Tomorrow is another day


It sometimes seems that the Patriarch's cause appears almost like a race, that his being canonised is liken to winning and that the stages before are like qualifying rounds and secondary to the final's, which can only have one acceptable result, his canonisation.

In the excitement of the moment one can risk losing sight of the sanctity of each particular stage, each having its own inherent merit, an example to us all. Even before the proclamation on Monday, 30th June 2008 takes place to declare the Patriarch, Venerable, some hearts and minds are already onto the next stages, beatification and ultimately canoisation.

Each stage of a cause has its own unique hurdles and the next, after Monday, has its own particular requirements which can have no prescribed timetable as we are now entering into the realm of intercession and union with God.

In the case of the now Blessed Haddad, he was declared Venerable in 1992 but it was only in 2007 that the Pope formally attributed a miracle, which occurred in 1997, to Blessed Haddad's intercession.

So let us celebrate the sanctity of Monday's proclamation without human expectation. Tomorrow is another day.

To learn more about beatification read the below article by Eternal Word Television Network EWTN, which was written in regard to the cause of Pope John Paul II.

Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN)

Diocese: First Miracle Proposed in Support of the Cause

The remaining step before beatification is the approval of a miracle, evidence of the intercessory power of the Venerable Servant of God and thus of his or her union after death with God. Those who propose a miracle do so in the diocese where it occurred, not in the diocese of the Cause, unless the same. The diocese of the miracle then conducts its own tribunals, scientific and theological.

The scientific commission must determine by accepted scientific criteria that there is no natural explanation for the alleged miracle. While miracles could be of any type, those almost exclusively proposed for Causes are medical. These must be well-documented, both as regards the disease and the treatment, and as regard the healing and its persistence.

While the scientific commission rules that the cure is without natural explanation, the theological commission must rule whether the cure was a miracle in the strict sense, that is, by its nature can only be attributed to God. To avoid any question of remission due to unknown natural causation, or even unrecognized therapeutic causation, theologians prefer cures of diseases judged beyond hope by medicine, and which occur more or least instantaneously. The disappearance of a malignancy from one moment to another, or the instantaneous regeneration of diseased, even destroyed, tissue excludes natural processes, all of which take time. Such cases also exclude the operation of the angelic nature. While the enemy could provoke a disease by his oppression and simulate a cure by withdrawing his action, the cure could not be instantaneous, even one day to the next. Much less can he regenerate tissue from nothing. These are, therefore, the preferred kinds of cases since they unequivocally point to a supernatural cause.

The theological commission must also determine whether the miracle resulted through the intercession of the Servant of God alone. If the family and friends have been praying without cease to the Servant of God exclusively, then the case is demonstrated. However, if they have been praying to the Servant of God, to the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and others, then the case is clouded, and probably cannot be demonstrated. Thus, the task of the theological commission is two-fold, judge whether the cure was a miracle, and judge whether this miracle is due to the intercession of the Servant of God. The decision is forwarded to the Congregation in Rome.

Congregation: First Miracle Proposed in Support of the Cause

As occured at the diocesan level, the Congregation for the Causes of the the Saints establishes both scientific and theological commissions. The affirmative vote of the theological commission is transmitted to the General Meeting of the cardinal and episcopal members, whose affirmative judgment is forwarded to the Supreme Pontiff.

It should be noted that in cases of martyrdom the miracle required for beatification can be waived - martyrdom being understood as a miracle of grace. In this case, the vote of the Congregation would establish the death of the Servant of God as true martyrdom, resulting in a Decree of Martyrdom by the Holy Father.

Supreme Pontiff: Decree of a Miracle

With the Holy Father's approval of a Decree of a Miracle, the Servant of God can be beatified.

Supreme Pontiff: Beatification

With the beatification rite, conducted on the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, the Venerable Servant of God is declared Blessed, e.g. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. This title enables the person to receive liturgical veneration (Mass, Divine Office, images in churches etc.) at the local level, usually restricted to those dioceses or religious institutes closely associated with the person's life. Other dioceses and institutes may petition the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the Indult to render cultus (veneration) to the Blessed. Without such Indult public veneration is illicit. The reason for this is that beatification is not considered an infallible papal act, and so it is not yet appropriate that the entire Church give liturgical veneration to the Blessed. Private devotion is, of course, permitted. Perhaps to reinforce this distinction, Pope Benedict XVI has restored the practice, in use prior to Pope Paul VI, of having the Prefect of the Congregation conduct the beatification, rather than the Pope doing it himself.