Even as Catholics around the world are celebrating the elevation of Mother Teresa to sainthood, yet another great name has been brought up for sainthood. Only this time, it wasn’t done by the Catholic Church, but by the Holy Christian Orthodox Church. A group of Christian leaders on Friday came together for the “glorification” of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The ceremony was held at The Christian Cathedral, conducted by Archbishop Timothy Paul of the Holy Christian Orthodox Church. The ceremony included the traditional unveiling of the saint’s official icon, which was in the presence of thousands of people, including Christian leaders from all over the world.
Recalling the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Archbishop Paul says that he was a great leader and a champion against racial discrimination. While he admits that Dr. King may not have been perfect, he insists that he is an example of how we can do great things for society even in our imperfections. He adds, that people do not remember the leader for his perfections, but for his acts of love and he believes that he won’t be a saint who people will look to alleviate their sufferings, rather, he will stand as an inspiration to them in difficult times.
The Archbishop also states that Dr. King’s life was centered on the gospel. He says that the gospel inspired every major decision that he did. In fact, the Archbishop also believes that it was his dedication to the Gospel that eventually brought about his death and that his death could have been avoided if he only turned his back on the Bible. And the fact that he didn’t do so is proof of his devout and heroic nature.
It is well-known that Dr. King’s personal life was messy. Archbishop Paul talks about how his enemies constantly dug into his personal life and exposed a number of affairs he had been having. One of the most common allegations against him was his weakness for women. As such, he may not be the best example for a Christian who practices highly refined virtues. However, it is these failings on his part, the Archbishop says, that make him so relatable to our failing human nature.
Dr. King will be included in the All Saints Day observance by the Church and will be presented to be venerated April 4, the date of his assassination.
SOURCE: World Religion News – Gary Nguyen