Saturday, 30 January 2010

Who are the "saints" ? (2) The Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church calendar of some 140 holy people who are to be remembered in prayer (on the anniversary of their death) has been criticized because it is heavily weighted to commemorations of dead white males, most of whom were priests or bishops.

Of course they had to be dead to be included. And there is nothing intrinsically bad about being a white priest or bishop.

But the calendar would leave one to believe that the most important people in the history of the Church were those white male ecclesiastics.

That is manifestly NOT the case, and the Episcopal Church has taken pains to add commemorations of women and of lay people.

It is still a very European and North American focused list, and we scarcely take time each year to think of the “heroes” of the faith from South America, Asia, Africa and even from the Middle East. We are thus impoverished, and led to be forgetful of much of our multi-cultural history.

In the Anglican Communion the Churches decide to honour various folks, but there is no process to “make them” or “declare them” Saints.

In fact, although we are awfully polite about it, we think that the Roman Catholic process of “canonization” is BOGUS! 

More about this tomorrow.

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