GK Chesterton’s sainthood cause may soon be opened

GK Chesterton’s sainthood cause may soon be opened

[AQ TOM: Don’t forget his friend and colleague Hilaire Belloc (see comment below)]

Northampton, England, May 30, 2018 / 12:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As an investigation into the life of Catholic apologist G.K. Chesterton nears a close, admirers of the English writer voiced hope that his sainthood cause could soon be opened.

“Chesterton stands up as that saint who contradicts the world in terms of speaking out against a bad philosophy and bad thinking,” said Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society.

“Chesterton is someone who has really contradicted the age. He is in fact a maker of converts. There are hundreds of people who have come to the Catholic faith as a result of encountering G.K. Chesterton, and I’m certainly one of them.”

Ahlquist spoke to CNA on May 29, which would have been Chesterton’s 144th birthday.

An investigation into the cause for Chesterton, conducted by Canon John Udris, is expected to be completed this summer.

It will then be sent to Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton, who will consult with the Vatican about whether to open the beatification cause.

Ahlquist said the decision will most likely be announced this fall.

Chesterton was born in 1874 and died in 1936 as a well-known author with many published novels, poems, plays, and philosophical and theological essays. As a result of his marriage to Frances, he developed a strong faith as a devout Anglican. In 1922, he converted to Catholicism.

His writing is known for its wit and dedication to the truth. Among his numerous works, he is the author of the Father Brown mystery series and the Christian apologetic book Orthodoxy.

Ahlquist said there is much evidence for Chesterton’s beatification: “his heroic virtue, his goodness, and his humility.” However, he said the Englishman is most well known for defending faith and reason.

“He saw the attack on the family, on life itself, the attack on the faith, but also the attack on reason and the use of good, solid, rational thinking. He knew people were starting to lead with their moods and lead with their emotions.”

With the continued deterioration of reason in today’s world, Ahlquist suggested that the world needs a saint opposed to the culture. He quoted Chesterton’s saying on Thomas Aquinas: “Sometimes the age is converted by the saint who contradicts it the most.”

Personal devotion to Chesterton is growing, said Ahlquist, noting that his organization has distributed thousands of Chesterton prayer cards in 12 different languages throughout the world.

“We are hoping and praying that [Bishop Doyle] makes a positive [decision] and will be recommending to the Congregation for Saints that they officially open the cause.”

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4 comments on “GK Chesterton’s sainthood cause may soon be opened

  1. Should Hilaire Belloc be canonized?
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    Catholic Answers Forum – 4/13/08 et seq.
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    Johann_du_Toit:
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    I have only started reading Belloc’s books, and I am beginning to think he was akin to a modern day prophet, both for his insight and wisdom and his unapologetic defence of the Catholic Faith (both of whom I am beginning to think were divinely inspired)
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    In his book Europe and the Faith, he outlined how the Catholic Church shaped modern civilization and laid the foundation for law and morality in the modern age;
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    In his book The Great Heresies, he predicted there would be a great conflict between the Islamic societies of the Middle East and the West;
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    In The Servile State, he came to the conclusion that laizze faire capitalism and state socialism were merely 2 sides of the same coin, and that both ultimately resulted in the majority of people being reduced to servants in an economic system run to the benefit of a tiny elite- if you look at it, isn’t it ironic how entwined big government and big business have become, to the point you can’t tell the difference anymore?;
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    In The Free Press, he predicted that the freedom of the press would be undermined by the concentration of media ownership in too few hands (long before Rupert Murdoch was even born!)
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    Should Belloc, in your opinion, be beatified for his contribution to the faith and to Catholic philosophy and apologetics? If not, is there a serious deficiency in his work or character that should preclude his case (and which I may have missed)?
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    Charlemagne_II:
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    Belloc was a brilliant and honorable man. As to whether he should be beatified, I say yes, but only if G.K. Chesterton is beatified first! ;) Or they should be beatified at the same time since they appear to be intellectually and spiritually joined at the hips.
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    Aspirant:What do we know about his heroic virtue and local cult?
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    Johann_du_Toit:
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    In regard to his virtue:
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    He attended mass every day and also prayed the rosary on a daily basis.He was a loving husband and father. One of the reasons he took up writing and history was to challenge the officially endorsed “protestant” version of history (i.e the Church was corrupt, the Reformation was good, England became a great nation when it broke away from Rome, etc). He stood up against bigotry and intolerance against his fellow Catholics (like his famous rebuke to an anti-catholic heckler when he ran for a seat in parliament). He ran for parliament to fight against corruption and as a journalist never hesitated to tell the truth no matter how unpopular it was. Apart from his nonfiction books, his poetry and children’s stories also reflect his love of God and the Church. He was admired and respected by his contemporaries (Chesterton converted to Catholicism at least partly due to his influence).
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    I don’t know anything about his local cult, however.

  2. From the CWN combox for this item:
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    Fr Peter Morello – MAY 30, 2018
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    A saint is primarily a model for Christians to emulate. If anyone presents that model of direct courageous faith and life at that time in a much more demeaning hostile Protestant Britain to the current post truth world hostile to Apostolic Christianity it is G K Chesterton.

  3. Found it. I cannot vouch for Odou or TIA in this but the article claims to quote Belloc’s own work. I’m tossing this out there simply for discussion purposes. I have no dog in this fight.
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    www.traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/j013htBelloc_FR_1.htm

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