22 June 2007

First Maltese Saint

Everyone is gripped with enthusiasm: finally Malta will have its first native-born saint. Among the thousands of Catholics who lived and are now living in Malta, finally one of us will be declared a saint by the Catholic Church.

I find this fact very disturbing. It is a sign that Catholicism has drifted far from the doctrine and practice of the apostolic church.

What do we find in the New Testament? Do we find the title "saint" restricted to a tiny minority of God’s people, or were all Christians called saints by the apostles? Were the "saints" canonized after death or were Christians called saints during their lifetime despite their warts and all? Were the saints declared as such by some ecclesiastic tribunal or the bishop of a particular city, or did God’s people freely recognize each other as saints? Were they declared saints on account of their works and virtues or because of their faith in Jesus Christ?

I hope that some are enthusiastic enough to read the New Testament and compare the Catholic religion with the apostolic church.

God calls all those who believe in his Son "saints" because they are sanctified by the blood of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit in their heart. First God calls his children saints; then he sends them out to live saintly lives. Tragically Catholicism has reversed the biblical pattern.