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April 04, 2007

Comments

Jeff

"The thing about papal canonizations is that they are infallible, whereas merely episcopal acts or popular acclaim is not."

Jimmy, where do you get this?

All of my reading about this issue indicates that it is the act of "raising to the altars of the universal church" that makes for the infallibly dependable sanctity of someone, not the process by which they got there.

In other words, we have a feast day for St. Jerome that is celebrated universally by all the faithful. The Church would not COMMAND us to venerate such a person and ask their intercession at Mass--God would not ALLOW such a command--unless they really were in heaven.

Do you really think that we can depend on the intercession of St. Vincent de Paul in a way that we cannot depend on the intercession of Sts. Felicity and Perpetua? Or am I somehow misunderstanding you?

A Simple Sinner

Apparently there IS pious tradition that Gamaliel was baptized. There is also an Orthodox tradition of veneration an archangel of the same name.

http://conversiaddominum.blogspot.com/2006/08/st-gamaliel.html

http://monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2743

It is a little bothersome to me that the author of this question to Jimmy finds it "Needless to say as a Jew I find this rather disturbing. Gamaliel is probably on of the more revered scholars of the Second Temple period (right up there with his grandfather Hillel) and is quoted at length in Talmud. "

Why is it disturbing? Is Gamaliel LESS of a scholar or less of a personage to be honored and admired in Judaism?

bill912

Because, from the Jewish point of view, if Gamaliel had become a Christian, he would be a heretic. It would be wrong to venerate a heretic. We don't do it, either.

David B.

Bill,

What about Sts. Peter and Paul? they're 'heretics,' and yet we venerate them.

David B.

Never mind. re-read your post, this time in context.

Tim H.

Jimmy, that's really fascinating history. I hadn't known that there was such speculation (whether correct or not) about Gamaliel in the early church, but I can certainly see why.

I was just reading that part of Acts the other day and remembered that Gamaliel's logic in dissuading the Sanhedrin was critiqued in the theologian Gordon H. Clark's book, _Logic_. Clark doesn't think much of his reasoning here, but William Barclay's _Daily Study Bible_ commentary keeps it in context and defends the logic well.

Dr. Eric

The Ethiopian Orthodox considers Pontius Pilate a Saint, the story is that he converted and was martyred. This seems to go beck to the 6th Century.

J.R. Stoodley

It's nice that such an important figure in Judaism is portrayed in a positive light in the Bible. This could be something to bring up when people claim the Bible is anti-semitic.

Esau

The Ethiopian Orthodox considers Pontius Pilate a Saint, the story is that he converted and was martyred. This seems to go beck to the 6th Century.


Dr. Eric:

Were you being serious here or pulling our legs (i.e., Belated April Fools)?

St. Pontius Pilate, Pray For Us.

-- Doesn't quite have a nice ring to it.

Dr. Eric

From what I've read it's true.

The Orthodox have Canonized his wife Procula.

They've (EO) Canonized Constantine as well.

This was a long time ago mind you.

Esau

WHOA!

Learned something new!

For a minute there, I thought that comment was meant only in jest! ;^)

Thanks, Dr. Eric!

Maureen

Of course, many patriarchs, prophets, et al are on the list of saints. But I would guess that this doesn't go in the same pile, because they died before Christ's death, descent into hell, and bringing out of the patriarchs, et al.

(Although obviously Moses, Elijah, and Enoch are in another category - the assumed folks.)

DJ

can we assume Moses was assumed?

Eric

If you can, you can.

Esau

can we assume Moses was assumed?

Only Elijah and Mary were assumed into Heaven.

The former according to Old Testament Scripture whereas the latter according to Christian Tradition.

DJ

What about Enoch?

Gn 5:23-24
23And all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24And he walked with God, and was seen no more: because God took him. (DRC)

Esau

DJ:

When Scripture says that Enoch lived a total of 365 years and then God took him away, it means he died.


However, in regards to Elijah, it actually says:

2 KINGS 2:11
11 And as they went on, walking and talking together, behold, a fiery chariot and fiery horses parted them both asunder: and Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

Eileen R

Esau, there's a Jewish tradition that when Moses died, an angel and a devil fought for his body, and then Moses's body was taken to heaven. It's mentioned in the New Testament.

Jude 9- Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Eileen R

I might add that the assumption of Moses actually makes a lot of sense, as well as Elijah, given that the apostles witness them glorified in conversation with the glorified Christ in the Transfiguration. So it's got biblical support on two counts.

Esau

Eileen R.

Thanks for that info!!!

J.R. Stoodley

Esau, do you have documentation on the idea that Enoch died? I never heard that. A traditional Catholic belief that a priest on the EWTN Q&A forum insisted very vigorously on is that Enoch and Elijah were both assumed into an earthy paradise and will return and be martyred before the end of history.

Moses would be a different case because he actually died, but Enoch and Elijah never died so apparently they still need to.

Mary

Esau -- if "Then Enoch walked with God, and he was no longer here, for God took him." meant that he died, it is rather odd that for every other man in that chapter of Genesis, we are told that "The whole lifetime of N was n years; then he died."

