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Eastern Church[edit]

In Eastern Orthodoxy, who adds a person's name to the list of saints? Is it always the head bishop of an autocephalous church? Or maybe such a church's synod of bishops? Or someone else? Michael Hardy 00:32, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)

A saint is added to the calendar of saints by an official act of a Synod of Bishops. MishaPan (talk) 15:20, 11 March 2010 (UTC)


Several times in this article the claim is made that "it is considered" that canonization is an infalliable process. Besides the quotation of Aquinas, who considers this to be the case? Do popes and ecumenical councils consider this to be the case? Have there been other theologians who agree or disagree with Aquinas? If so, or if no one knows, the article should state that "Aquinas considers" the process to be infalliable until other evidence can be presented. Pmadrid 17:40, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

First, I would say that an Aquinas quote is sufficient enough, since he is considered one of the foremost Catholic theologians; one must remember that, in his time, the Catholic theologians argued according to the faith. Aquinas did not add initial ideas to the theology, he merely refined and explained them with Aristotlean (sp?) logic. We musn't forget that Pope Leo XIII pushed for the use of St. Thomas Aquinas as the basis of Catholic theology--see his encyclical letter entitled, "On the Restoration of the Christian Philosophy According to the Mind of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor." Plus Cannon 1366, issued by Pope Benedict XV: "The study of philosophy and theology and the teaching of these sciences to their students must be accurately carried out by professors (in seminaries, etc) according to the arguments, doctrine, and principles of S. Thomas, which they are iviolately to hold."

Then, on the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia "Is the pope infallible in issuing a decree of canonization? Most theologians answer in the affirmative. It is the opinion of St. Antoninus, Melchior Cano, Suarez, Bellarmine, Bañez, Vasquez, and, among the canonists, of Gonzales Tellez, Fagnanus, Schmalzgrüber, Barbosa, Reiffenstül, Covarruvias (Variar. resol., I, x, no 13), Albitius (De Inconstantiâ in fide, xi, no 205), Petra (Comm. in Const. Apost., I, in notes to Const. I, Alex., III, no 17 sqq.), Joannes a S. Thomâ (on II-II, Q. I, disp. 9, a. 2), Silvester (Summa, s. v. Canonizatio), Del Bene (De Officio Inquisit. II, dub. 253), and many others. In Quodlib. IX, a. 16, St. Thomas says: "Since the honour we pay the saints is in a certain sense a profession of faith, i.e., a belief in the glory of the Saints [quâ sanctorum gloriam credimus] we must piously believe that in this matter also the judgment of the Church is not liable to error." These words of St. Thomas, as is evident from the authorities just cited, all favouring a positive infallibility, have been interpreted by his school in favour of papal infallibility in the matter of canonization, and this interpretation is supported by several other passages in the same Quodlibet. This infallibility, however according to the holy doctor, is only a point of pious belief. Theologians generally agree as to the fact of papal infallibility in this matter of canonization, but disagree as to the quality of certitude due to a papal decree in such matter. In the opinion of some it is of faith (Arriaga, De fide, disp. 9, p. 5, no 27); others hold that to refuse assent to such a judgment of the Holy See would be both impious and rash, as Suarez (De fide, disp. 5 p. 8, no 8); many more (and this is the general view) hold such a pronouncement to be theologically certain, not being of Divine Faith as its purport has not been immediately revealed, nor of ecclesiastical Faith as having thus far not been defined by the Church." I hope that that helps.

I appreciate your clarification. If you notice from the edits on the page, I came to that conclusion after adding this question once I examined the Catholic Encyclopedia and noticed the other citations. While Aquinas is an extremely respected theologian and doctor of the church, he is not infalliable, so my concern was whether this sentiment was from consensus among theologians, clarification from a pope or council, or only from Aquinas. After investigation, I realized it was the first and edited accordingly.
On Wikipedia, we need to be careful when we say something is infallible, because unless there is a definitive statement by the hierarchy, we only have theologians to go off of, and theologians can theoretically make mistakes. This is why "it is an infallible act" was changed to "most Catholic theologians hold it to be an infallible act" while keeping the remark from Aquinas. Pmadrid 19:34, 2 August 2005 (UTC)

Waiving the waiting period[edit]

