Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

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jserraglio
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Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

Post by jserraglio » Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:17 pm

New York Times

ROME — Pope Francis has paved the way for the canonization of Pope Paul VI, who led the Roman Catholic Church through turmoil in the 1960s and ’70s, and the slain Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero, the Vatican announced on Wednesday.

Francis approved the decrees on Tuesday confirming miracles attributed to the intercession of then former pontiff and the Salvadoran archbishop, the Holy See said in a statement.
The miracle attributed to Paul VI involves the healing of a seriously ill fetus, according to the Diocese of Brescia, where the pope was born. In the case of Archbishop Romero, the nature of the miracle has not been made public, but Vatican journalists have speculated that it concerned a woman whose pregnancy presented serious risks for her and her baby, and who healed inexplicably.
“It is fortuitous that their miracles were approved the same day,” said Andrea Tornielli, who covers the Vatican for the Italian daily La Stampa and its website, Vatican Insider. “It’s not a coincidence that the Vatican announced them together. They both cared for the poor and social justice, and Pope Paul VI encouraged Romero all his life long.”
The approval of the miracles was the last step required for Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Romero to be canonized. No dates for the canonizations have officially been set.

Óscar Romero:
Archbishop Óscar Romero of San Salvador, who defended the poor and the oppressed in his homilies and radio broadcasts, was shot and killed while he was saying Mass in a hospital chapel in El Salvador on March 24, 1980.
Months before, on the eve of the country’s civil war, Archbishop Romero had angered many in the country’s military dictatorship by writing to President Jimmy Carter to ask that the United States halt military aid to El Salvador, and by repeatedly calling for an end to the brutal killings of political opponents.
“The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters,” he had said.
No one was ever prosecuted for his death, but a 1993 United Nations commission found that his assassination had been planned by officers close to Roberto D’Aubuisson, an extreme-right former army major and founder of the Nationalist Republican Alliance, which governed the country from 1989 until 2009.
Archbishop Romero’s beatification was stalled for years at the Vatican, as many frowned on his association with leftist political views, liberation theology and communism.
Francis, however, declared the archbishop a model of peace and forgiveness in 2015, honoring the Salvadoran as a martyr in “hatred of the faith.” The pope beatified the archbishop in San Salvador months later.

Paul VI:
Giovanni Battista Montini, cardinal of Milan, was elected pope in 1963. During his 15-year pontificate, he shepherded the church through a period of enormous internal change as well as social and political upheaval, trying to bring together progressive and conservative positions in the church.
Paul VI was the first pope to travel to Latin America, where he presided over the assembly of local bishops in 1968. There, officials agreed that the church should give a “preferential option for the poor,” a tenet of Francis’ pontificate.
After the Second Vatican Council, in the early 1960s, Pope Paul VI created the Synod of Bishops, an assembly to promote better dialogue among clerics and the Vatican. But he also reached out to other faiths, promoting ecumenism in the six continents he visited. He was the first pope to travel to Israel, in 1964, doing so even before the Vatican recognized the state.
Paul VI abolished the pontifical court and simplified the Vatican administration. He is also remembered for being the first pope to dismiss the papal tiara, an emblem of intertwined temporal and spiritual power.
In a highly symbolic gesture, he sold it to raise funds for the poor.

jbuck919
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Re: Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:52 pm

"Jamais plus l'enfer!"

Romero was clearly a martyr Traditionally, and I believe even according to church doctrine, martyrs automatically go to heaven. I do not know why they go through the process of forma canonization. St. Thomas More, a very great and important martyr, was not added to the canon until centuries after his martyrdom. The miracle requirement was waived for him.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Belle
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Re: Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

Post by Belle » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:23 am

You seem to know a great deal about the Catholic Church. I've only started taking an interest in the Catholic faith in very recent times. Just my natural sense of inquiry; though I know little about any of it (despite being brought up Catholic). Something to think about and learn about in the coming years (along with everything else!). When I was growing up my 3 sisters and myself treated catholicism as a kind of madness, with regular jokes along the lines of being persecuted by the communists for being catholic which included, but not limited to, stretching on the rack. When we get together the 4 of us joke about it, but I think much more seriously about it these days - which is something the rest of them find very amusing now.

I must admit my interest in the Jordan Peterson biblical series (on U-Tube) is what has stimulated my interest in religion and the bible - along with my eldest son and 2 of his erstwhile school-friends who are on the opposite side of the political divide!! They're all decent men and they are Catholic and want to know more in their early 40s.

But one thing remains in my memory; Catholic priests coming to our family home for beer, good conversation and my mother's piano playing. Some of them were very liberal and fun-loving back in those days. (Sure, they were shunted away to the country to a quieter parish life as some kind of penance for the sin of laughter and enjoyment!!) Ah, those were the days....

jserraglio
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Re: Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

Post by jserraglio » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:53 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:52 pm
Romero was clearly a martyr Traditionally, and I believe even according to church doctrine, martyrs automatically go to heaven. I do not know why they go through the process of forma canonization. St. Thomas More, a very great and important martyr, was not added to the canon until centuries after his martyrdom. The miracle requirement was waived for him.
As the saying goes, it's a lot more complicated than that. And as such, all the more fascinating.

