After hearing several references to his sainthood in the course of today's service, I was left wondering who authorized this election and whether or not to dare to raise the question for fear of sounding totally PIC (politically incorrect).
I am aware that the Catholic Church has a mechanism through which the Church examines the life of and miracles attributed to a deceased person when considering whether or not we should consider that person a Saint.
Here is a brief summary from the CatholicPages.
In official Church procedures there are three steps to sainthood: one becomes Venerable, Blessed and then a Saint. Venerable is the title given to a deceased person recognized as having lived heroic virtues. To be recognized as a blessed, and therefore beatified, in addition to personal attributes of charity and heroic virtue, one miracle, acquired through the individual's intercession, is required. Canonization requires two, though a Pope may waive these requirements. Martyrdom does not usually require a miracle.In the Episcopal church, the road to sainthood goes "vox populi" and political, meaning it goes through the General Convention, that motley assemblage of scripturally conflicted and ungrounded clergy and laity that meets every three years to waste millions of dollars digging the church's grave.
When beatification and canonization procedures were not yet consigned to the authority of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (instituted in 1588 by Pope Sixtus V) and to the Holy Father himself, it was the "vox populi" or "spontaneous local attribution" which led to the proclaiming of saints. This was the case, for example, of St. Anthony of Padua.
In any case, the nearest Episcopal saint day to today should be Antony (or Anthony in the Catholic calendar). Antony was famous for preaching against Arianism (a heresy which arose in the fourth century, and denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ).
We could use a little dose of Antony today.
The Episcopal list of saints, commemorations, and proposed saints and or "commendees" includes some interesting characters to include:
AMELIA JENKS BLOOMER (remember Barbara Eden's harem pants?)
SØREN KIERKEGAARD, one of the fathers of existentialism.
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
GEOFFREY ANKETELL STUDDERT KENNEDY who wrote Democracy and the Dog-Collar (1921) (featuring such chapters as "The Church Is Not a Movement but a Mob," "Capitalism is Nothing But Greed, Grab, and Profit-Mongering".)
VIDA DUTTON SCUDDER, (Oh dear).
It seems that there is no real process of beatification, canonization, etc to the Episcopal path to sainthood. You just have to have been a social activist for causes that are considered by today's liberal elite to have been "good."
Today's canonization at ECOOS must have been an act of "spontaneous local attribution."
I hope they save some open dates for the next wave of Episcopal saints.