Communion of saints

Jan 10, 2013 by

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The story of Jun Yamada’s healing is truly inspiring (“Communion of Saints,” Dec. 10). However, the implication of the article by Laurie Oswald Robinson seemed to be that the teaching of the communion of saints is unique to the Catholic Church. In the Protestant Reformation, including Anabaptism, the teaching of the spiritual union of Christians living and dead was retained. Their understanding of the communion of saints differed from that of Catholicism in that they asserted that Christ was the sole and sufficient mediator between God and humanity. They feared that turning to other intercessors jeopardized the Son’s role in bringing us to the Father. Some of the reformers, like Calvin, held that the saints in heaven indeed pray for us but that they do so because of their now perfect conformity to the will of God. Others added that the saints in glory pray with us because of this perfect conformity, not because we appeal to them as if our appeal to Christ would not be sufficient for God to meet our needs. I have heard Catholics say that in their understanding appealing to the saints does not lessen their focus on Christ as mediator. This would be a good place for a conversation between Protestants and Catholics on the matter to begin. But on the communion of saints as a single mystical body we already agree.

John Rempel
Toronto

 

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