ATTENTION: While reading this question and especially the two answers provided below by Parjánya and David Wallace, you may naturally think that I am being either too picky here or am trying to do some unnecessary hair-splitting. However, though in general the question has already been answered and I am really very thankful to the above-mentioned supporters, the specific break-up into "the context", "the process" and "the performer" (see the details below) that was requested in my question was not provided. But that break-up is quite important to me — in fact, it was the main reason why I asked this question. Therefore, I decided to start the bounty.
I asked a question about praying to the saints on Christianity.SE and got into a quite a lengthy discussion with one answerer there. There was one point that kind of puzzled me — it's about the word impediment — about how it was used in the answerer's first answer (actually it was his first comment). I have already asked him about that word a few questions and he answered them, but I am still not clear. And I also feel awkward now to ask him any further questions as he may get angry with me (and also lengthy discussion are not welcome on .SE). So I decided to ask it here as it is now a question about the usage of one English word (impediment) and not a question about a doctrine in Christianity (though it will serve as the context now).
What I don't understand there is how being dead works as an impediment. According to my understanding impediment is a kind of obstacle or a hindrance that prevents somebody from doing something. Thus, in a case of impediment there should be a kind of action or a process that is being impeded and also there should be a performer of that process or action.
Here are a few examples:
Political pressure remains the main impediment to free speech in Bulgaria
The context: political situation in Bulgaria The process/action being impeded: free speech The performer: mass media in Bulgaria
"I do solemnly declare," said Jenny. "That I know not of any lawful impediment why I Jenny brown may not be joined in matrimony to John Wilkinson"
The context: marriage ceremony The process/action being impeded: joining in matrimony (to John Wilkinson) The performer: Jenny
If you can break it up for me in the similar way the usage of impediment in our following discussion, it will be just great.
So, here is the discussion:
Me: Do those who pray to saints ascribe to them the quality of being able to hear many people at once? I mean, there could be thousands of Orthodox Christians at this moment praying to, say, Saint Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg, and there could probably be even more of Catholic Christians praying right now to, say, saint Patrick, let alone Mother Mary. Does that mean that all those saints have the All-knowing God's ability to hear all of those praying to them, distinguish their prayers one from another, and later adequately act on each one of them accordingly?
Answerer: I hate to bring up the obvious, but after small impediments like being dead, and hearing you despite not being physically present, even if you are praying silently (internal voice), probably not in their native language... the issue of distinguishing multiple voices seems almost trivial. I can, however, see that time management to "act on" could be a concern — reminds me of a scene in "Bruce Almighty".
Me: "after small impediments like being dead" — What would you say about Moses? On one hand, God told him that he would die — "will sleep with his fathers" (Deu. 31:16), and later he did die (Deu. 34:5), on the other hand, we see him talking to Jesus along with Elijah on the mount of transfiguration (Matthew 17:3), which is even before Jesus' death and resurrection. Does it not indicate that being dead is not an impediment?
Answerer: you have my point backwards; I'm saying that the rules being considered ("only listening to one thing", "need to be present (or use communication tools of some form)", "need to understand the language" ... "need to be alive") are rules dictated by being a living mortal human. Once that is no longer the case, removing the "only listening to one thing" is no different to all the other rules that people seem happier to discard. Your question about Moses is post-death, so again: I am saying it is meaningless to apply any mortal rules, even if we make the assumption that it happened.
Me: I am sorry for being "dumb" here, but would you please explain to me what do those impediments that you mentioned in your first comment actually impede? Since you said that being dead is an impediment I took it as if you meant that that impediment impeded the dead saints from being able to hear others' prayers(let alone being able to hear all of them at once, understand them, act upon each one of them accordingly, etc.). Did I interpret your words correctly here?
Answerer: I'm saying that "listening to one thing" is a feature of living mortal humans. What I am saying is: given all the other things necessary for the question, the "one thing" is very minor, and I'm not sure there's any justification for suggesting/imposing that restriction, but accepting the others. So in answer, "yes, they do".