I gather the earliest saints were mostly martyrs. Most of the couple dozen saints listed by name in the Roman Mass are martyrs.

But there is no such thing as automatic sainthood designation for martyrs and never has been. Except for the very earliest times, the Church has always followed a formal process of some sort controlled by its hierarchy for naming martyrs as saints: in the early days, it was the local bishops, rather than the head-honcho pope, who made the decision to canonize. As early as the third century, St. Cyprian, bishop of Carthage (executed 258, and himself one of the martyrs listed in the Mass) urged bishops to exercise due diligence before naming saints (Wikipedia), which suggests that abuses had already crept in even at this very early date.

Two hundred years later . . .
Saint Augustine of Hippo (died 430) tells of the procedure which was followed in his day for the recognition of a martyr. The bishop of the diocese in which the martyrdom took place set up a canonical process for conducting the inquiry with the utmost severity. The acts of the process were sent either to the metropolitan or primate, who carefully examined the cause, and, after consultation with the suffragan bishops, declared whether the deceased was worthy of the name of 'martyr' and public veneration.(Wikipedia)
In our day, martyrs like Óscar Romero follow an expedited path to canonization.
Mathew Schmalz, Assoc Prof of Religion, Holy Cross College wrote:Martyrs have a different path to sainthood. They become “blessed” when the pope makes a “Decree of Martyrdom.” After a single miracle, martyrs are “raised to the glory of the Altars,” a phrase that refers to the public ceremony in which a person is formally named a saint.
Then there is the interesting phenom of equipollent canonization.
Popes have several times permitted to the universal Church, without executing the ordinary judicial process of canonization described above, the veneration as a saint, the "cultus" of one long venerated as such locally. This act of a pope is denominated "equipollent" or "equivalent canonization" and "confirmation of cultus".(Wikipedia)
Notable examples of saints created equipollently are Albert the Great (1931) and Hildegard of Bingen (2012).

As for Thomas More, since 1980 even the Anglican Church recognizes him and Bishop John Fisher as "Saints and Heroes of the Christian Church" (Wikipedia).

jbuck919
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Re: Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:37 pm

The latidudinarian Anglican church also considers Thomas Cranmer and Charles I Stuart to be martyrs. In the case of the former, that does rather contradict accepting Thomas More as such.

I was aware of the phenomenon of acclamatio populorum producing saints that were let stand by the higher-ups. All the very earliest saint/martyrs must have been in this category. However, I was surprised to find Albertus Magnus (the teacher of Thomas Aquinas) and Hildegard of Bingen, the first composer who is known to us by name, on a similar list. They may have been saintly people, but I don't see that the source of their fame or example, which was intellectual or artistic, would have initiated an end-run around the usual process, especially since neither was a figure of the first millenium.

Sorry if I implied that I was unaware that martyrs have to go through a process, if only to prove that they were martyrs. What I should have said was that, again as a matter of popular acclaim, one does not pray for their souls as one does for those of the ordinary dead, though I suppose that this would also have applied to someone who was "only" a virgin and confessor like Mother Theresa. A number of Trappists were slaughtered in Maoist China, and the letter of the father general to all the houses said that it did not seem appropriate to ask for prayers for their souls, since they seemed to have suffered martyrdom (as was afterward clearly established).

IIRC, the first saint to undergo a papal canonization of the modern sort was none other than St. Francis of Assisi.

To Belle, secular priests (i.e., those not vowed to a strict rule but are diocesan employees, or who belong to one of the laxer religious orders) are allowed a modicum of creature comforts including the pleasure of being social and self-indulgent short of sex or excess in the pleasures of the flesh.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

Post by jserraglio » Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:44 am

Thanks. Very enlightening commentary about a process that has long fascinated me from a purely secular POV. I believe that sainthood by popular acclamation is different from equipollent canonization. Pope Francis recently named Peter Faber a saint equipollently because there was a long-established local cult that venerated him. He was a co-founder (you guessed it) of Francis's Jesuits.

I recall being excited to hear the assembled populace in Peter's Square wildly chanting "Santo subito!" after John Paul II's death. For me it was a throwback to how canonization by acclamation may have unfolded in the early days of the Church. Caught in the throes of such an outpouring of emotion, bishops like Cyprian and Augustine might well have urged caution and set up a stringent, dispassionate process of juridical inquiry.

John F
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Re: Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

Post by John F » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:11 pm

Pope Paul a saint? He certainly didn't seem like one when he was alive, not to me anyway. Maybe sainthood is becoming a kind of emeritus honor for former popes, as professor emeritus is for former distinguished professors.
John Francis

Belle
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Re: Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

Post by Belle » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:00 am

Speaking about Pope Paul here is a classic piece of comedy at 18:55 in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LaJDOD5cJI

jserraglio
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Re: Sainthood imminent for Paul VI and Óscar Romero

Post by jserraglio » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:03 am

John F wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:11 pm
Pope Paul a saint? He certainly didn't seem like one when he was alive, not to me anyway. Maybe sainthood is becoming a kind of emeritus honor for former popes, as professor emeritus is for former distinguished professors.
Pope Francis has joked about the current papal saint bubble — "Heaven help us both!" he wisecracked, referring to himself and retired Pope Benedict. Far more interesting were the days when Dante consigned popes to Hell for sundry real and imaginary offenses.

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