Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Future Saint Slain?

I believe that Brother Roger may become the first Protestant to be canonized a saint by the Catholic Church...killed while praying Vespers...

From Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome:

"The founder of the French religious Taize Community, Brother Roger, was attacked and killed by a mentally disturbed man during vespers, his community said.

Roger, 90, was attacked, probably with a knife, during evening prayer today at Taize, near Cluny, in the eastern Burgundy region, a member of the community told Agence France-Presse.

From Benedict XVI:

Benedict XVI also noted that, in his letter, Brother Roger said he intended to come to Rome and that the Taizé community wanted to walk with the new Pope.

“In this moment of sadness we can only commend to the Lord’s goodness the soul of His faithful servant who has reached eternal happiness,” the Pope added.


  1. How can he say that the deceased has reached happiness? Comforting words, no doubt, but confusing ones, in light of Catholic doctrine.

  2. Respectively, I do not understand how a protestant can be a canonized saint. Saints, from my understanding, heroicly respond to God's grace. And while I'm sure he was a man who dearly loved Christ, I am also quite sure that Christ gave him the grace necessary to recognize the fullness of truth. In not coming in to the Church, I do not believe he responded heroicly to that grace. I am not trying to be difficult, I simply do not understand and am trying to think through your comment.

  3. Of course what you are really asking is could someone who isn't Catholic go to Heaven?

    One of the remarkable things about Brother Roger was the hours he spent in adoration of Our Lord before the Blessed Sacrament everyday...while he did not receive that Sacrament for reasons known to him and God, I am sure that are many canonized saints who did not receive Our Lord out of humility and a sense of sinfulness. As to coming to the fullness of the truth...spending time before the Blessed Sacrament consecrated by a Catholic priest is a step in that direction.

    Here we have the strongest case one could make as a Catholic for someone not Catholic to be declared a matter what your criteria (check what the Pope said about him)

  4. Actually, that's not what I'm asking. I understand the Church's teaching on "No Salvation Outside the Church". What I am saying, is from my understanding, "canonized" saints, as opposed to those who are in heaven (since all in heaven are saints) have demonstrated heroic virtue AND are examples of how we are to live a Catholic life. Isn't a canonized saint someone who shows the Church on earth how to live a faithful Catholic life. I truly have no ill will towards the good brother, frankly I had never heard of him until now and I do not presume to know the state of his soul, I am simply posing a theoretical question.

  5. Uh, when they start canonizing protestants, they might as well stop canonizing people, period.

    The only reason for canonizing folks is so they can be held up as suitable models for the rest of us to follow.

    If protestants are canonized saints, then what is the Catholic Church for? You might as well stay protestant and avoid the bad music and crazy politics, no? Not to mention mass obligations, the confessional and the whole birth control thing (a huge driver of behavior).

    This is exactly the reasoning people will take. Hey, so they will say, it's "good enough." And easier. It will encourage exactly the opposite kind of commitment to the one the Church ought to be looking for!

  6. Perhaps, Michael, you are thinking he "deserves" sainthood somehow. But you know, that's not exactly how this works.....

    Besides there are plenty of heroic older ladies with very rich prayer lives and they *ARE* Catholic. And they don't deserve it? This is the problem with the whole "deserves it" thing. Remember, God decides through the Church......

    If Br. Roger spent hours in front of the Tabernacle, why did he not become Catholic? Certainly a problem there.

    The Church intentionally chooses those whose lives paint particular pictures for canonization--lives of faithfulness, holiness and uniqueness.

    Brother Roger was unique, but not Catholic. I don't know about heroic; I suspect it did not dawn on him he might be murdered in that way. I think the way to think of it is that he was the victim of a criminal, much like many other people are.....

  7. Notions here -- that "the church" means only the Roman Catholic church... that there is a problem when a person does not 'convert' to Catholicism... that God "decides through the Church (implying the Catholic Church) (The tail now wags the dog!) -- only remind us, Catholics, that our 'doctrine' probably keeps us from seeing the authentic light of the Christ.