News & Events

Statement on Chesterton's Cause
Seton Hall > News & Events 

G. K. Chesterton DrawingFather Ian Boyd, C. S. B., President of the G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture at Seton Hall University and Editor of its journal, The Chesterton Review has released the following statement regarding the cause for Chesterton's canonization.

"We are delighted to hear that the process of looking into the canonization of G. K. Chesterton has begun. 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' homily in The Chesterton Review (vol. XII, no. 4, 1986).

In 1994 readers of the Review in Argentina wrote to Cardinal Hume petitioning 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 J. J. Scarisbrick a prominent English historian and a member of an old Catholic Recusist family. Professor 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 advice of these prominent Catholic leaders concerning Chesterton has at last been acted upon."

For more information please contact:
Chesterton Institute
(973) 275-2431


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