How Can The Catholic Church Decide Who the Saints Are?



Q. I don’t understand how the church of one denomination can tell us who the saints are. The bible isn’t written to one denomination it is written to the whole body of Christ.

A. Actually, the New Testament was written by authors who belonged to the Catholic Church. And yes the Bible is for the whole  body of Christ. But not all of the authors wrote it for the whole body of Christ. The authors of the Epistles wrote to specific churches or people. These were later included in the Bible. But I am sure Paul had no idea when he was writing to the Romans or the Corinthians that one day these letters would be deemed sacred Scripture.

Q. So what has empowered the Catholic church to claim Francis was a saint who wasn’t even in the bible?

A. In Matthew 16:19 Jesus gave Peter the Keys of the Kingdom and all the apostles the power to bind and loose. This is a Hebrew idom for “Authority to Rule” So, the Catholic Church, founded by Christ 2000 years ago, exercises this authority to make decisions to assist the faithful in their journey to Heaven.

Q. Denomination is man’s opinion of God’s truth.

A. You are absolutely right about that.

Q. God’s word specifically warns us against falling for man’s doctrine and not His.

A. True.

Q. The Catholic Church I’m sorry to say is wrong for providing laws instead of relationship. Jesus died for us to have relationship not for us to follow one man.

A. Well, when Jesus ascended into Heaven He put Peter and the apostles in charge of His Church on Earth. We listen to the Pope in obedience to Christ who gave us the structure and authority of Popes and Bishops to safely guide us into all truth. One of the things the Church does to carry out this holy responsibility is point out people who lived exemplary Christian lives so that we can learn more ways to live out our faith in Christ. The Church canonizes them, names them as Saints with a capital S, in order to give us a variety of holy examples of Christian living.

Those who are Saints are some of the best examples of having a deeply devout relationship with Jesus. And this very relationship is exactly why they were able to pursue holiness beyond their neighbors.

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2 Responses

  1. Really, Luke claimed he belongs to the Catholic Church? John claimed it too? There’s not even a trace of history when Peter (your first claimed Pope) visited Rome. There’s not even one mention of Catholic church in the Bible. I don’t know where you’re getting this, but check your facts, you don’t even have any historical data to back this up.

  2. The word saint comes from the Greek word “hagios” which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious.” It is almost always used in the plural, “saints.” “…Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem” (Acts 9:13). “Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda” (Acts 9:32). “And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons … “(Acts 26:10). There is only one instance of the singular use and that is “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus…” (Philippians 4:21). In Scripture there are 67 uses of the plural “saints” compared to only one use of the singular word “saint.” Even in that one instance, a plurality of saints is in view “…every saint…” (Philippians 4:21).

    The idea of the word “saint” is a group of people set apart for the Lord and His kingdom. There are three references referring to godly character of saints; “that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints …” (Romans 16:2). “For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (Ephesians 5:3).

    Therefore, Scripturally speaking, the “saints” are the body of Christ, Christians, the church. All Christians are considered saints. All Christian are saints…and at the same time are called to be saints. 1 Corinthians 1:2 states it clearly, “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.” Christians are saints by virtue of their connection with Jesus Christ. Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in Christ. This is the Biblical description and calling of the saints.

    How does the Roman Catholic understanding of “saints” compare with the Biblical teaching? Not very well. In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in Heaven. In the Bible, the saints are on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or prominent bishop. In the Bible, everyone who has received Jesus Christ by faith is a saint. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone.

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