By Marielena Montesino de Stuart
There are more and more similarities between the administrative styles of Barack Obama and Francis.
Barack Obama loves to pull the Executive Orders out of his drawer, whenever things aren’t moving fast enough– or simply not going his way.
It appears that Francis likes Obama’s style.
In a move that is leaving many gasping for air (except perhaps for a few of us)– Francis has begun to unilaterally declare saints– bypassing the already relaxed process of saint making– which was promulgated by John Paul II in 1983. As such, Francis went straight to the catalogue of saints and added Pierre Favre, a former “college roommate” of Ignatius Loyola, while the two studied in Paris. Italy’s Vatican Insider is reporting this event as a possible use of “equivalent canonization”– a process apparently used by Benedict XVI to canonize Hildegard of Bingen.
No one is doubting that there are good and holy persons that could eventually become saints. But what if someone is declared a saint without careful scrutiny– and we are later told that there were “certain problems”– as in the case of Pope Alexander III, who scolded Swedes for venerating a monk killed in a drunken brawl.
By the time we find out that there’s a problem, it will be too late. There will be massive veneration of the individual elevated to sainthood, babies will be named after the saint– in addition to monuments, fountains, roads– and towns built in his or her name. This is what happens in Roman Catholicism when someone is elevated to sainthood. We do things in a big way.
And what does this relaxed and biased process of canonization say to those saintly persons who have been put through the grinder of beatification– and have produced the required miracles? It certainly does not sound fair to them.
This spring we will also expect to see the speedy canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II.
If you are a modernist, I’m sure that this fast-track to sainthood will suit you just right.
Get in line. Here’s your chance. And try to stay away from drunken brawls.
Someone has to say the truth…
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