Monday, January 20, 2014
Let me be frank, not Pope Frank, but just frank and say that Martin Luther King, Jr. was NOT a saint. Being a saint is not being a hero or doing great things. Dr. King did those things. He did our country a great service and likely prevented a second civil war. But these thing do not a saint make. Being a saint is about holiness. Certainly, many saints were once sinners and turned from their sins. Being a saint is about having heroic virtues. Dr. King's life gives no evidence of this. A close look at his life reveals unsaintly action, from adultery to dishonesty (plagiarism). These things do not prevent him from being honored as a secular hero, but they do prevent him from being honored as a saint within the Catholic Church.
And yet, today panegyric homilies are being preached and Masses said in his honor. This needs to stop. Only the canonized and beatified are to be honored in the liturgy. Everyone else is prayed FOR not TO. So perhaps instead of falsely canonizing Dr. King, today we can pray for the repose of his soul and the furthering of the cause of civil rights, which he ably served.
One more thing. He was not a martyr. A martyr dies in witness to the faith of Christ. It would be quite a stretch to say that Dr. King was killed because of his faith in Christ.
Posted by Fr. Erik Richtsteig at 11:54 AM