Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Jacques et Raissa Maritain heading for the altars?

Here is a story I have not picked up on until now: the Maritains are being considered for investigation into their sanctity with a view to their being raised to the altars.

The report is short on detail but raises some interesting issues, such as their joint path through matrimony towards holiness. Any thoughts?

1 comment:

John McAuley said...

My understanding is that Maritain departed from Catholic orthodoxy well before he died. If my understanding is correct, and I am pretty certain that it is, then that alone should exclude him from canonisation.

The pre-Vatican II canonisation procedure placed great emphasis on the doctrinal orthodoxy of the candidate. It did not matter how kind, how prayerful, how selfless or how anything else the candidate was; if there was anything unorthodox in his beliefs or, where applicable, teaching, he was not considered further for sainthood.

In a very holy Catholic marriage, the spouses will surely - so far as lies within their powers - preserve the orthodoxy of each other. Typically, but this will vary from marriage to marriage, the wife will need to make sure that husband's mind is not influenced away from Catholicism by the spirit of the world with which, usually, he has greater contact than does she, and the husband will need to ensure that his wife's religion is grounded in doctrine and not on sentiment.

I am aware that any attempt to turn the breakfast table into a mini session of the Spanish Inquisition would probably be counter-productive. As an unmarried man, I imagine that there are more subtle - and more effective - ways of keeping the creed of one's lawful wedded on the straight and narrow! Joking aside, the Maritain household was surely one where doctrine was discussed often and in great detail, so why - if its master and mistress were so holy - did Mr Maritain slip into error?