Saint Cory? Wait for three years before applying, says bishop

August 13, 2009 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

DAGUPAN CITY –- Should Cory be declared a saint?

“Why not?” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said. “For the church, everybody can be a candidate for beatification and canonization, depending on the fame, honor and moral standing of the person before the community.”

But the church, he said, is rather “strict, meticulous and very careful” in the long, tedious process of beatification and possibly canonization later.

Besides, everyone may have to wait for one to three years before application for her sainthood can be filed with the Vatican .

Cruz explained that it is the bishop of the diocese where the concerned person is a parishioner, which files for the sainthood. Since Aquino was from Quezon City , it will be Bishop Honesto Ongtioko who should file.

“If after one to three years from now, Bishop Ongtioko hears consistent and insistent voices raised for sainthood of Cory, on a personal level, he can gather testimonies from her friends, relatives and those who know personally something about the life and virtues of Tita Cory, which he will present to Congregation fo the Causes of Saints in the Vatican ,” he said.

The congregation will do either of the two things: One is to tell Ongtioko to stop because based on testimonies, the process cannot prosper; or two, tell Ongtioko to get more testimonials, both favorable and unfavorable, so knowledge of the person will be more complete, Cruz added.

Then the bishop will submit the testimonials to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) which can either junk the application or get more testimonies for or against the candidate.

“The application for sainthood is now official. After submission to the congregation, the formal process starts,” Cruz said.

A tribunal of 3-5 judges-priests studies the case and may or may require more information from the CBCP or the bishop of Quezon City .

“In the tribunal, there are two prominent figures – one is for beatification and one is against it, or is a devil’s advocate. These two judges have no personal knowledge of the person concerned, but both are standing for the truth,” Cruz explained.

The judgment is either “yes” or “no.” If yes, the theological office of the congregation will study the virtues and weaknesses of the person concerned.

The theological office will then require the performance of two miracles “through the intercession of the the person after his/her death.”

“Usually, the miracles are two cases of healing with the patients healed because of devotion to the dead person. Example is being healed after kissing the dead person’s tomb,” Cruz said.

He explained that the healed patient “should not have taken any medicine at all, did not see a doctor at all, and it should be instant healing.”

The patients will be subjected to medical examination and tests by theologians, Cruz said.

If the person being applied for sainthood passes these tests, he or she is beatified and becomes a saint with small s.

If the supporters of the saint wants her or him canonized (when he/she becomes a saint with a capital S and images of him/her are displayed in churches and venerated) “another round of similarly long, tedious and meticulos process” will be undertaken, Cruz said.

The bishop said he has no problem with Cory submitted for sainthood. “I think she was a prayerful woman, a very humble lady, and a very honest one.”

He recalled being asked to say a mass at the San Fernando City (Pampanga) cathedral when Aquino was still considering whether or not to run for the snap elections in 1986.

“The mass was very solemn. I took the risk of allowing her to speak from the pulpit. When she starts to speak, the people began to chant ‘Cory, Cory, Cory’ and brought out their banners. I was pleasantly surprized but I thought I will be reprimanded by church authorities. I was not, so I held a similar mass again,” he recalled.

Entry filed under: News.

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