21 February 2015

Canonisation: a topical footnote

Some sources have queried whether the term 'martyr' is appropriate for Catholics to use of the Twenty One murdered Copts. There is, of course, an implied criticism here of the Holy Father.

Any theological response to this query would have to take account of the fact that the calendars of "uniate" churches include commemorations of Saints who died without being in a state of full visible canonical unity with the See of Rome. These bodies include the (Melkite) Patriarchate of Antioch, the See of S Peter, whose Patriarch is, surely, the senior hierarch of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church after his Brother the occupant of the (other) Petrine See of Rome.

And any such response would need carefully to avoid any suggestion that Catholics not of the Latin churches are somehow not 'real' Catholics; or that the link between the lex orandi and the lex credendi does not apply to their liturgical rites to precisely the same extent as it does to the rites of the Latin churches.

Novi Martyres Coptici, orate pro nobis.


Joshua said...

An analogy: it was Monsignor Knox who averred that it was not impossible for a Protestant missionary in China, preaching all the Gospel he knows, to have his preaching attested even by miracles.

Patrick Sheridan said...

Of course, one could question whether what happens hundreds of miles away to people we've never met is any concern of ours at all.

Jadis said...

Baptism by blood?

Jonathan Cariveau said...

Jadis, baptism by blood unfortunately doesn't help us solve difficulties related to EENS:

"It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart 'into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels', unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock... even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, [he cannot] be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."

-- Eugene IV, Cantate Domino, 1441

Jonathan Cariveau said...

Also, Father, this is one of the reasons Latins tend to hold us Easterners in suspicion: we have a certain proclivity to venerate suspected schismatics. Suspected, that is, in the West.

Matthew said...

Certainly not, Jadis. There is only UNUM BAPTISMA, and if baptised in the Coptic Church these New Martyrs have been through it.

Richard Chonak said...

Today we learned that Pope Tawadros of the Coptic Orthodox Church has, in effect, canonized the new martyrs:

As an ecumenical consideration, it is only proper that that Church should receive our deference and speak first in regard to her members.

Now that this has happened, it would be suitable for the Coptic Catholic Church to decide if they will add an observance for the new martyrs also. In addition, the Greek-rite Melkite bishops of Egypt may wish to express themselves on this event affecting their countrymen. Eventually it would be fitting for the successor of St Peter in Rome to decide about whether the Latin Church will also include an optional observance for the martyrs.

Deacon Augustine said...

Matthew, I think you will find that as far as we are concerned there is only one baptism. But if you were to convert and become a Copt, they would not recognize your baptism and you would have to be re-baptized.

So which "one baptism" did they partake in? (Just because they have the word "Orthodox" in the title of their Church does not necessarily mean that they keep the canons of the Ecumenical Councils.)

Anonymous said...

Invocavit me, et ego exaudiam eum: eripiam eum, et glorificabo eum, et longitudine dierum adimplebo eum.

..quasi morientes, et ecce, vivimus..

Deus, qui nos concedis sanctorum martyrum tuorum natalitia colere: da nobis in aeterna beatitudine de eorum societate gaudere. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium tuum: Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus: per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

The Flying Dutchman said...

The Coptic Church has recognized the martyrdom of the Twenty-One on February.

In a separate development (as the BBC would say), Pope Francis has declared Saint Gregory of Narek (951–1003) a Doctor of the Universal Church. The implications of this are interesting.