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The Cost of Sainthood

The Catholic News Service had an article recently about the costs of getting someone canonized. The article pointed out, and rightfully so, that “the church isn’t selling halos; it’s compensating professionals doing serious research”. Our beloved Bishop Brute, whose cause was begun in 2005 is a good example of this. Brute left a lot of letters, papers and writings behind. His time in France, as a Sulpician in Baltimore and his time at Emmitsburg all find him writing a lot of letters. Not all of them survived, but the Archives at Mount Saint Mary’s, Emmitsburg and the Archives of the Sulpician Fathers in Baltimore contain thousands of pages all of which give us insights into Brutés theology and spirituality. Before the Church can declare someone a Saint, and hold them up as an example, those pages must be looked at by professionals, scrutinized for errors and then taken as a whole. In the case of Bishop Brute those writings have to also be translated from French to English (for the most part). As an example here is a listing of the letters of Brute in the Sulpician Archives in Baltimore.

Nowadays we lament the fact that children are no longer being taught how to write cursive, but in the case of Brutés writings, it takes time to learn his writing style and time to attempt to read his cursive writing. Here are some examples.

First, Brutés instructions for his own funeral. This was written in English. One can see the difficulty in reading his writing and the time it would take to do so. A document written in French is even worse. It not only has to be read, but also translated. So, the cost of canonizing someone is not cheap, but is it worth it?

In the case of Servant of God, Simon Brute. I believe the answer if an emphatic ‘Yes”! Why? Because Servant of God, Simon Brute represents our past and our future. He brings out the best in our Catholic history and provides a model for our future.

If you would like to read the article by the Catholic News Service, you can find it here.

U.S. Catholic Magazine reported the following:

This week, [Pope Francis] took another, less controversial step in that direction, calling for a”spending review” that includes settling on a cap for expenses tied to the canonization causes of would-be saints. In the past, critics charged that figures backed by well-financed supporters usually became saints more quickly than their more meagerly financed counterparts.


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