Catholic Warp Speed

May 1, 2010 at 8:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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At some point in the recent outpouring of commentary on the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis, John Allen noted that the Vatican document ordering all Catholic bishops to report instances of sex abuse by clergy to the civil authorities had come at what was, for the Catholic Church, “warp speed.”

I gained some insight into the speed with which the institutional church does (or perhaps I should say does not) do things during a visit to Siena a few years back. Keith and I were visiting one of the  basilicas in Siena when we came upon a statue of Blessed Joachim Piccolomini, a Servite tertiary who lived from 1258-1305, and was known for his love of the poor.

There was a sign under the statue informing visitors that members of the Servite Order greatly desired that Blessed Joachim, who had been beatified by Pope Paul V on 21 March 1609, be canonized. Therefore, if anyone praying before this statue had received a special favor or miracle through the intercession of Blessed Joachim, would they please notify the Servite superior. At that point, four hundred years more or less had passed since Blessed Joachim’s beatification and seven hundred years since his death.

Perhaps if the collegial church introduced at Vatican II, a mere half-century ago, ever comes to pass, that will be the miracle needed to get Blessed Piccolomini canonized at last.  

Blessed Joachim Piccolomini, pray for us!

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