How Do We Know if a Beatification or Canonization is or not of God? — By their fruits, ye shall know them (Saint Matthew 7:20).
<< Controversial Canonizations: Uncomfortable Questions >>
By the Una Voce Miami Doctrinal Studies Commission
October 13th, 2018 | 101st Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, also known as the Miracle of Fátima, occurring on October 13th, 1917
YES. CATHOLICS throughout the world have reacted in shock and disbelief at the beatification and canonization of individuals publicly linked to ideas, policies, practices, and ideologies shrouded in doctrinal controversy and debate. What is the underlying agenda, they ask, behind the beatification and/or canonization of these individuals, done, to boot, under post-Vatican II, dramatically relaxed, non-infallible rules and regulations?
Why are these beatifications and canonizations being hastily rushed in the face of doubt, scandal, and opposition by so many people, including Catholics of unquestionable fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium? Why are they being conducted by means of a visibly politicized and ideologically tainted process often lacking in transparency, openness, and accountability? What are the people of the world to think of all the reported and highly embarrassing wheeling and dealing, subterfuge, and intrigue surrounding them?
Lacking sufficient guarantees establishing them as an actual and formal use of the Papal Magisterium, faithful Catholics ask: are modern-day canonizations infallible, and therefore reliable? If they are not, what are the practical implications of these non-infallible pronouncements? Are Catholics obligated to accept as “saints,” in the traditional sense of the term, individuals canonized under the new, completely revamped rules which abolished the traditional understanding of the concepts of “heroic virtue” and sanctity? These and many other inconvenient questions trouble faithful Catholics throughout the world.
How can we know if a beatification and/or canonization is of God or not? Let’s ask. Shouldn’t beatifications and canonizations be the source of joy, unity, and strengthening of the bonds of faith for the entire Church? Aren’t they supposed to bring all of us together? Should they ever fuel discord, scandal, or controversy? Why are people everywhere so concerned about the modern-day beatification and canonization process being abused or exploited by those seeking to advance worldly interests, ideological causes, or political agendas?
The Catholic world asks: What kind of “pastoral policy” could possibly justify imposing on the Universal Church beatifications and/or canonizations that undermine the Church’s unity; scandalize the Church’s faithful, or otherwise disturb the peace within Christ’s Mystical Body? Would a caring, responsible shepherd, one who is zealous for souls, ever force on his flock anything that harms, confuses, or scatters it?
SCANDAL, DISCORD, AND DIVISION
Doesn’t the mere fact that a beatification or canonization provokes such heated controversy and public scandal among the Catholic faithful, or that they are imposed on the Church through dubious or questionable means, constitute irrefutable proof that these controversial beatifications and canonizations are not of God, but, rather, of a destructive spirit, diametrically opposed to the faith, the holiness, and the unity of Christ’s Church?
Would Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, or John Paul II ever favor or support beatifying or canonizing anyone, including themselves, were it to stoke the fires of controversy, rancor, or scandal? What true shepherd, one who loves his sheep, would ever impose a non-essential, non-doctrinal pronouncement that provokes even the slightest injury or incites the least discord or division?
Should anyone, in good conscience, ignore these extremely relevant, albeit uncomfortable questions, grounded, as they are, on sound logic, right reason, and the common sense of people of all religions, faiths, ideologies or philosophies? Don’t these questions deserve honest, forthright answers? Isn’t it a grave disservice to the Universal Church to pretend that these questions do not exist or to marginalize or attack those who humbly ask them?
Pope Francis, we eagerly await your answer. Please, do not fail us, Your Holiness.
Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam!
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