Think you’ve got what it takes to be canonised? Here’s five steps to becoming a saint
The Catholic Church puts candidates through meticulous vetting and as well as performing miracles, you’ll need to have a spare US$1 million
Topic | Pope Francis
Agence France-Presse
Published: 2:38pm, 12 Oct, 2018 Updated: 7:45pm, 14 Oct, 2018
The canonisation Sunday of Archbishop Oscar Romero, assassinated in 1980, and of Paul VI, who was pope from 1963 to 1978, is the last stage in the Vatican’s arduous process of creating saints.
The Roman Catholic Church puts candidates through meticulous vetting. In most cases the dossier must contain two “miracles”, usually scientifically inexplicable healings resulting from the candidate’s posthumous intercession in answer to prayers.
Portrait taken in December 1991 in New Dehli shows Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Photo: AFP
‘Reputation for sainthood’
Friends or relatives can apply posthumously for their loved one to be recognised as having a “reputation for sainthood”, which gets the ball rolling on the full sainthood application process.
This usually begins at least five years after a person’s death, although this was not the case for crowd favourites Mother Teresa and pope John Paul II for whom the timetable has been brought forward.
Once the candidate’s holy reputation is recognised, he or she becomes a “Servant of God”. A “postulator” is appointed to collect testimonies and compile all of the candidate’s writings, producing a warts-and-all curriculum vitae.
The file then goes to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, a Vatican department, where it is submitted to severe scrutiny by an official known today as the Promoter of Justice – formerly the Devil’s Advocate.
Former pope Saint John Pual II. Photo: Reuters
If the Vatican gives the go-ahead, the candidate is henceforth considered “Venerable”. The search begins for an inexplicable healing attributed to the candidate, who is considered to have interceded with God on behalf of the sick to bring about the “miracle”.
Doctors and theologians are involved in in-depth investigations of such supposed miracles, and many candidates are rejected at this stage because scientific explanations cannot be ruled out.
If Vatican investigators recognise a “miracle”, the candidate is “beatified”, to be referred to henceforth as “blessed”.
Many years can pass between the attribution of a first and a second miracle and some sainthood candidates never move beyond the “blessed” stage.
If a second miracle is recognised, however, the candidate can qualify for canonisation, becoming a saint.
In the case of “Good Pope” John XXIII, who launched the Vatican II reform drive in 1962, Pope Francis waived this requirement with the consent of the College of Cardinals.
Catholic faithful march to celebrate the 92nd birthday of slain Archbishop of San Salvador Oscar Romero, who is being canonised by Pope Francis on Sunday. Photo: AFP
Costly process, other pathways
The process can be very expensive – costing up to US$1 million – and this has tended to favour candidates from the developed world. Italy boasts some 260 saints, while only a dozen have hailed from Africa.
Francis has however changed the rules to make the process less costly.
Other pathways to sainthood include martyrdom, with dying for one’s faith warranting beatification, although a miracle is still required to attain sainthood.
Another means, known as “equivalent canonisation”, recognises a candidate who has long been venerated as a saint in his or her local region. Pope Francis has created several saints on this basis.
In July 2017 the pontiff added a new pathway to becoming a saint for Christians who lay down their lives to save others.


