DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     November 4, 1999     vol. 10, no. 209

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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        CALCUTTA, NOV 2 (ZENIT).- Is it necessary to carry out a diocesan process as a first step in a person's beatification? This is the issue being debated in India, occasioned by the endeavor to raise Mother Teresa of Calcutta to the glory of the altars.

        In face of the enthusiasm inspired by the figure of this deceased religious of Albanian origin, Jesuit Fr. Gaston Roberge, 64, director of the Communications Department of the St. Francis Xavier School in Calcutta, said he thinks "it is not necessary to initiate a diocesan process to proclaim a person a saint. It is the exercise of an absolute power of the Church. When we discover a person who is worthy of imitation, a communication from the Pope and the Bishops to the faithful would be sufficient."

        But, according to VID, the information service of the world's religious communities, Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk of the Missionaries of Charity, postulator of Mother Teresa's cause, says that such procedures are necessary, because they allow "a morally certain judgment on the sanctity" of the person.

        For his part, Salesian Fr. Joseph Aymanathil has stated that a cause of canonization "is not an exercise of power." In fact, beginning from the diocesan level avoids imposition from the top. Thus, "the ecclesial authorities respond to a petition that comes from the Christian communities."

        Sister Nirmala Joshi, Mother Teresa's successor in the leadership of the Missionaries of Charity, did not wish to comment on this issue. ZE99110210

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

November 4, 1999       volume 10, no. 209


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