Chesterton’s Cause for Canonization

Dale Ahlquist, President, Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, reponds to the bishop of Northampton’s objections to the cause for canonization of GK Chesterton

Although it is clear Bishop Doyle will not be opening the Cause of Canonization for G.K. Chesterton, this does not mean the cause is dead. We are confident that, in time, it will open, under a different ordinary and perhaps in a different diocese, which is a possibility under canon law.

Ahlquist responds to the objections, saying

  1. there is a local cult – also a universal cult;
  2. his spirituality is expressed in his writing and life and he remains a mode; of lay spirituality;
  3. and no, he was not anti-Semitic.

It is fitting that Chesterton, who made a living as a controversialist, should continue to find himself controversial. But if anything, that is proof of his abiding presence. It is also evidence that he belongs in that controversial group, the Communion of the Saints.

While I disagree with that take, I do think the Church urgently needs a patron saint of the paradoxical.


Mutter Caroline-Marie von der Trinität, Oberin der Anbetungsschwestern des Königlichen Herzens Jesu schreibt:

“Vielleicht hängt die Glaubenslosigkeit oder glaubensmäßige Verwirrung vieler Menschen in der heutigen Zeit auch damit zusammen, dass seit vielen Jahren, ja Jahrhunderten, das Gottesbild immer mehr verkleinert, gleichsam immer mehr humanisiert wurde. Sobald aber der Allmächtige, der Schöpfer des Himmels und der Erde nur noch in menschlichen Kategorien gedacht wird, d.h. der Glaube an seine Existenz z.B. davon abhängig gemacht wird, inwieweit er uns hilft, unser Leben nach unseren eigenen Vorstellungen leben zu können, kann das ganze Gebäude der Religion nicht mehr auf festen Füßen stehen und der überlieferte Glaube der Kirche verliert seine Logik.”

Welcome to the rebooted Wimmerblog

Rebooting this blog today. Must be my fourth blog. The others, not all written in my name, are history.

The blog is updated every day or so. In my other roles, I cover a lot of news and current affairs – and then I do other forms writing. This is one more, mainly for observations and opinions, snippets, marginalia and other things that have nowhere else to go.

There is also a hygienic aspect.

Like many (or maybe only few) journalists, I struggle with a déformation professionelle that stops me from writing down the most interesting things. It is a perplexity which comes from there being too many interesting things to write about, to paraphrase a passage from “Tremendous Trifles”. Journalism necessarily pretends that “ordinary and unmeaning existence” is irrelevant, when Chesterton rightly asserts it is “like ten thousand thrilling detective stories mixed up with a spoon”.

Another famous image by Chesterton best describes my rediscovery of Catholicism in 2008: that of “an English yachtsman who slightly miscalculated his course and discovered England under the impression that it was a new island in the South Seas”.