Irish priest who founded Boys Town in the US one step closer to sainthood
Kerry O’Shea July 25, 2019 – 02:30 PM
Father Flanagan, the Irish founder of Boys Town, is one step closer to sainthood this week.@BoysTownMission, Facebook
The case for Father Flanagan’s canonization progressed this week
Father Edward Flanagan, the Irish priest who founded Boys Town in the US, is one step closer to becoming a saint.
Read More: On This Day: Father Flanagan, founder of Boys Town, is born in Ireland
The Catholic News Agency reports that a ‘posito,’ or a summary of the records collected by the Archdiocese of Omaha, was presented on July 22 at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The materials are now set to be reviewed by historical consultants at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, then theological consultants, and finally the members of the congregation.
Also presented was a letter of support from the Archbishop of Omaha George Lucas, who said in a statement: “It has been a privilege to offer my support for the cause of Father Edward Flanagan at each stage of this process.”
“I was able to share with Cardinal Becciu the encouragement offered to all of us in the Church during this challenging time by the virtuous life and work of Father Flanagan.”
Father Edward J. Flanagan (@BoysTownMission, Facebook)
Read More: Boys Town founder Fr. Flanagan warned Irish Church about abuse
Father Flanagan’s journey to sainthood officially began when the Archdiocese of Omaha opened his case in 2012. Their initial phase concluded in 2015 as their documents were sent to the Vatican.
In 2017, Cardinal Angelo Amato, who was prefect of the Congregation at the time, signed a decree that affirmed the validity of Omaha Diocese’s initial phase.
Now, if all are in agreement of the validity of the posito and materials that were presented this week, Father Flanagan will be advanced to “venerable,” the next step towards sainthood.
Father Flanagan, who was born in Co Roscommon and emigrated to the US before becoming a priest, is most famous for founding Boys Town in Nebraska.
The Boys Town website says of Father Flanagan: “He believed that children had rights and should be protected. These rights and this protection covered everything from basic necessities like nutritious food, clean clothes, and a bed to sleep into child labor laws that prohibited employers from forcing children to work in dangerous conditions for unfair pay. Father Flanagan also sought to close reformatories and other juvenile facilities where children were abused and literally held prisoner.”
Now, Boys Town has 80 locations around the world while the original Boys Town cares for an estimated 80,000 people annually.
At the bidding of President Harry S. Truman, Father Flanagan also traveled to war-torn Asia in the 1940s to advise on child and family care in the midst of conflict.

Why gambling is a deadly disease
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This is to all the youths, and anyone else out there who thinks betting is a good idea. Well, it might be a good idea when you are constantly winning; but what if you are constantly losing and you just can’t stop? That’s my point. That’s when you’ll know that you are not only a gambler but an addicted gambler.
It sounds like a deadly disease without a cure. Once you start betting and lose control, you won’t stop! Just like drug abuse. It gets inside you and becomes an additional part of your body that you just can’t do without. ’That’s the sad truth.
Everything has the bad side and the good side, for betting, of course, it’s losing or winning. There’s nothing in between. Apparently, everyone bets with the intention of winning. Okay, let’s focus on the bad side of this disease. It comes fully packaged with depression, financial instability, poor planning of finances, poverty, and death!
How does one bet with Sh30,000 and loses, takes another Sh30,000, bets and loses, takes Sh10,000, bets and win Sh60,000 and then bet with the Sh60,000 and loses everything? Is that even normal?
There are a lot of suicidal deaths in our society today all of them revolving around depression due to lack of money, lack of a source of income or losing a bet you placed with your last savings. The game has really cost a lot of innocent lives, and as a result, the country is losing sources of labor.
This game will drain each and every coin in your account; it will even make you borrow money from friends, relatives, or take loans just to play it and lose. The more you play, the more you lose money, and the more poverty crawls in, and the more you live in denial, and all you can ever think of is to end your life.

