The Resurgence just posted an interesting article on facebook about St. Patrick (http://theresurgence.com/2012/07/06/get-to-know-saint-patrick). There are many interesting things in the article. One interesting thing is that The Resurgence declares that St. Patrick is not technically a Saint. Their reason for saying that he wasn’t technically a Saint is that he was never formally canonized.
While it is true that St. Patrick wasn’t formally canonized, it is not true that this fact alone means that he isn’t a saint in the Catholic Church. The reason is that there was no formal process of canonization in the Church at the time. Canonization is handed down to us from the early Church who (informally – it was by acclamation of the people) declared the martyrs to be in heaven with Jesus. To say that formal Canonization is needed to declare one a saint would leave some interesting holes in the Roman Calendar. We also would have to conclude that Mary, St. Joseph, St. Peter, St. Paul, Mary Magdalene, All of the apostles, and all of the early Martyrs also aren’t technically Saints as they were never formally canonized. But doing so would be pretty dumb. So let’s just get it out of the way and say that St. Patrick is, in fact, technically a Saint according to the Roman Catholic Church.
Of course, this wasn’t the only interesting thing. Without providing any evidence whatsoever, The Resurgence claims that “The Roman Catholic Church had given up on converting such “barbarians,” who were deemed beyond hope.” To deem something must mean that they are referring to some kind of official statement declaring something. The Resurgence provides no evidence for such a claim.
There is, however, evidence that the Catholic Church had missionary activity in Ireland before Patrick’s arrival. In fact, Pope Celestine I had already established a diocese there and sent a man named Palladius as its bishop (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palladius). St. Patrick was sent as his replacement (the fact that he was sent also conflicts with some of the details in the Resurgence article).
So, again, a ministry of Mark Driscoll is guilty of sloppy scholarship, this time completely re-writing history in order to perpetuate their own understanding of what ministry should look like. If their interpretation of history is correct, they owe it to everyone to provide evidence for their claims.
UPDATE 3/17/13 – It appears as though mark Driscoll has made some updates to his article at the Resurgence. There are now some notes for further studies, which is very helpful. It also looks as though he elaborated on the “Roman Opposition” section to include some new material. Keep this in mind as you read the above.