Not necessary for belief... not infallible ... calling into question the legitimacy of the Papacy of Pope Francis again? Outright rejection of Vatican II? All of it underlies the reasoning behind 1P5's latest article, "Why we need not (and should not) call Paul VI saint." Even Janet Smith linked to the article by Kwazniewski.
This has been going on for years, outright rejection of recent canonizations - unheard of in the Church when I was growing up. Now days those of us who do believe and accept - with joy - those whose heroic virtues are recognized and 'canonized' by the Pope are dismissed as ultramontanists and papalotars.
Most theologians and faithful Catholics certainly believe canonizations are legitimate. Those very people who condemn Vatican II are doing in their own way what some of the post-conciliar 'reformers' did when updating the liturgical calendars, removing saints and their feast days and so on. They are acting in the same protestant spirit of those who removed saints statues and altars from renovated churches, and downplayed devotion and prayers to the saints.
Tomorrow a great company of witnesses will be declared saints - canonized. By the reigning Pontiff, Pope Francis.
Believe it or not.
The exercise of infallibility comes only when the pope himself proclaims a person a saint. The proclamation is made in a Latin formula of which we offer an approximate translation:
"In honor of the Holy Trinity, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, with the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of Our Own, after long reflection, having invoked divine assistance many times and listened to the opinion of many of our Brothers in the Episcopate, We declare and define as Saint Blessed N. and inscribe his/her name in the list of the saints and establish that throughout the Church they be devoutly honored among the saints."[...]
The 1967 New Catholic Encyclopedia discusses the theological foundation for the infallibility of canonization: "The dogma that saints are to be venerated and invoked as set forth in the profession of faith of Trent (cf. Denz. 1867) has as its correlative the power to canonize. ... St. Thomas Aquinas says, 'Honor we show the saints is a certain profession of faith by which we believe in their glory, and it is to be piously believed that even in this the judgment of the Church is not able to err' (Quodl. 9:8:16).
"The pope cannot by solemn definition induce errors concerning faith and morals into the teaching of the universal Church. Should the Church hold up for universal veneration a man's life and habits that in reality led to [his] damnation, it would lead the faithful into error. It is now theologically certain that the solemn canonization of a saint is an infallible and irrevocable decision of the supreme pontiff. God speaks infallibly through his Church as it demonstrates and exemplifies its universal teaching in a particular person or judges that person's acts to be in accord with its teaching."
At the same time, it is important to note that while the decree of heroic virtues and the miracle form a necessary part of the process of canonization, they are not the specific object of the declaration of infallibility. - Source
Front row: Archbishop Óscar Romero, Sister Nazaria Ignacia de Santa Teresa de Jesús March Mesa and Father Vincenzo Romano; second row: Father Francesco Spinelli, Nunzio Sulprizio and Sister Maria Katharina Kasper (Photo illustration by Melissa Hartog/National Catholic Register; public domain)