Roman Catholic Necromancy – Praying to Dead Popes
At an historic and unprecedented canonisation ceremony in April 2014 the reigning pope of Rome, Francis I, watched by his predecessor, the retired Benedict XVI, canonised two dead popes, John XXIII and John Paul II. Over half a million Roman Catholics attended the huge event, along with large numbers of cardinals and many political heads of state.
Of course, many were there because of the promise having been made of a “plenary indulgence” being granted to all who attended. Nothing like the assurance of all sins being wiped off the record to draw in the crowds! But even so, it was a massive event that brought Rome to a standstill and brought money flowing in to Vatican coffers. And at the same time it did wonders for the Roman Catholic institution, so badly in need of some positive PR these days.
What Is “Canonisation”?
It’s a complicated business, so please, dear reader, pay attention. According to Roman Catholic theology, living Roman Catholics are not really saints. And they are told that when they die they have to spend an unknown amount of time in an imaginary place called purgatory, where they are supposedly purged to prepare them to enter heaven eventually…it could be thousands of years after they die. They just don’t know, and nor does anyone else. It is possible, however, for a Roman Catholic to become a saint, if he or she lives a life of extraordinary holiness. The Second Vatican Council stated that saints are “those who… imitated Christ’s virginity and poverty more exactly, and… others whom the outstanding practice of the Christian virtues and the divine charisms recommended to the pious devotion and imitation of the faithful.”
For a “saint”, there is no going to purgatory, but an immediate entrance into heaven. And once in heaven, the “saint” is able to answer prayers directed to them in heaven, by those still alive on earth; to intercede with God on behalf of those who pray to them. The Council of Trent declared: “The saints who reign with Christ, offer up their own prayers to God for men [this is their “intercession’]. It is good and useful suppliantly to invoke them [this is prayer to the dead], and to have recourse to their prayers, aid and help for obtaining benefits from God”.
The only problem is, those on earth cannot be sure that a particular person is a saint in heaven, unless…
Unless the pope of Rome declares that it is so, by an official pronouncement.