Possible wrong sentence: "However, the pope has the authority to waive this waiting period, as was done for Mother Teresa by Pope John Paul II as well as John Paul II by his successor, Benedict XVI." - I dont seem to understand why the double "John Paul II" is there Barhom 11:23, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Late reply. The writer of that sentence was trying to convey both that Pope John Paul II had waived the waiting period for Mother Teresa's cause to be opened and that Pope Benedict XVI (JPII's immediate successor) had likewise waived the waiting period for John Paul II's own cause to be opened. Too much ellipsis. I have edited the sentence to make this clear. Stroika 22:42, 20 December 2005 (UTC)


Does one have to be dead to be eligible for sainthood? What about the previous levels? — JIP | Talk 10:30, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

In the Catholic Church one is only eligible for canonization after death. TMS63112 17:34, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
For that matter, in no church is a living person venerated as a saint. The other "levels" in the RC church are also only applied after the person has passed away. TCC (talk) (contribs) 19:49, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Replying to this late, but a number of churches (including several of the Latter Day Saint Movement religions) view anyone who is a (practicing) believer as a "saint" while living or dead. This is a rather different view of sainthood, of course, and those religions don't venerate saints in the same sense as this article intends. However, I just wanted to point out that the term has meanings beyond what is presented here--not sure if some sort of disambiguation for that is needed somewhere in the article. DBowie (talk) 23:39, 7 September 2008 (UTC)


I reverted this change because the replacement text was simply wrong. (If it were "untold" there would be nothing to discover.) Besides, the claim is not that a fact is discovered, only that the process "seeks to discover a fact." This is true whether or not what is discovered in the end is a fact by Wikipedia standards. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:29, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

The article refers to Pope John Paul II as "the great", however, he was not officially been given the title, and the Vatican does not refer to him as such.

wrong pope[edit]

Urban the VII was not pope for the date given, in the 1600s. This must presumably be Urban VIII. Could someone pls check this, and correct it? I can easily find that Urban VIII was the correct pope for the date given, but I'd rather not adjust the article because it could have been a different pope and a different date. 08:13, 5 July 2006 (UTC)


It seems that a history of ancient pagan apotheosis might simply be referred to. This first paragraph, while interesting in its own right, really doesn't have anything to do with the history of Canonization. Phil 00:48, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I've tagged it with {{npov}} because of sentences like "The Catholic Church, on the other hand, canonizes or beatifies only those whose lives have been marked by heroic virtue, and only after this has been proved by common repute for sanctity and by conclusive arguments." Needless to say, this is Roman Catholic POV. Qwertyus 21:35, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I would propose restructuring the page to begin with the history of Canonization up to the point of the Great Schism; then use a header for "Roman Catholic" that can have sub-headers for the older process and the newer process. A factual statement of the Roman Catholic Church's view under such headings might remove the POV problem. MishaPan 16:56, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
This proposal has my support. InfernoXV 17:31, 4 March 2007 (UTC)


It is thus a recognition that there are many more saints than there are canonized saints. (lifted from intro)

Sounds like synthesis of thought. Can anyone attest to this (is it an official church acknowledgement? author's opinion?). /Blaxthos 22:44, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

It is definitely not the author's opinion, but a teaching of the Church. In the Orthodox Church, the Synaxarion for All Saints Sunday explains:

Of course, we honour the known Saints especially on their own day of the year ... But since many Saints are unknown, and their number has increased with time, and will continue to increase until the end of time, the Church has appointed that once a year a common commemoration be made of all the Saints.

(Emphasis added) MishaPan 07:00, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Eastern Catholic Church[edit]

Art. 58 — § 1. The competence of this Congregation extends to all matters which are proper to the Oriental Churches and which are to be referred to the Apostolic See, whether concerning the structure and organization of the Churches, the exercise of the office of teaching, sanctifying and governing, or the status, rights, and obligations of persons. It also handles everything that has to be done concerning quinquennial reports and the ad limina visits in accordance with arts. 31-32.

§ 2. This however does not infringe on the proper and exclusive competence of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for the Causes of Saints, of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura or the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, as well as of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for what pertains to dispensation from a marriage ratum et non consummatum.