At the very least, something odd happened about Enoch.

A Simple Sinner

Eileen R writes: "I might add that the assumption of Moses actually makes a lot of sense, as well as Elijah, given that the apostles witness them glorified in conversation with the glorified Christ in the Transfiguration. So it's got biblical support on two counts."

This of course is the Transfiguration. The Eastern take on the significance of it is that Elijah came down from the heavens and Moses came up from the "limbo of the Fathers" giving an iconic representation of what was to be - The living God was the God of the Living - death did not destroy that.

In and of itself, Moses' appearance does not indicate that he was assumed into heaven.

A Simple Sinner

"Because, from the Jewish point of view, if Gamaliel had become a Christian, he would be a heretic. It would be wrong to venerate a heretic. We don't do it, either. "

"Either" being operative.

Jewish folks don't have a status comparable to saint to venerate.

Breier

The Epistle to the Hebrews teaches that Enoch did not die. It provides the interpretion to the passage in discussion:

"By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had taken him." Hebrews 11:5

Consider also:

"Enoch pleased the Lord, and was taken up;
he was an example of repentance to all generations." Sirach 44:16

"No one like Enoch has been created on earth,
for he was taken up from the earth." Sirach 49:14

It's hard to see how this is true if Enoch died like all the other patriarchs. His experience is spoken of as extraordinary, and the obvious sense is that he didn't undergo the normal process of dying, but was preserved by the Lord and taken away somehwere.

DJ

Because, from the Jewish point of view, if Gamaliel had become a Christian, he would be a heretic. It would be wrong to venerate a heretic. We don't do it, either.

Not that this furthers the conversation any, but Tertullian is an example of someone we don't venerate as a saint, but would have if not for his falling into heresy(IMO.)

Louise

We here in Dallas are VERY grateful for Jerry Usher being here, a few wks ago, for our first official pledge drive for KATH, our brand-new EWTN station!

Thank you!!

Eric G.

Gang:

Sorry to burst Jimmy's bubble, but Saint Gamaliel is still a Catholic saint. All of the 20+ Eastern Catholic Churches of the Byzantine Rite commemorate him on August 2.

A saint for one Catholic Church is a Saint of the entire Church, and so Gamaliel is indeed a Catholic Saint.

Pontius Pilate, BTW, was one of those saints removed from the Ethiopian calendar when the Ethiopian Catholic Church (Alexandrian Rite) came into existence some centuries ago. The Ethiopian Orthodox continue to venerate Pilate.

Tim H.

I don't know if this legend is related, but there is a cross on a peak of Mount Pilatus in Switzerland, which is named for Pilate. When I was there, I was told that there was a legend that he eventually realized what he'd done and, suffering pangs of guilt, threw himself off the mountain on that spot.

patrick

Tim H., there was once this legend that Pilate commited suicide in Vienne. His corpse was thrown in the Tiber but the water wastroubled by evil spirits. Next they threw him in the Rhone but the waters also rejected him. Next to a lake in Lausanne, then to a mountain called Pilatus (Actually a corruption of the mountain's real name 'Pileatus', 'cloud-capped')
Every Good Friday, Pilate's corpse is said to reappear from the waters and wash its hands.

Dr. Eric

OOOOOOOOOOOH! Spooky!

Stephen

I know this is an older topic, but, I HIGHLY suggest Anne Wroe's book on Pontius Pilate, called "Pontius Pilate." It's really an amazing biography in my estimation, and, of course, functions in an oblique way as a study of Christ. I read it every year during Holy Week.

She mentions his sainthood in the East and many stories of his life A.D.

Esau

I know this is an older topic, but, I HIGHLY suggest Anne Wroe's book on Pontius Pilate, called "Pontius Pilate." It's really an amazing biography in my estimation, and, of course, functions in an oblique way as a study of Christ. I read it every year during Holy Week.

She mentions his sainthood in the East and many stories of his life A.D.


Stephen:

I'm curious about this 'stuff' being said about Pontius Pilate since, to me, it doesn't really make sense (at least, historically).

In fact, when Dr. Eric first mentioned it above, this was the very first time I had heard of it.

The reason why it strikes me as odd is because of the life Pilate had lead according to Roman record.

It was said that Pilate (presumably after having condemned Jesus to Crucifixion), he had actually massacred people in Samaria.

This is inconsistent with a saint who actually experienced conversion and shapes his life according to the Gospels (as St. Paul had).

I am actually curious if whether the massacre at Samaria was actually addressed in the book you read.

Thanks!

J.R. Stoodley

Esau,

St. Paul did lots of terrible stuff before his conversion. That doesn't prevent him from being a great saint. If Pontius Pilate had been converted, even at his deathbed, that would have been an astounding victory for Christ which we should rejoice at. If it was not on his deathbed but rather some time before and he lived a holy life for his last years why not proclaim him a saint?

On the other hand this seems like it is just a baseless Ethiopian legend. That is unfortunate of course but it does help us fight charges of anti-semitism by having a gentile to condemn in the direct crucifixion of Jesus.

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