Funny Things Happen

SALVADORAN ARCHBISHOP OSCAR ROMEROGrant Gallicho is one of the best journalists in the Commonweal satchel. His reporting on sex abuse cover-up is thorough and fair, while not shying away from brutality and stupidity of the players.

He has a good short piece up on their blog today.

During a 2007 in-flight press conference, (Pope) Benedict was asked about Romero’s canonization process. Whether Romero “merits beatification,” the pontiff said, “I do not doubt.” That comment was scrubbed from the transcript released by the Holy See press office, as though the dozens of reporters present for the remark wouldn’t report it.

So apparently Benedict did want to see Romero beatified. But that was 2007. If he had no doubt that Romero should be beatified, then why did he wait five years to tell Paglia that the case was moving forward–news that was not reported until 2013? Trujillo died in ’08, so if he was puppet-mastering the blockade on Romero’s canonization, did someone else take the strings? Or was this another lever of curial power Benedict struggled to pull? And if Benedict had already unblocked the cause, why did Paglia report last year that Francis had unblocked it? Hard to say, but one could be forgiven for wondering about Benedict’s commitment to Romero’s cause.

There were certainly people fast-tracked in 1978-2013. I am sure they were all deserving saints, even if they were strongly if not over-represented by candidates outside the non-vowed laity.

Orthodoxy morphed from separated Easterners into a political badge in the Age of Apologetics, so are we also forgiven if we decline to venerate certain recent saints others have become attached to?

The usually humorous and viciously satirical site from “Father D” (not Z!) suggests Cardinal Castrillón-Hoyos was likely holding the other set of puppet strings on the Romero cause. D is a little too biting for my taste, even if I feel aligned with the bump behind the bite.

Is it time to put belly-achin’ to rest on the Romero cause? Good winners, and all? That’s where I’m leaning these days. I am sure that many anti-Marxists will never invoke Archbishop Oscar in their litany of saints. Fine with me. I’m not chill with all their saints either. In a few centuries, most of this political crap will be forgotten and we’ll have women and men studied in church history classes, and a few teens here and there in the solar system will have another confirmation sponsor lined up based on the e-Butler’s Lives.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Funny Things Happen

  1. Fariba says:

    I am thrilled that Romero has been declared a martyr. It’s probably better to canonize a person within 50 years of his/her death because the world changes and a person is officially canonized because he/she embodies values the Church wants to promote. We can be short-sighted though and assume something is a virtue when it is a glittering vice. This is partly why the canonization of Junipero Sera is so controversial. In his time, being a missionary to the American Southwest was considered heroic even if the indigenous people were oppressed. Today, such a person isn’t considered a hero. I also think of Thomas More. As Lord Chancellor he was involved in the trial of William Tyndale and other Protestants. Lots of questions there. Canonization is always an official statement made by the Church and the person canonized represents a type of person. By canonizing Sera are we canonizing forceful missionary activity? Romero was a good priest and I don’t suspect his reputation will change 100 years from now, but in general, quick canonizations are probably preferred. I am, though, not the biggest fan of the canonization of popes (except in a few cases) or canonizing everyone under the sun like JP2 did. Again, this is because the Church is making a “political” statement each and every time she canonizes.

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