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Card. Suenens: The Bishops Should Name Saints for their Own Countries, like the Schismatics

Progressivism wants to transform the processes of canonization. This suggestion was made by one of its principal representatives, Card. Suenens, at the Council. His intervention was reproduced in a news report that Suenens acknowledged as objective in one of his later works.

At right is the cover of the book Memories and Hopes. At right below, photocopies of the French text. Below, we present our translation of the lines highlighted in yellow.

In an intervention at the third session of the Council, Card. Suenens suggested that the Bishops' Conferences be granted the power to conduct the whole process of beatification, which should be managed by a commission of ecclesiastics and laymen, and submitted for the approval of the Pope.

Canonization by the Holy See would be reserved, then, to those saints, already beatified, who enjoyed a reputation and veneration beyond the borders of their countries. The saints canonized by Rome would be added to the list of the universal Church; those beatified by the Bishops' Conferences would be proposed as models and examples only in their own respective countries.

Such a procedure .... would converge with the present day practice of the Orthodox Church that distinguishes among ecumenical, national, and local canonizations.

Above all, it would permit the community to re-discover its active role in this domain. Without this, the designation of new saints runs the risk of being a mere formality.


(Leo Jozef Suenens, Souvenirs et Espérances, Paris: Fayard, 1991, pp. 122-123).


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Posted on August 19, 2006


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