Why Women Don’t Need to Preach at Mass
Posted byCatherineHadroonWednesday Jul 24th, 2019at 9:57AM
COMMENTARY: You don’t need a collar to evangelize the Good News.
On the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, an online debate broke out amongst Catholics about women giving homilies. This stemmed from a tweet by Jesuit priest Father James Martin who wrote, in part: “It is stupefying to me that women cannot preach at Mass.” The tweet linked to an America magazine article written by a woman who used to preach at Mass before restrictions were enforced.
The Church, according to canon law, teaches that “the diocesan bishop may never dispense from the norm, which reserves the homily to the sacred ministers.”
As a Catholic woman, albeit not standing behind a pulpit, I would still love to contribute my thoughts on the matter.
Women’s voices, and actions, have helped to shape the course of Church history from its very beginning. This week alone is evidence of that. On Monday, we celebrated St. Mary Magdalene, the first person in Scripture to encounter our Risen Lord. It was St. Mary Magdalene, a woman, who proclaimed to the disciples that she had “seen the Lord” (John 20:18). She is the “Apostle to the Apostles” — and she didn’t need a pulpit to be so.
Every single Catholic woman, by virtue of our baptismal call to evangelize, must imitate St. Mary Magdalene’s example in witnessing to Christ’s life, death and resurrection. For many modern-day Catholics, the clearest reference of preaching we have may be our local priest giving a homily at Sunday Mass. However, if we restrict ourselves to thinking that’s the most influential way to share the good news, we are severely lacking in creativity and vision and are falling prey to clericalism.
I am reminded of the many female Catholic saints who flood the Church with their holy example, not only this week, but throughout the entire liturgical calendar. St. Catherine of Siena was counselor to Pope Urban VI and exhorted him to return to Rome from his exile in France. He listened, and she was declared a doctor of the Church. Another doctor of the Church, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, also never preached behind a pulpit at Mass but still managed to minister to many souls. Two and half years before her death, Thérèse began writing down her childhood memories, and, soon after, her Story of a Soul became a modern spiritual classic read by millions. This seems an unlikely accomplishment for a woman who never left her cloistered convent, but the Lord makes a way.
A more modern example of a Catholic woman powerfully proclaiming truth is EWTN’s own foundress, Mother Angelica. The Poor Clare nun created a TV studio out of an Alabama garage where she would speak boldly week after week, looking directly into the camera lens as if she were talking to you. Her influence surpassed the efforts of the U.S. bishops, and, today, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.
This American Catholic media pioneer did not shy away from sharing her opinions about the unique role men and women offer the Church. As recalled in her biography Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo, Mother Angelica once said, “Women in the priesthood, that’s just a power play, that’s ridiculous. As it is women have more power in the Church than anybody. They built and run the schools. God has designed that men be priests, and we can’t afford to deny God his sovereign rights.”
It is only through a lens of clericalism, or false esteem for clergy, that we view preaching at Mass as the summit of sharing our voice in the Church and forget the influence we can have beyond the pulpit. If we as women have such a unique witness and perspective, why would we want to conform to male priesthood in sharing that? The pulpit is not our platform.
Your platform as a Catholic woman may be your family dinner table, or your social media page, or your Bible study, and these are all beautiful. As the host of EWTN Pro- Life Weekly , my primary platform happens to be a television show. The point is: You don’t need a pulpit to preach, and you don’t need a collar to evangelize the Good News. You must discern for yourself how to use your voice, and as the saints remind us time and time again, God will show you the way if you ask him.
As our beloved Church suffers from a clergy sexual-abuse crisis, now is the time to be creative with how we use our voice! Now is the time to embrace our call to evangelization! Now is the time for us, as women, the ones who sat at the foot of the cross during the Crucifixion, to be the face of the Church today.
Catherine Hadro writes from Washington.
She is the host and producer of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly .

