Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: Path to Sainthood

[THE] REV. GABRIEL O’DONNELL, O.P. (Dominican House of Studies): The first thing you have to do is research anything the person has written or published, and then you begin studying anything they have left behind in terms of documentation.

[KIM] LAWTON: It can be a tedious, arduous process, which includes interviewing people who knew the potential saint or were affected by his or her work. The church teaches that in order to be a saint, someone must have lived a life of “heroic virtue.”

[JAMES] MARTIN: A life of holiness, basically, a life of charity, Christian charity and love, service to the poor often, but, you know, the person has to be holy on a personal level beyond just doing, you know, great deeds, beyond just founding a religious order or being pope or something like that.

O’DONNELL: But you’re also looking for the flaws, because the whole idea of the saint is that they’ve overcome their difficulties, you know, not that they didn’t have any. One of the things that the church is very strong about is that if you can find anything negative you have to make that known.

Read or watch it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Europe, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

5 comments on “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: Path to Sainthood

  1. David Hein says:

    Thanks. I happened to get up too early and catch this good program. Readers might want to consider obtaining a copy of this book, the best recent treatment, in my view, of the saints by an Anglican:

    David Brown is an excellent thinker and a clear, absorbing writer.

    I confess that I like the Anglican approach to the saints better than anybody else’s.

    Anyway, this book is delightful and deserves to be more widely known and appreciated. David Brown has a chair at the University of St Andrews, having recently moved there from Durham. He’s the best person writing today on theology and the imagination.

  2. Larry Morse says:

    The entire process of beatification is an absurdity. Why do it? What’s the point? Do you really suppose God has a special neighborhood set up for the beatified? That he treats them differently – or better than – the garbage collector who is in heaven? In this Pope’s case, since his reign saw the sex scandals illuminated, how can you doubt that this man, who came up through the system, knew nothing of them? The entire program makes it sound as if saints are deified politicians or lobbyists who make up a paradisal legislature. Larry

  3. Ex-Anglican Sue says:

    I know – I thought that way before becoming a Catholic. It’s actually much more like having a whole raft of friends you can talk to, heroes you can imitate and people you can ask to pray for you, just as I might ask you to pray for me. The miracle and the whole process of beatification is basically to ask God’s approval, so to speak, confirming that person is indeed in Heaven and enjoying the beatific vision.

  4. Larry Morse says:

    And now – look~ -the nun who was supposed to be cured by a miracle – a causal relationship that cannot be demonstrated – has provided the Vatican with a vial of the Pope’s blood! That it might be venerated! The best we can say of this is that it is barbaric. One wonders where she got the blood.
    The practice of beatification is somehow summarized in the vial of blood. Pace Sue above – who can justify venerating a vial of blood? And I might add that “venerating” is simply a euphemism for “worshipping.” I continue to be at a loss as to why Anglicans flee their church to cross the Tiber. Larry

  5. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I hadn’t really come across the Catholic Church as a youngster, apart from a few schoolfriends who went to another church, until I was taken to visit the beautiful Cathedral of St James in Lisbon and my eye was caught by a glass pane let into the wall. Investigating I saw the most gross thing ever – a decayed and emaciated body, considerably eaten away, dressed in tattered vestments, some saint or other. That remained my impression of the Catholic Church for years, a primitive and barbaric church full of superstition and very foreign.

    Over time having got to know Catholics and got to grips with how similar we are, I rather got over some of my early impressions, but the whole issue of how they make people ‘Saints’ to me just seems the exact opposite. They dig them up, tear them apart, break and catalogue them and distribute them to the four corners of the Earth in boxes, neatly labelled, and all done by the nicest people such as Fr O’Donnell.

    That a church should do to those they love what happened to Jezebel [1Kings 9], brutally tear apart and scatter their bodies, instead of leaving them to rest in peace to await the Second Coming and Resurrection, seems to me the Catholic Church at its worst. I am glad this fate was avoided by Newman. When the ghouls opened up his grave he had wisely disappeared, avoiding the horror of the fate he seems to have had in mind when he gave specific instructions that this should not happen.

    It is at times like this that one sees the Catholic Church at its superstitious and stomach-churning worst.