Some thoughts from David Cook (current Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia) on saints.
Very topical given the recent beatification of two former Popes of the Roman Catholic Church as saints last week.
I turned up for my early morning coffee today and, helping my newsagent friend, Charlie, dropped off today’s edition of La Fiama, the Italian newspaper, to my barista, Dom. I asked him, as usual, to translate the headline – “Pope declares two Popes saints”.
How does a person become a saint in the Roman Catholic church?
Generally, consideration is not given until five years after the person’s death, though this can be waived, as in the case of John Paul 2. Then, there is an examination for holiness; then, that others have been drawn to prayer through such holiness; then, that miracles have been attributed to prayers made to the candidate for sainthood.
Once all this is established, beatification takes place and the person is given the title “blessed”.
So today Popes John 23 and John Paul 2 were beatified.
Impressive ritual with huge crowds in support, seems so right, but in reality this substitution of the veneration of people in place of God is stark idolatry.