Married men can be ordained priests under these circumstances.
While celibacy is preferred, there are always exceptions to the rule that are consistent with the traditions of the Church.
while Roman Catholic priests are usually celibate (i.e. unmarried), this practice is a long a held discipline of the Church. That means that under certain circumstances, a priest might be married. This discipline (something that can change) is distinct from the dogma that priests must be male. The reasons for the discipline of celibacy are grounded in the example of the life of Christ himself, even as the Church’s understanding of the practice has developed over time.
In addition to his own example of life, Jesus’ teaching on celibacy is clear. The Lord himself says, “For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can” (Matthew 9:12). However, we see in the earliest days of Christianity that some if not most of the 12 apostles were married. This is a basic fact that is confirmed through various scriptural passages, such as the reference to St. Peter’s “mother-in law” (cf. Matthew 8:14–15).
Undoubtedly, the disciples of Jesus immediately recognized the value of celibacy, especially for those engaged in priestly ministry. St. Paul was the most vocal advocate for priestly celibacy, arguing that marriage by necessity divides a person’s attention.
“I should like you to be free of anxieties. An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But a married man is anxious about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided…I am telling you this for your own benefit, not to impose a restraint upon you, but for the sake of propriety and adherence to the Lord without distraction.” (1 Corinthians 7:32-34a,35).
Following the Apostolic age, two priestly traditions developed in the Church: one that openly preferred celibacy and another that accepted married men. Generally, monks practiced celibacy, as did bishops, while married men could be ordained priests.
By the 12th century, the Roman or “Western” Church held firmly to the practice of a celibate priesthood, while the Eastern Church continued to ordain married men. Both traditions were accepted by the Catholic Church. The Eastern Church, while often ordaining married men to the priesthood, has always maintained a celibate episcopate, only choosing bishops from priests who were not married.
This has remained the case up until the present day.
In recent years, however, the Latin Church has allowed more married men to be ordained priests, according to specific cultural circumstances. For example, a married Protestant minister (whether Lutheran, Episcopalian, Anglican, or otherwise) who converts to the Catholic Church can, with special permission from the Holy See, be admitted to the Catholic priesthood. These men are already familiar with balancing ministerial demands with the demands of their marriage and are culturally prepared to take on the responsibilities of being a married Catholic priest. This is often the case in the Ordinariates established by Benedict XVI for Anglicans who wished to join the Church.
One clarification to understand is that while married men can be ordained priests, it is never permitted for an ordained priest to get married. Marriage must precede ordination.
Above all, the priesthood demands conformity to Christ and love for His holy people. Being a married priest inevitably divides the priest’s attention and invites new challenges to priestly ministry in the modern world. It implies incredible demands on the priest’s wife, who must be able to carry many responsibilities while her husband’s attentions are on sacramental ministry.
Ultimately, we must remember that no man is ordained a priest for his own sake. The priesthood is not a job applied for or a career undertaken. The priestly vocation is ordered to the salvation of souls, by preaching, teaching, and sacrifice. The holy priesthood, however vibrant or ailing, belongs to Christ and his Church. Total unity with the Church is the only way to ensure that the prophetic and salvific mission of Christ can be carried on by priests today.

What is the annual salary of Pope Francis
Philip Kosloski | Jul 24, 2019
The answer might surprise you.
s the leader of the Catholic Church in the entire world, one would assume that Pope Francis receives a generous salary in compensation for his many duties. However, the truth is quite the opposite.
In 2001 there were rumors that St. John Paul II made a decent salary, but the New York Times reported, “Vatican spokesman, Joaquín Navarro-Valls, ended speculation about the pope’s salary, saying, ‘The pope does not and has never received a salary.’”
This would be even more true for Francis, who, as a member of the Society of Jesus, professed a vow of
poverty when he first entered his religious community.
However, while Pope Francis does not receive any money in the form of a monthly salary, he does have all travel expenses and living arrangements paid for by the Vatican. He never has to worry about food or shelter, but he doesn’t have any income to spend on Amazon orders.
He does, however, have access to a large fund of charitable money that he freely distributes to those in need as he wishes. For example, according to Crux , Pope Francis gave $500,000 from the “Peter’s Pence” fund to assist nearly 75,000 people in Mexico. This is just one of many donations that he regularly makes, often in the wake of natural disasters or to areas in particular need due to war, drought, or other calamities.
The pope is supposed to live after the example of Jesus, who similarly did not have a salary and depended on the generosity of others to provide for his needs during his three-year ministry, as is mentioned in Scripture.

Breaking: Another Nigerian teenager killed in Xenophobic attack in South Africa
ON July 22, 2019 12:25 PM / IN Crime Guard , News / BY Tony
As Nigerians mourn Mrs. Obianuju Ndubuisi-Chukwu, a Nigerian Insurance chief who was murdered in South Africa, the country again is grappling with the ruthless assassination of a teenager in that country.
Xenophobic attack in South Africa
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Ndubisi-Chukwu was the Deputy Director-General of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) and was killed on June 13 in her hotel room.
The teenager, Chinonso Dennis Obiaju, 17, a Nigerian still in high school, was shot dead in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The President of Nigerian Union in South Africa, Mr Adetola Olubajo, who confirmed the killing to newsmen, said the deceased student lived in Roodeprt, Johannesburg with his guardian.
Olubajo said on telephone that the late boy’s guardian, Mr Mike Nsofor, disclosed that he was shot at about 6.30 p.m.
“He went to buy from a shop with his friend and someone chased and opened fire on them, killing him,’’ he quoted the guardian as saying.
He added that the family would be burying him in South Africa, noting that the union’s leaders in Johannesburg would be contacting him on developments.
Olubajo said they were going to the Police on Monday to finalise on the registry and provision of his papers.
“He was born here, I learnt and the Mother is in the U.S.
“I have spoken to Mike Nsofor to pass the Nigerian community’s condolences and call for justice to be served in this case as anybody who hunt down a young school boy couldn’t have any justifiable reasons,’’ Olubajo said.
He implored the Federal Government to urgently protect Nigerians in the Diaspora.
At least no fewer than 200 Nigerians have been killed in xenophobic attacks between 2016 and this year.
According to unofficial sources, up to 800,000 Nigerians, mostly young people, reside in South Africa. (NAN)

