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The Communion of Saints

by: Little, Tj, and Andrew

Seek Apologetics

on 12 March 2013

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Transcript of The Communion of Saints

Saints in the Catholic church. Common questions/objections about saints Why do Catholics worship saints? That is sacrilegious! What the church teaches about praying to saints: "Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole church more firmly in holiness... Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself." (Catechism of the Catholic Church#956,957) To be very clear... Catholics do NOT worship saints. The idea in praying to saints to pray for us is that we need all the help we can get! Why do Catholics pray to saints? What exactly is a saint anyway? What about relics of saints? How does that work? Saints perform miracles? How does someone become a saint? The bible says Jesus is our only mediator between us and God the father. Worship is only one type of prayer. The types of prayer include: Petition, contrition, adoration (worship) and thanksgiving When Catholics pray to saints, it is petition. We are asking them to pray for us. By no means do we believe it is their power by which they aid us. But the bible says Jesus is the one mediator between God and the human race! "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus." 1Tim 2:5 The easiest thing to do... Ask your non-catholic christian friend: Do you pray for your friends or family? Do you ask your friends and family to pray for you? They may answer: Yes, I do. But they aren't dead. We can't pray to those who have died. "...Christians do not cease being members of Christ's body at death. I was taught as a Protestant that there is some sort of separation between Christians that occurs at death. 'We cannot pray to them or for them because they are with Jesus,' I was assured. Why does 'being with Jesus' mean they are separated from us? There is no scripture that says this. A Christian is even more radically joined to God and therefore more radically joined to the other members of the body of Christ, when he goes to heaven. He is freed from the constraints of sin; his faith has given way to perfect knowledge, and he is perfectly enabled to love and pray for other members of the Body of Christ. Most importantly, since in heaven he has been perfected in righteousness by the blood of Christ, his prayers are very powerful, much more so than they ever could have been while he was here on earth. When this fact is seen in light of James 5:16 'The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects' the Catholic doctrine of asking the saints for their intercession is undeniably the biblical teaching." -Tim Staples Well why not? Common objection: Context: It's important. 1 Tim 2:1-5 Paul is blatantly telling us to pray for one another! Think of it this way: Christian A Christian B "Lord, please help my friend (Christian A) in this hard time" Jesus God the Father "Christian B, Please pray for me." But with the saints: Christian A Saint "Lord, please help my friend (Christian A) in this hard time" Jesus God the Father "Saint, Please pray for me." Catholics are not taking Jesus out of his role as mediator. We, as we pray for others, simply act as a secondary mediator. St. Paul loves intercessory prayer! Romans 15: 30 "I appeal to you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf." Romans 10:1 "Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved" Colossians 1:4, 9-10 "We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you... we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with knowledge of his will and all spiritual wisdom and understanding to live in a manner worthy of the Lord." 2 Timothy 1:3 "I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day." Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid writes, "Is there any reason to imagine that upon entering heaven Paul's charity and desire for other's salvation would be quenched and his prayers for others cease?" So... What makes someone a Saint? Saints are in heaven
The process to be confirmed a Saint is called Canonization
For one to be Canonized a Saint is a long and tedious process The Process of Canonization Can begin 5 years after candidate's death
unless waived by the Pope
Local Bishop takes over
Once cause has begun person is known as Servant of God The Process of Canonization At the Local Level The Process of Canonization Everything done by the candidate is collected (private and public)
All testimonies are compiled
Bishop has final word on the continuation of the investigation The Process of Canonization The Process of Canonization Congregation for the Causes of Saints Everything collected by the Bishop is sent to the Congregation
Specifically a Relator
Compiles the info with theologians given by the Bishop for presentation
The Council then votes on the Cause Congregation for the Causes of Saints Then presented to Cardinals and Bishops of the Congregation for another vote
Life or Death of the Cause
Decree of Heroic Virtues sent to the Holy Father To the Pope! If the Pope approves, then Venerable Servant of God
Title: Venerable Servant of God John Paul II or Venerable John Paul II Approval of the First Miracle Investigated where Miracle happened
In Diocese of Miracle
Conducted by theologians, scientists etc.
Has to be found to be unexplainable
Many criteria come into this
Everyone has to approve a miracle! Back to the Congregation Approved Diocesan miracle goes to the Congregations Scientists and Theologians
If approved, head to Cardinals and Bishops
If approved, heads to the Pope Beatified If Pope approves then candidate is now known as "Blessed"
If martyred, no first miracle needed
Beatification not considered infallible Perks of being Beatified May receive public veneration
Only in local area though
Private veneration for everyone else or can hurt the Cause for Canonization
Bl. JPII can be publicly venerated in the Diocese of Rome and the nation of Poland only Ze Second Miracle The same process is followed
Approved by Diocese, Congregation, Cardinals and Bishops, and the Pope
After Papal approval, Canonization now possible Sainthood Canonization
Declares person is with God
Universal Church can now venerate this Saint
Canonization falls under the Pope's infallibility Modern Day Saint Canonization MIRACLES =/= MAGIC [John 9: 6] When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes. [St. John Chrysostom:]
He who had brought greater substances into being out of nothing, could much more have given sight without the use of any material: but He wished to shew that He was the Creator, Who in the beginning used clay for the formation of man. He makes the clay with spittle, and not with water, to make it evident that it was NOT the pool of Siloam, whither He was about to send him, but the virtue proceeding from His mouth, which restored the man's sight. But what about relics? Another dogma that has bothered Catholics for centuries is the veneration of relics and the claims that they have magical powers. Even Martin Luther wondered how there could be twenty-six apostles buried in Germany, when there were only twelve in the entire Bible! It is said that if all the pieces of the cross displayed in Catholic churches were assembled together, it would take a ten-ton truck to carry them. It is clear that most ‘relics’ are frauds. Furthermore, there is nothing in the Bible that supports the veneration of relics, even if they are genuine" (page 132). [from Pilgrimage From Rome by Bart Brewer: taken from Catholic Answers] But none of it is correct! Relics ARE biblical Relics are historical! II Kings 13: 20-21 Acts 19: 11-12 [Martyrdom of St. Polycarp
c.AD 156 [from St. Augustine's City of God Elisha died and was buried. At the time, bands of Moabites used to raid the land each year. Once some people were burying a man, when suddenly they spied such a raiding band. So they cast the dead man into [the] grave of Elisha, and everyone went off. BUT WHEN THE MAN CAME IN CONTACT WITH THE BONES OF ELISHA, he came back to life and rose to his feet. So extraordinary were the mighty deeds GOD ACCOMPLISHED at the hands of Paul that when face cloths or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. What is a relic? Simply put, a relic is the object of a holy person -- be it their remains {e.g., bones} or something that belonged to them {e.g., a sock she sewed}. We took up his bones, which are more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold, and laid them in a suitable place, where the Lord will permit us to gather ourselves together, as we are able, in gladness and joy and to celebrate the birthday of his martyrdom. For Him indeed, as being the Son of God, we adore; but the martyrs, as disciples and followers of the Lord, we worthily love on account of their extraordinary affection towards their own King and Master, of whom may we also be made companions and fellow disciples! Lucillus bishop of Sinita, in the neighborhood of the colonial town of Hippo, was carrying in procession some relics of the same martyr [St. Stephen], which had been deposited in the castle of Sinita. A fistula under which he had long labored, and which his private physician was watching an opportunity to cut, was suddenly cured by the mere carrying of that sacred fardel, — at least, afterwards there was no trace of it in his body.
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