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Canonization by Proclamation of St. John Carroll and St. John England (Thu Jun 1, 2006 8:20 am)
by Leonard Swidler

Until the 17th century, Christians of heroic virtue were popularly proclaimed Saints locally, meaning that they were popularly judged worthy of emulation and public veneration. It was only after 1634 that canonization was reserved to the Vatican. Unfortunately, the canonization process has become extraordinarily expensive (many hundreds of thousands of dollars!) and extremely politicized–e.g., the beatification of the most repressive, reactionary pope in the history of the Church, Pius IX (1846-78). In 24 years Pope John Paul II canonized 468 persons–more than all previous popes together!

The Catholic Church today desperately needs held up as models Catholics who exhibited heroic virtue in living out their commitment to Jesus that exemplified the best of the modern, critical-thinking, freedom-loving democratic world.

Although we are fortunate to have one such universal model in Pope St. John XXIII, we in the U.S. are also blessed with two extraordinary men at the beginning of the U.S. Catholic Church who were outstanding examples of commitment to a profound Christian spirituality as expressed in deeply democratic fashion: Bishop John Carroll (1735-1815) and Bishop John England (1786-1842).*

Concerning St. John Carroll, see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03381b.htm -- doubtless to him, in part, is due...that the first amendment passed ...that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." St. John England governed his diocese by a democratic Constitution, whose reputation led to his address to a joint session of the House of Representatives, Senate, Supreme Court, President John Quincy Adams and his Cabinet. See http://www.global-dialogue.com/swidlerbooks/ Toward a Catholic Constitution, chapter 15. Additional information on the democratic sanctity of SS. John Carroll/John England can be found at: http://www.arcc-catholic-rights.net/HISTORICAL%20BACKGROUND.htm

Hence, the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC) invites all Catholics to sign this Proclamation declaring Bishop John Carroll and Bishop John England Popular Saints: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/851447623. Then, send your name and email address to canonization@arcc-catholic-rights.net, and spread this Proclamation by every means.


*As with all holy persons, all Saints, the two Johns were not without faults – as were, e.g., two illustrious Doctors of the Church, St. Augustine, who gave us the horrid doctrine of predestination, or St. Thomas Aquinas, who justified the killing of heretics. Thus, the two Johns, as all Catholics of their time, accepted the morality of slavery, as St. Paul also did (the Vatican officially supported it at least as late as 1866). In that they were not admirable or imitable, any more than were Paul, Augustine, or Aquinas in their flaws.

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