Vatican names new leader of West Virginia diocese to replace Bransfield
 July 23, 2019  2 Min Read
WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Pope Francis has named Baltimore Auxiliary Bishop Mark Brennan to lead the Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia diocese following a scandal over the former bishop’s sexual harassment of adults and lavish spending of church money.
The 72-year-old Brennan replaces Bishop Michael Bransfield, who resigned in September after a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual and financial misconduct. Last week, Francis barred Bransfield from public ministry and prohibited him from living in the diocese, while also warning that he will be forced to make amends “for some of the harm he caused.” Brennan will now help decide the extent of those reparations.
Coming on the heels of a new wave of sex abuse allegations in the U.S., the Bransfield scandal added to the credibility crisis in the U.S. hierarchy since several top churchmen received tens of thousands of dollars in church-funded personal gifts from Bransfield during his tenure in Wheeling-Charleston, which is located in one of the poorest U.S. states.
A press conference was planned in Wheeling later Tuesday following the Vatican’s announcement.
West Virginia’s Roman Catholic Diocese says it’s set to discuss its “future leadership,” 10 months after the resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield.
The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston says a news conference is scheduled Tuesday at the diocese offices in Wheeling. A diocese statement did not indicate whether a new bishop would be announced.
Bransfield resigned in September. An investigation authorized by Pope Francis found accusations that Bransfield sexually harassed adults were credible. It also found Bransfield misused church funds, spending them on dining, liquor, gifts and personal travel and luxury items.
Last week the pontiff issued disciplinary action against Bransfield, saying he cannot live within the diocese or participate in any public celebration of the liturgy, and must make amends “for some of the harm he caused.”
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore has overseen the West Virginia diocese since Bransfield’s departure.

Why Nobody Has Been Canonized In West Africa – Cardinal Arinze
Asaba – Nigeria’s most ranked Catholic Prelate, His Eminence, Cardinal Francis Arinze, has given reasons why no one in West Africa has been canonized.
He called on the Catholic Church in West Africa to commit resources and personnel towards the beautification and canonization of their departed faithful.
Cardinal Arinze, who made this call in Asaba, capital of Delta State, during the 12th Ojefua Commemoration Lecture organized by the Order of the Knights of St Mulumba, stated that it was the responsibility of any diocese, religious thinking of getting its candidate beautified to begin the campaign.
According to Cardinal, “There are many Christians whose cause of beatification and canonization could be promoted “lt is a religious congregation which show interest, readiness to allocate personnel and funds for the promotion of the causes of their members and institutional interest”.
Commending the Knights of the Order towards the display in campaigning for the beautification of Ojefua, he lamented that not one individual had been canonized in the whole West Africa, unlike Italy where almost every corner has a saint.
In his welcome address, the Metro Grand-Knight of Benin Metropolitan Council of KSM, Sir Austin Mowah, said that Asaba remained a moot point in the evolution of the Order “ as it was at St Patrick’s College Westend that Rev Fr Anslem Ojefua nurtured the idea of a Catholic Order to counteract the nefarious activities of secret societies in the early 1950s.
While commending Worthy Supreme Knight, Sir Diamond Ovueraye, Mowah stressed that the Ojefua committee has refreshed the impetus to accelerate the pace for the process of beautifying their founding father.
Lectures in the lifetime is Fr Ojefua were given by eminent personalities as part of the process in the quest of the Church to beautify him.

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