman calendar about whose orthodoxy we have no idea and that the best research by the Bollandists have shown that they came from both heretical and schismatical churches. Anti-popes were just that - but, as Fr Holweck says, that didn't prevent Catholic churches and monasteries from taking inspiration from their virtuous lives in a number of cases.

And I think that a Saint being in Heaven is critically important . .. But the main reason they are canonized is because of their particular example of charity, witness to faith that they set on earth. In addition, as I'm sure you will know, martyrdom tends to blot out any wrongdoing a canonized or beatified martyr may have been guilty of. Among the priests who were martyred in Holland by the Calvinists, for example, there was one who lived in sin with a woman. When told to desecrate the Blessed Sacrament by the Calvinists, he said "I am a fornicator, I am not a heretic!" His martyrdom earned him the title "Blessed."

But there will be local saints who are important to local and Particular Churches who really have nothing to say to other Churches and, yes, who will never be canonized for universal honour by Rome. Rome does not dispute the legitimacy of those local cults, even those Beati who are not in the Roman calendar. Italy honours many local saints who are not in the Roman calendar e.g. Blessed John Duns Scotus, the Franciscan, as i am sure you know, who developed the theology behind the Immaculate Conception, was beatified and venerated locally in an Italian region and by an Italian bishop. When Pope Saint John Paul the Great (I hope I don't run the risk again of coming close to heresy or schism for giving him that epithet without Rome's approval - now I am being facetious) beatified John Duns Scotus, he simply extended his already existing cultus. The same is true of Sts Thomas More and John Fisher, canonized in 1935 (I'm not making this up - we had a poster here by the name of the Young Fogey who once said nothing I say can be trusted, so I try to be careful) - these two sainted martyrs had a local Cultus declared for them at Rome in 1575 and they were locally venerated there until their formal and universal glorification

I've run out of things to say, so I bid you a wonderful day!

Servus Tuum,

Alexander Roman, PhD, OblSB

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Well, yes, I agree with you entirely that "through the Son" is a more accurate phrase from "and the Son", which is why the Latin word "Filioque" is not synonymous with "and the Son" which would be "et Filio."

I haven't said that the Orthodox are heretics for not using an addition. You must have misunderstood me. I have said that if the Orthodox denies what the Catholic Church means when it says "Filioque" then the Orthodox would absolutely be heretics and there is then no way to get around it. But, if the Orthodox are not rejecting the inclusion of the word "Filioque", not by the very fact of including it as a change of tradition, but if they are rejecting the teaching behind it, that would be heretical. This is what I mean by it.

We are discussing an issue related to languages and local uses, and you are making it sound as if a situation relating to the Latin language somehow affects the Greeks or the Slavic languages. I am simply explanining that the only reason that the word "Filioque" was added, was in order to emphasize the Divinity of God the Son, in reponse to the Arian heresy which still prevailed in the West. I do not claim that therefore it should prevail as it is now in English for example. I do not claim that the Ukrainian Church, nor the Byzantine Church, nor even the Latin Church in English, should leave it how it is. Either it should be changed to "through the Son", or removed, or if not, what we mean should be emphasized.

I am simply stating, that if the Orthodox denied the "Filioque" for what it was as an actual teaching of the Church, and not disputes over inclusion into the Nicene Creed, that this would constitute heresy. Tradition does not equal Religion.

Yes, I understand your point. But even martyrdom, if one willfully (ephasize on willfully) wants to hold heretical errors, martyrdom cannot save them. I do not say that if anyone explicitly is not a part of the Church that they cannot be saved, and I do not claim that no person that any Orthodox group has ever claimed is a Saint cannot be a Saint objectively. There was an example of a Saint in the early Church, though if I am correct he said heretical opinions, he died a martyr, and it was likely because this was pure speculation rather than opposing the Church. In such a sense one can cite an example of what Origen said, before he was condemned in a council and thereby his errors were formally opposed by the Church.

But I do not claim that if someone is a genuine schismatic or a genuine heretic, that one can be claimed to be a Saint. In this, I can not say objectively if Alexis Toth is or is not objectively a Saint, that is, if he may have converted at the end of his life. But I can certainly say, that from him being a Catholic priest, then breaking communion with Rome in order to found his own jurisdiction, this constitutes schism. There is just no way that this act can classify him as having virtue. We are not dealing with that he did this, and came back to the Church, but that he commited schism.

I cannot say that Mark of Ephesus can be ever canonized if he explicitly knew completely well what he was denying when he denied the Council of Florence. Certainly in this example he didn't not accept the Council because of a change in traditions which would be a stupid reason to deny an entire Council which clarified truths. But that if he denied what the Council said about the procession of the Holy Spirit, that he is then a heretic.

Yes, I indeed know of example where people after 1054 and after 1453 have been inserted into the Roman Calendar. Look at for example the Russian Catholic Saints inserted by Pope Pius XII, I never denied that. But the Church cannot claim that people who died in culpable heresy and schism can somehow be claimed to be Saints. This is the issue I am getting at.

Local beatifications and recognitions though don't have to deal with infallible declarations of sanctity. Anyone can be venerated locally, this is not an infallible action. Yes, local veneration is how many of the early Saints had been recognized as Saints. But just because someone is locally venerated, this does not mean that they are Saints. There is no infallible declaration that Charlemagne is a Saint, yet he certainly if I am correct is beatified and has local recognition, or had local recognition, in areas in Germany.

Yes, people aren't canonized simply because they are in Heaven. But objectively speaking, nobody can be canonized if they are not in Heaven. The entire point of canonization rests on the question ultimately, is this person in Heaven or not.

To put it simply, we're literally arguing against eachother about the same exact thing regarding the change of the Nicene Creed. It seems maybe we're arguing the same thing about Canonizations as well.

To put it simply regarding heresy, I am not talking about choices of words. I am talking about does someone accept this truth, or do they disregard it. Word choices don't matter here. It is as if someone denied the Immaculate Conception or the Dormition, which would be heresy, though it doesn't matter whether they called it the Assumption, or the Dormition.

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And especially before 1054 and before 1453, people such as who you mentioned, Saint Sergius of Radonezh which who I was referring to for example with the comment of Pius XII in 1940.

But, it would be very difficult if not impossible for example to say that what some Orthodox groups hold today, as the possibility of multiple marriages (that is, being married to someone else while a person is still married to someone), the claim of the necessity of the Epiclesis, the invalidity of Baptisms or Chrismations, or Ordinations celebrated by people outside of their group, and things like this.

I would find it hard to believe that these are not formal heresies that absolutely contradict Church teaching, and if someone absolutely maintained these positions until their death in say while knowing the contrary truth and absolutely maintaining their position, they certainly cannot be saved. And in this example do I seek to apply what I mean by denying a truth of the Church to be heresy, as in, if someone denied the Procession of the Holy Spirit as it is written, fully knowing the intention, and understanding competely what the Council of Florence said, they would be heretics. Personal opinions of tradition does not make someone a heretic. Denying reality makes one a heretic.

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Also correction, I am not sure of any people acknowledged by Rome to be Saints who died after 1453. Only those before that date.

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