An Apologetics Primer on Explaining the Communion of Saints to Protestants

November 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog


Every Sunday, millions of Christians around the world recite the Creed, professing their belief in the “communion of saints.” Few realize the importance of this phrase, which is sandwiched between other deep mysteries of the faith.
The Catholic understanding is denounced by many Protestants as “unbiblical.” It’s a bitter irony that the very doctrine of Christian unity has itself become a barrier to unity. The controversy revolves around the question, “Is it biblical to ask the saints in heaven to pray (intercede) for us?”

Catholics say yes. Since Christians are united with each other through Christ, and are commanded to love and pray for one another, Christians on earth can ask Christians in heaven for their prayers.

 Protestants say no. They say that praying to saints undermines Christ’s unique mediatorship, pointing to 1 Timothy 2:5: “There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” They think asking the saints to intercede for us is in direct conflict with this verse. The Anglican Reformers, under the leadership of Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said, “The Romish doctrine concerning . . . [the] invocation of saints is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but is, rather, repugnant to the Word of God” (39 Articles of Religion, article 22). Vatican II gave the Catholic position . . . (click to continue reading)

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3 Responses to “An Apologetics Primer on Explaining the Communion of Saints to Protestants”
  1. Ismael says:

    I think that the main failure of protestant thinking is that they think we regard saints as 'divinities' that answer prayers by themselves.

    On the contrary the Saints are in Christ and through Christ they hear our prayers and through Christ they pray and intercede for us.

    Otherwise it would not be a COMMUNION of Saints…

    Also the idea tha Saints cannot paray for us is utterly unbiblical. Saints are LIVING in Christ. Although their body is dead they are, in fact, MORE ALIVE than we are!!!

    St. Paul clearly states that those who die in Chrsit live in Christ and Jesus states that God is a God of the living and not of the dead.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    You can have a great relationship with your dad, but your gramma may be very skilled at coming up with a way to relate to him. She's known him longer. Sometimes you go to her so he can go to him. Eventually, you interact with him on that matter.

  3. Nick says:

    Love is greater than death and love is the bond of unity. God is love itself and unity itself.

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