Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Saints

    When I was thirty something, on the 7th of February 1983, The Congregation for the Causes of Saints, amongst other idiocies, did away with the office of "Defender of the Faith" or "Devil's Advocate." One consequence of this was a burgeoning in the number of Saints and Blesseds and Venerables and Servants of God.  From 1983 to 2005 Pope Paul the Second's pandering regime named five hundred saints, well over a thousand Blesseds, and who knows how many Venerables and Servants of God might have been named.  From 1900 until 1983 only  around eighty souls survived the previous and more rigorous procedures for canonization.  Which is why I am one of those who thinks we should at least reintroduce the office of "Defender of the Faith," instead of the current farce of casting around for any Tom, Dick or Hutchinson to take on the role. I also think a person has to be dead for at least fifty years before he or she can even be considered, rather than the current  five years decreed by the 1983 Congregation. A very paltry five years which the Pope himself may grant an exception from, which for reasons completely incomprehensible to me he did for Mother Teresa.  Easy enough, I suppose, to blame the Eurovision Song Contest for such a ludicrous rationalization.


    But despite the temptation to maybe wonder whether the Congregation of the Causes of Saints was in the early part of 1983 just one long drawn out cocktail party left over from the 1970's,  they did produce what I guess can be called  stream-lined interview standards to guide the procedure by which a person might become a Saint.  The first step in that path is to be considered for the position of Servant of God. This usually begins with a petition by the faithful, but it has to be more than a whimsical moment in the flow of  community politicking or some other cult-like weirdness, because once the Roman Curia agree that someone might be a Servant of God, that person's body is exhumed and what's called "relics" are supposed to be taken.  Bones, I guess.  Unless you are Mother Teresa, who despite demands from across the world and particularly from the Albanian faithful, has not yet been exhumed even though she has survived the condition of Venerable and has achieved the stature of Blessed.  Which means she can have a feast day only observed by the faithful in Calcutta. However,  if one more miracle can be ascribed to her, she'll become a Saint and then the entire globe will be able to eat something for her on September 5th.  And I would have a picture of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, but they all seem to have copyrights, so instead I have pictures of two, Second Century Popes called Pius to contemplate while I weep for the world.


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