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 Infallibility of canonisations 
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New post Infallibility of canonisations
Pope Benedict XIV, "If anyone dared to assert that the Pontiff had erred in this or that canonisation, we shall say that he is, if not a heretic, at least temerarious, a giver of scandal to the whole Church, an insulter of the saints, a favourer of those heretics who deny the Church’s authority in canonizing saints, savouring of heresy by giving unbelievers an occasion to mock the faithful, the assertor of an erroneous opinion and liable to very grave penalties.” (Translated by John Daly).

Quoted by Tanquerey, "Synopsis Theologiae Dogmaticae Fundamentalis," (Paris, Tournai, Rome: Desclee, 1937) new edition ed. by J.B. Bord, Vol. I. p. 624, footnote 2, "Nonnulli contenderunt hoc esse de fide, sed Benedictus XIV, De servorum Dei Beatific. et Canonizatione, I. I, c. 45, n. 28, post expensa utriusque opinionis argumenta, his verbis concludit: 'Si non haereticum, temerarium tamen, scandalem toti Ecclesiae afferentem, in Sanctos injuriosum, faventem haereticis negantibus auctoritatem Ecclesiae in canonizatione Sanctorum, sapientem haeresim, utpote viam sternentem infidelibus ad irridendum fideles, assertorem erroneae opinionis et gravissimis poenis obnoxium dicemus eum qui auderet asserere Pontificem in hac aut illa canonizatione errasse.' - Contra sententiam communem, P. Viollet, cf. Etudes, 20 Avril 1905, multos congerit textus, ex quibus tantum sequitur illam sententiam non esse unanimem.

Viollet, of course, is the author of "Papal Infallibility and the Syllabus," which was placed on the Index during the reign of St. Pius X (Decree, 5 April 1906.)

In Christ our King.

Wed May 31, 2006 12:21 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:48 pm
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New post Re: Infallibility of canonisations
Dear Mr. Lane, Salve Maria!

Just to add a few interesting details:

Viollet's 1905 letter to the Jesuit review Études, questioning the infallibility of canonizations, was a defence of his own minimizing study on the Syllabus against the criticism that it had been subjected to in said review.

And one year later, as you noted, Viollet's study was placed on the Index. Regardless of this defence. (Tanquerey mentions it only to explain why the infallibility of canonizations is the common sentence, but not the unanimous sentence.)

Plus, Viollet's letter of defence published in the 1905 edition of the Études (pp. 235-267) is immediately followed by a short commentary (pp. 267-268) by his critic, antimodernist Fr. Pierre Bouvier, who duly answers Viollet on this subject of the infallibility of canonizations, too.

First, here's how Viollet introduces his regrettable putting in doubt of said infallibility (he even mentions that Gasser quote we were discussing on the other topic):

"No doubt that there are, apart from dogmas of faith in the strict sense, objects on which the Church, the Pope, when they define them under certain conditions, are infallible (Cf. the Bishop of Brixen in Collectio lacensis, t. VII, p. 416, 417). No doubt, also, that before any solemn definition, many truths and theological conclusions are so certain that the opposing opinions deserve theological censures. To deny this proposition would be to deny both Logic and Theology. But [in cauda venenum... (Translator's Note)] in the application, there are such embarrassing problems!"
(Viollet, loc. cit., p. 239)

And so he immediately starts placing the infallibility of canonizations in doubt. To which Fr. Bouvier ably answers:

"Regarding the canonization of Saints, Benedict XIV, who has exhausted the question, observes that the majority of theologians and canonists have pronounced themselves in favour of infallibility; he quotes approximately sixty-two of them who hold that infallibility ex professo, and he concludes: Communis est theologorum et juris pontificii peritorum sententia Summum Pontificem errare non posse in canonizatione sanctorum (De servorum Dei beatificatione et beatorum canonizatione, lib. 1, cap. XLV, n.º 1). But he also notes, it is true, the well known divergence of a few ancient authors. This divergence only proves that, on this point as well as on others, discussions were able to be produced, before the Catholic view was definitely fixed in the Schools."
(Observations on the preceding letter, in: Études, 1905, p. 267, cf. ... 6/mode/2up ).

In sum, it seems clear to me, the opinion that denies the infallibility of canonizations cannot be said to have any probability whatsoever in our days, and hence cannot be said to be licit at all.

Yours in JMJ,
Felipe Coelho

Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:11 am
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