Sainthood – Championing the cause


FDNY Memorial to Fr. Mychal Judge


The political intricacies of the Roman Catholic Church are easy fodder for writers. One specific segment of church politics is sainthood. Putting forward a potential saint’s “cause” is complicated. It requires professionals, canon lawyers who understand the rules and regulations. That’s just the actual process. The outside influences offer a wide range of story possibilities. Who benefits from the canonization of a saint? Who is harmed by the completion of the cause?

Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM

So, for YatPundit, I wrote an article this morning about the cause of Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM. He was a chaplain of the New York Fire Department who died during the rescue efforts on September 11, 2001. Go read about his cause and the man. He was an incredible human. If he is canonized, Judge becomes the first “Gay Saint.” Sure, there is no doubt there were homosexuals canonized by the church. Judge, however, was a man who was “out” but celibate. He admitted he was a sexual being who kept his priestly vows. His cause makes for uncomfortable conversations within the confines of the church.

Writing prompt

The intrigue here has so much potential. Causes for canonization usually originate in the prospective saint’s home town. So, the intrigue happens at different levels. Perhaps a local groups supports the cause, but a local pastor or bishop rejecs the notion. If the cause gets to Rome, perhaps there’s more friction at the church’s nexus? So many opportunities for technical scenes, arguing over Canon Law. Meetings with bishops and cardinals. Introduce direct papal influence?

Or maybe just keep the whole thing local. An activist rejects the notion that a guy he knew in high school is a saint, and resorts to criminal activity to scuttle a proposal to construct a shrine to the potential saint in the parish church.


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