GK Chesterton Institute on Possible Canonization Process

Here is a statement of the GK Chesterton Institute for Faith and Culture regarding a canonization process for GK Chesterton.

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Father Ian Boyd, C. S. B., Founder and President of the G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture at Seton Hall University and Editor of The Chesterton Review makes the following statement on the occasion of G. K. Chesterton’s canonization process:

“We are delighted to hear that the process of looking into the
canonization of G. K. Chesterton has began. We are also delighted that
the first suggestion that he be canonized was made at a Chesterton
Institute conference held at St. Michael’s College in the University
of Toronto. At that conference, Cardinal Emmett Carter the Archbishop
of Toronto, and Honorary President of our Institute, gave a sermon in
which he suggested that Chesterton should be canonized.

We published the Cardinal’s homily in The Chesterton Review (vol. XII,
no. 4, 1986) and readers of the Review in Argentina decided that they
would petition the Vatican to begin the canonization process. Many
eminent Argentinians signed this petition. Ambassador Miguel Angel
Espeche Gil was the leading figure who gathered these signatures.

The suggestion that Chesterton should be canonized was also made by
Professor Scarisbrick a prominent English historian and a member of an
old Catholic Recusist family. Professor J. J. Scarisbrick, a leading
Tudor historian and the author of the definitive biography of Henry
VIII, sent a letter to The Chesterton Review in which he set out his
arguments for Chesterton’s canonization. In this letter, he drew
attention to the special position Chesterton occupied in the Catholic
world, and the remarkable popularity he enjoyed, not only among
Catholics, but also among many other Christians. Was this not an
indication, the Professor asked, that there was a true and wide-spread
religious cult to Chesterton?

An objection had been raised by an official at the Vatican to
Cardinal Carter’s petition. Holiness, the official explained, was not,
in itself, a sufficient basis for canonization. There must also be
evidence of heroic sanctity. In response to this objection, the
Cardinal sent an additional letter to the Vatican in which he pointed
out that Chesterton’s life-long devotion to the cause of Catholic
Truth was an example of just such heroic virtue. Like Professor
Scarisbrick, the Cardinal was convinced that there was a genuine cause
here for the Vatican to consider.

How good then it is to know that the advise of the prominent catholic
leaders concerning Chesterton has at last been acted upon.”

The G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture is located at Seton
Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. The purpose of the
Institute is to promote the thought of G.K. Chesterton and his circle
and, more broadly, to explore the application of Chestertonian ideas
in the contemporary world. Chesterton’s call for a deepened moral and
social imagination speaks loudly to the cultural crises of our own
time. The Institute’s work consists of conferences, lecture series,
research and writing. It is responsible for the publication of The
Chesterton Review, a widely respected Journal. In addition, the
Institute promotes Chestertonian thinking through television, radio,
the press, and the stage. This commitment is not narrow or exclusive.
On the contrary, because of his versatility, Chesterton’s reach is
wide. The Chesterton Review has devoted special issues to C.S. Lewis,
George Bernanos, Hilaire Belloc, Maurice Baring, Christopher Dawson,
Cardinal Manning, the Modernist Crisis, Japanese Christian writers,
Ethics and Economics in Post-Communist Europe. Chesterton, in other
words, stands at the centre of a much wider Catholic and Christian
culture, as well as J. R. R. Tolkien, Fantasy Literature and a
critically acclaimed Special Polish Issue.
In response to the revival of Chesterton in the Hispanic world, since
2006 The Chesterton Review publishes an annual issue in Spanish and a
supplement in Portuguese and as of 2009 annual supplements in French
and Italian. As interest in Chesterton grows around the world, with
the re-publication of his Collected Works and their discovery by a new
generation of avid readers, The Chesterton Review is growing too.

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