Is he or is he not on the road to being canonized?
In the coming weeks, the fate of Gilbert Keith Chesterton will be known.
Soon, all eyes will turn upon Canon John Udris as he presents his written report to the bishop of Northampton, England, with, thereafter, a decision being made.
I’m not optimistic about seeing “St. Gilbert” anytime soon, although the Roman Catholic Church is full of surprises. Some of that is due to his anti-Semitic remarks, which should endear him to the current Labour Party. But frankly I’m surprised that the RCC in England, as liberal as its hierarchy is, is even allowing consideration of Chesterton for anything.
On a broader view, the Roman Catholic Church has always had an aversion for canonising or even celebrating its best post-Reformation thinkers and preachers. Whether you’re an Old Folk Mass or #straightouttairondale type, Catholics in parishes are presented with some of the most banal examples of Catholic thought and life out there. For the better ones, one in particular whose cause is a main item on this blog is Jaques-Bénigne Bossuet. AFAIK, he’s never been considered for canonisation, although he is the Church’s best and most eloquent defender since Trent. Perhaps it is best that Chesterton be left to his fans to insure his legacy.
In the UK, he is known mostly for the Father Brown series; his magnificent apologetic works are mostly admired outside of Old Blighty. With Bossuet it’s different; the French still consider him a major literary figure of the XVIIth Century, in some ways the country’s Golden Age. But then again the French are better at appreciating their literary heritage en bloc, as they did recently when they re-entombed Simone Veil (a Holocaust survivor) in the Pantheon.
Another good reason for Brexit?