Saturday, June 6, 1998
St. Christopher was demoted but remains a saint
By Ellen Creager / Knight Ridder Newspapers
St. Christopher is described as a tall ferryman in the third
century who one day agreed to carry a child across a river.
The heavy child turned out to be Jesus with the weight of the
world upon his shoulders. The allegory inspired centuries of Roman
Catholics to depend on St. Christopher to usher them safely down
the road of life. The name "Christopher" even means
But in 1969, the Catholic Church stripped him of his feast
day and announced there was no proof St. Christopher ever existed.
So among believers, confusion has reigned for 29 years. Was
St. Christopher demoted? Downsized? De-canonized? Is he still
an actual saint?
"He wasn't really downsized," says the Rev. John
West, theologian for the Archdiocese of Detroit. There are thousands
of saints and not one has ever been de-sainted, he says; in fact,
the Vatican is seeking new candidates for sainthood all the time.
(c) 1998, Detroit Free Press.
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