CLEARLY, by the Code of Canon law for the Oriental Churches, by Pastor Bonus, cited above, by the Congregatioon's own website, within the Catholic Church, the Pope, and his delegated dicastery (the congregation) retains exclusive right to canonize. Inferno, why are you insisting on tampering with this, wiothout any citation?? (talk) 06:50, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Confer, Divinus Perfectionis Magister: 1) It is the right of diocesan Bishops or Bishops of the Eastern Rite and others who have the same powers in law, within the limits of their own jurisdiction, either ex officio or upon the request of individual members of the faithful or of legitimate groups and their representatives, to inquire about the life, virtues or martyrdom and reputation of sanctity or martyrdom, alleged miracles, as well as, if it be the case, ancient cult of the Servant of God, whose canonization is sought.

Any right that may once have been claimed by sui iuris churches to canonize for themselves has long since been abrogated, and is clearly abrogated by these. Photius and Gregory Palmas, both of whom were "canonized" before there was ANY established procedure, notwithstanding. This is a matter of simple canon law. Patriarchs, bishops and metroploitans do NOT "in theory" retain anaything...this is a basic principle of canonical jurisprudence. (talk) 07:03, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm travelling at the moment, will be back home end of the week and check my sources. AFAIK, Divinis Perfectionis Magister and Pastor Bonus have no official juridical status in the Eastern Catholic Churches. Neither, incidentally, does the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches (CCEO) - all of these were the Pope of Rome's own initiative, we neither asked for them nor received them. Rome has no power to take the power of glorification of Saints from the Eastern Churches, and they themselves cannot voluntarily give up this power. InfernoXV (talk) 01:26, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Huh? The "pope of Rome" is the successor of St. Peter with universal jurisdiction, East and West, if you are Catholic. Yes, the Orthodox Churches do not recognize that authority, but that's the very point of the difference between the Eastern Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. DPM and PB are as binding on the East as the West -- it was PB that laid out the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches after all, which is the Eastern Churches' own dicastery! The members of that congregation include all of the Catholic eastern patriarchs and major archbishops, and if you read it, it lays out quite specifically that the other congregations (which have their authority as delegates of the "pope of Rome") retain their authority, see below:

Congregation for the Oriental Churches

Art. 56 — The Congregation for the Oriental Churches considers those matters, whether concerning persons or things, affecting the Catholic Oriental Churches.

Art. 57 — § 1. The patriarchs and major archbishops of the Oriental Churches, and the president of the Council for Promoting Christian Unity, are ipso iure members of this Congregation.

§ 2. The consultors and officials are to be selected in such a way as to reflect as far as possible the diversity of rites.

Art. 58 — § 1. The competence of this Congregation extends to all matters which are proper to the Oriental Churches and which are to be referred to the Apostolic See, whether concerning the structure and organization of the Churches, the exercise of the office of teaching, sanctifying and governing, or the status, rights, and obligations of persons. It also handles everything that has to be done concerning quinquennial reports and the ad limina visits in accordance with arts. 31-32.

§ 2. This however does not infringe on the proper and exclusive competence of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for the Causes of Saints, of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura or the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, as well as of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for what pertains to dispensation from a marriage ratum et non consummatum.

In matters which also affect the faithful of the Latin Church, the Congregation will proceed, if the matter is sufficiently important, in consultation with the dicastery that has competence in the same matter for the faithful of the Latin Church.

Art. 59 — The Congregation pays careful attention to communities of Oriental Christian faithful living within the territories of the Latin Church, and attends to their spiritual needs by providing visitators and even a hierarchy of their own, so far as possible and where numbers and circumstances demand it, in consultation with the Congregation competent for the establishment of particular Churches in that region.

Art. 60 — In regions where Oriental rites have been preponderant from ancient times, apostolic and missionary activity depends solely on this Congregation, even if it is carried out by missionaries of the Latin Church.

Art. 61 — The Congregation collaborates with the Council for Promoting Christian Unity in matters which concern relations with non-Catholic Oriental Churches and with the Council for Inter-religious Dialogue in matters within the scope of this Council.

The CCEO was written with help from that congregation, and was applied as per the Apostolic Constitution "Sacri Canones" in 1990 (q.v.).

