Sunday, October 22, 2006
As a result of new rules recently issued by the Pope, he was absent from the beatification of Paul Josef Nardini which was carried out by Cardinal Wetter in the Cathedral of Speyr. The ceremony of Canonisation, at least for the time being is reserved to the Pope. Since the Beatification of Maximilian Kolbe in 1971 the Pope has carried out beatifications.
Anyone who knows Pirmasens will realise that Fr Nardini while well respected has no religious cult to speak of. He was a well-known social reformer.
The idea used to be the case that causes were taken to Rome for judgement and indeed contestation by the Devil's Advocate. Now, the Dioceses have become part of the process, as the Pope explained in a recent TV interview prior to his visit to Germany. The idea is to bring saints close to the people.
If this is taken too far, we can look forward to Blessed Cardinal Hume being beatified in Westminster Cathedral. He was buried in the Chapel of the English Saints just to hasten this process rather than his monastery. It was rather surprising therefore to learn that this holy monk had the habit of spending 1000 pounds on shoes from one of the most exclusive shoemakers in London. He once got up off his deathbed to receive an Order of Merit from the Queen of England (as she didn't want to visit him in hospital).
There is much modern laxity in the matter of sanctity. Blessed Emperor Charles of Austria would almost certainly have remained a Venerable prior to the 1983 reforms of the process.
In 1993, the Catholic Truth Society published the following pamphlet.
The only problem is that Simone Weil could not be a saint. She remained Jewish fearing that "fearing that the consolations of organised religion would impair her faith." She as an outsider had an admiration and identified with the heretical sect called the Cathars. She probably committed suicide. But apart from that she was clearly destined for sanctity. See a saint for our time.
The lack of a popular cult is clearly now no bar to canonisation and beatification. At a recent ceremony in Rome, 10000 turned out, that's just 2500 for each new saint.
as witnessed by the gravestones. How long before those that drink to the death of the Pope (the Mayor of Brussels ordered champagne!) try to ban crosses on gravestones? It is is a little known fact that in England, it is illegal to put a picture of the deceased on a gravestone. The Italians ignore the law! - but probably don't know about it anyhow.