Discussion in 'The Commons' started by DarthJupiter, Sep 3, 2019.
Is it Saint George I would presume? Since he is the patron Saint of England?
Saint George, yeah. The national flag of England, and the personal emblem of the city of London, is the cross of St. George:
The heraldic shield has the cross of St. George, and the sword of St. Paul.
So who would make the declaration of sainthood? The ABof C or an archbishop from ACNA or some other non-Canterbury affiliated person? I ask this question not to be a smart ass, but rather to determine who has the authority to do so .
Sainthood is a much rarer process in the Anglican context than in Rome where it's a veritable factory (does anyone even in Rome care anymore who gets canonized?). In the Church of England, after the Reformation, only one man was declared a saint: King Charles I. I don't know much about the process of his canonization, since it's such a rare process.
However in the case of St. George, his status you may consider to be a kind of 'historic canonization', i.e. canonization by the successive generations rather than an official process. There was no official process for any of the 'historic saints', such as St. Paul, or St. Luke. They just are that, by the reverence of generations and millennia of the faithful (the 'cultus'). The same applies even to the later church fathers whom we may justly consider to be saints, such as St. Augustine and St. Cyril. After the patristic era, the number of commonly recognized historic saints diminishes rapidly. More Rome-looking Anglicans would accept Roman canonizations as valid, but that has no official standing. I for example don't consider Francis of Assisi a saint. He may have been a pious man, but there is absolutely nothing especially saintly about him.
Even the Reformation era martyrs are not officially referred to as saints, although I think we should revisit that. Thomas Cranmer and the Oxford Martyrs deserve it certainly more than almost anyone in history. Regardless, the only man to have received an official process, as I mentioned, was King Charles I.
I think that maybe there should be a way amongst the non-Roman Catholic churchs' to declare sainthood. I know that the Lutherans will list a person who while not an official saint or martyr, died for the faith. Dietrich Boenhoeffer comes to mind. I think he is honored by most North American Lutherans as well as possibly certain Anglicans. I glanced through a BCP list of saints/martyrs/ honored people at some point.
What do you think of the idea of sainthood in general? It obviously has a fairly strict definition for Roman's, in that saints don't suffer through purgatory, pray for us, etc. But for traditional Anglicans, is there anything really "special" about them, other than there extreme holiness of course?
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking only unto Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
Strictly speaking the saint would probably be St Charles, King & Martyr
I like it. I think most Protestants made a clear mistake here of flattening the cloud of witnesses, as if everyone’s grandma and uncle and neighbor are all saints, who lived equivalently. Charles I fought with incredible courage in the defense of the Church, as did Thomas Cranmer, in the way that I certainly may not be able to. Even if I am saved, and I hope that I am, I will not be a saint, and they will be.
The function of the ‘cultus’ in early Christianity was a very healthy impulse to draw nigh unto people of preceding generations who lived a life of such intensity as to be a beacon to us, if we held them close in our hearts. Heck I wouldn’t even mind a relic of Cranmer or Jewel or Laud; the idea that this piece of cloth was worn by a man of such holiness would certainly impel me toward a holiness of my own. We humans are physical creatures; we need physical heroes, and things to remind and strengthen us. It’s too bad that Rome would then turn around and start to pray to (for instance) Cranmer, putting the kebosh on the whole in-principle glorious idea.
In the Plymouth Brethren, all the believers are called 'saints'. They talk about 'the saints at....a certain place'. Yet they do not like using 'the Gospel of Saint Matthew'.... And of course the saints are only those who are in fellowship in one of their assemblies. Other denominations are called 'sects'.