You say you belong to the Russian Catholic Church. I don't know who the "we" are to whom you keep referring as refusing to recognize the "pope of Rome's" jurisdiction, but currently Russian Catholics, while they retain their liturgical rite, answer jurisdictionally to the local Latin rite ordinary -- even in Russia itself, Russian Rite Catholics come under the jurisdiction of Bishop Joseph Werth, SJ, a Lithuanian-born Jesuit who is Bishop of Transfiguration in Novosibirsk, a Latin-Rite jurisdtiction, and who has responsibility (as of January 18, 2005, an act specifically made under and referring to the CCEO) -- so I can't fathom where all of this nobody-pays-attention-to-that-guy-in-Italy thing comes from.

Further, you seem to fail to grasp the point of canonization. A "saint" in Catholic definition is someone whom the Church has declared, infallibly, to be worth of such veneration "always and everywhere" -- by definition,even a patriarch has no jurisdiction beyond the limits of his patriarchate, whether that is personal or territorial. Only an ecumenical council or the "pope of Rome" can speak with the voice of the "whole church" with jurisdiction extending to all of the faithful -- I mean, without even having to quote all of the canonical texts above, sheer logic should indicate that as canonization in the sense presented here requires an authority with universal jurisdiction.

I get the strong sense that you are confusing the theology of the Orthodox (which you seem to be arguing) with that of the Catholic church. I take no sides on who is right or wrong, or which is better -- I simply argue for accuracy in presenting each opinion. (talk) 00:25, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


Canonization in the Church of England needs to be mentioned in the lead, as it differs radically from others (cf. James I of England for an example). — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 01:08, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if I feel like an idiot or a pedant by asking this question, but why is the Anglican Church listed as a subset of "the Catholic Tradition"? Shouldn't it be lower-cased as in holy, catholic and apostolic church? (viz. Other catholic traditions, adjective not noun) I know there's a lot of cultural, political, emotional and spiritual capital packed into my question so I'm not expecting a simple answer. Since subtitles are usually written in sentence format, that capital C stands out like a sore thumb! Paul Roberton (talk) 12:19, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Probably because of Anglo-Catholicism. There is a large group of Anglicans that refuse to be called "protestant" and consider themselves to be "Catholic", just not in communion with Rome. --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 20:17, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Can someone expand on the Anglicanism section? It doesnt talk about how the Church of England would canonize people (the process), or how the Churches select modern saints (John Wesley, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr, etc) for their liturgical calendars. --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 18:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Eastern Orthodox Glorification[edit]

"When an individual who has been sanctified by the grace of the Holy Spirit falls asleep in the Lord," - I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. I am guessing it is a typo, but don't know what it should actually be. Boomcoach (talk) 00:33, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure which part of the sentence you don't understand. There is no typo. "[A]n individual who has been sanctified by the grace of the Holy Spirit" means someone who, by the grace of God has led a holy life, and as a result has been himself filled with grace. The term, "falls asleep in the Lord" , refers to a Christian death. MishaPan (talk) 15:20, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
In an encyclopedic entry, I would think that phrases that do not have to be translated for the non-religious would make more sense. If the line is a quote from an Eastern Orthodox source, then it should be cited as such, but otherwise, something like "An individual who has, according to the Church, led a holy life, may be canonized after his death." As this is not an article I have worked on, I am not going to edit it, but I just thought it might be better with more encyclopedic language. Boomcoach (talk) 23:00, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
This dubious phrase--falls asleep in the Lord--is still in place. At the very least, it needs quotation marks. It would seem either a euphemism or an attempt at poetic metaphor. (I'm adding quotation marks. Remove them if you must, but explain yourself below, please.) TheScotch (talk) 06:36, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Charles I[edit]

I've removed the reference in the article to Charles having been canonised. Please see the discussion here. Thanks. Formerip (talk) 22:17, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Sainthood on sale[edit]

I've just learned that that the RCC sainthood is on sale. Huh! 1. Yet another proof of the Roman Pope's infalibility?-- (talk) 02:12, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

Sources for future article expansion[edit]

Further reading sections are almost always a bad idea here at Wiki since no one curates them: they're unhelpful and there are better places to go for laundry lists of unglossed texts. Kindly restore these to the article

once they are being used to verify points in the text or once they have a gloss explaining their relevance and importance to the reader. — LlywelynII 00:15, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

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