The way of the world


It seems that the Parish of Ehden Zgharta believes in subliminal messaging. As all churches and public places in Ehden are decorated with large posters of Patriarch Estephan Douaihy in anticipation of the visit of Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, to see Ehden, the birthplace of the Patriarch. The Congregation after investigating the Patriarch's cause agreed last week to recommend to Pope Benedict XVI, that he should be declared Venerable.

The Congregation is one of nine congregations of the Roman Curia, which is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is responsible for the investigation and examination of the lives and the writings of candidates for beatification and canonisation.

It also seems that the Vatican is subject to the same rumour mill, as is in other organisations and walks of life. The, Catholic News Press, reported last week that within the portals of the Curia it is expected that Cardinal Martins will retire soon having reached canonical retirement last year. The canonical retirement age is 75, whereas the Cardinal is now 76, being born on 6th January 1932.

There seems to be some confusion about the beatification service on Sunday for Fr Jacques Haddad and the usage of the word "venerable" in news reports. The Father was proclaimed Venerable in 1992, but before he could be Beatified there had to be a miracle attributed to him which was investigated and approved by the Vatican. The Father should now be refereed to as Blessed. To be canonised a second miracle has to occur and verified.

The present stage of the cause for Patriarch Estephan Douaihy is awaiting Pope Benedict's proclamation that he be declared Venerable.