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John Duns Scotus, Saint and Doctor of the Church

John Duns Scotus should be canonized a Saint and declared a Doctor of the Church for the following reasons:

1. He led a holy life and was a devout Catholic.

2. By God's Grace and Providence, he understood the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception before most theologians, Bishops, priests, and laypersons.

3. He taught, clarified, and upheld the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception even when the idea was rejected by those around him. It is difficult to understand and believe a doctrine which is rejected by one's peers. John Duns Scotus not only understood and believed, but also stood nearly alone in arguing strongly for this doctrine.

4. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is one of the most important teachings about the Virgin Mary. The Immaculate Conception both defines the beginning of her life and conditions the remainder of her life. Without the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Mary would not be herself. God chose to teach the Church the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception through John Duns Scotus, therefore he is a Doctor of the Church.

The requirements for canonization should be adjusted in this extraordinary case. There are many Saints and Blesseds in the Church, but few have contributed to the understanding of a fundamental doctrine in the same manner and degree as John Duns Scotus. No verification of a miracle should be required for the canonization of Duns Scotus because of his exemplary efforts to advance the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception before it was widely accepted by Bishops, theologians, and the faithful.

by Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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