Pope Francis speeds cause for Fr. Hamel, murdered by terrorists

A couple weeks ago I wrote that I suspected that Fr. Jacques Hamel was martyred, murdered in Northern France by Islamic terrorists, and that it wouldn’t surprise me were the Pope to speed up the process.

During the presser on the airplane returning to Rome from Azerbaijan Pope Francis said he waived the usual waiting period before opening the cause for martyrdom for Fr. Hamel.   HERE

“It is very important not to lose the testimonies,” the Pope said. “With time, someone may die, another forgets something.”

That’s an important point!   Ne pereant!

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  1. Chiara says:

    Good for Pope Francis! If ever there was a time that we need a good example of fearless, confident witnessing of the Faith, it is now. His Holiness is entirely correct – the more time that passes, the more the memory fades, and the witnesses disperse. Father Hamel is a brilliant example of a modern-day martyr for the Church, just as the thousands of holy martyrs who gave their lives for the glory of God through the centuries have been. Good Fr. Hamel, pray for us!

  2. Benedict Joseph says:

    One is left to wonder when the requirement to be deceased will be abandoned by special papal dispensation.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    I was the same distance from Lyon as I am now from Chicago, about 300 miles, when in Europe, when Father Hamel was killed. I must say this, that it did impact people in Luxembourg City where I was at the time. People talked about it and called him martyr. He is, as the ONLY reason this priest was killed was that he was a Catholic priest, a sign of Rome, of the alter Christus, of the Eucharist, in this world. Yes, the Pope should canonize all those priests who are dying because they are hated for their religion–that is the meaning of martyrdom.

  4. JustaSinner says:

    WOW! Got one right…broken clocks and all.

  5. Nan says:

    Benedict Joseph! Might I remind you that the waiting period for opening a cause was waived for not St Teresa of Calcutta and for St John Paul II? A N d that the Pope may waive the waiting period if he chooses? It’s utterly reprehensible that you make Fr Hamels martyrdom about your dislike of Pope Francis. You should be ashamed of yourself. Fr Hamel was martyred as he offered the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, where he literally became the sacrificial victim. If being martyred by jihadists during Mass isn’t a reason to waive the waiting period, I don’t know what is.

  6. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Ne pereant! Okay, I see that, of course. But, I wonder, why have the five year wait rule at all?

  7. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Benedict Joseph, sarcasm detracts from a point otherwise worth making, namely, the cumulative, harmful effects of the casual waiving of rules put in place by a Church with a lot more experience than any two or three popes.

  8. Benedict Joseph says:

    Nan, I have not an iota of shame for my brief cautionary remark.
    Some of what follows I shared a few weeks ago here. While regretting to be perceived as the wet blanket, and with no intention of disrespecting the person, life and death of Father Hamel, I need to throw in my two cents, I must ask “Who is Father Hamel?” Can anyone tell me anything about him except for how he died? Is there evidence of widespread devotion to him over a respectable period of time? Did he live a life of heroic virtue? Are we remembering the row of men in orange jumpsuits kneeing on the beach with their black garbed executioners salivating for the slaughter. All the other unknowns presently living in terror in the Middle East. God reward them.
    I perceive no reason whatsoever to shorten the waiting period for canonization at all for anyone. As we delve ever deeper into the current crisis I say without reservation that the Church is presently subsumed in such a degree of chaos that any and all moves with simple historical consequences (let alone eternal) must be taken with the greatest reservation and prudence. That is offered with some regret because there are a host of individuals whose causes could justifiably be accelerated (Sister Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, for instance – whose cause was indeed advanced by Pope Benedict). Others such as Pope Saint John Paul and Saint Teresa of Kolkata are others of whom it is difficult to object. St. Therese of the Child Jesus herself was exempted from the required delay which was fifty years at the time of her death – while the object of her deepest veneration, Joan of Arc, waited more than four hundred years. Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, OCD – no second fiddle to Therese, believe me – has kept her place in line until this October 16th. The world has not ended – quite.
    Operating outside prudent parameters lends itself to all manner of abuse, particularly when we are dominated by a culture of celebrity, a Church mad to find is place in a culture in decomposition, a hierarchy saddled with a critical identity crisis, and all manner of clerics running around in an attempt to catch the spotlight, please constituencies, and to be regarded as “relevant.” That given, we are endanger of seeing proclamations of heroic virtue handed out like gold stars for the satisfaction of various constituencies. Was it not apparent Blessed John XXIII was tossed into the canonization of Blessed John Paul II to console the heterodox and contextualize the “santo subito” devotees? The process has gone over the cusp of being regarded as some sort of academy award and can be used as a consolation prize. This concern I have in place for the declarations of Doctors of the Church as well.
    Given the celebration of the protestant revolt we are to witness 392 days from now we all might brace ourselves against unanimous decrees of … who knows what.
    As I’ve said here before. What is the rush? The candidates are not going anywhere, and in all likelihood are enjoy the most sublime reward without our connivance.

  9. Benedict Joseph says:

    Dr. Peters, with great respect, some levity in the current era is a survival tactic. Far less objectionable than others that come to mind.

  10. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    BJ, I’m a big fan of levity, but sarcasm almost never works on-line; it (sarcasm) is too dependent on things like tone of voice, body language, timing, and so on. I never use it on-line. Best, edp.

  11. Eugene says:

    With all due respect why should this Pope care about a martyred priest he as he will invoke his intercession to ask for God’s protection from fanatical heretical Muslims. After did he not compare the butchers who killed this priest to Catholics who commit murder, after don’t we have our own fanatics. Don’t we huh? Huh? Anyone.
    I am just so done with all this pope’s pronouncements and actions.

  12. Eugene says:

    Should have written “he will not invoke “

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  14. Supertradmum says:

    Benedict Joseph,

    Living a life of heroic virtue is not a requirement for the name of martyr. Recall the martyrs who became so at the last minute….converted even by the example of others. Some examples:

    The 40 Martyrs of Sebaste…”St. Ephrem adds crowns to all these generous soldiers, one only excepted, who was their faint-hearted companion already mentioned. The guard, being struck with the celestial vision and the apostate’s desertion, was converted upon it; and by a particular motion of the Holy Ghost, threw off his clothes, and placed himself in his stead amongst the thirty-nine martyrs.”

    Ptolemaeus and Lucius and an unknown third man, the later two objecting to the unfair trial of Ptolemaeus and killed with him….

    Felix and Adauctus, the second one being moved on seeing the virtue and courage of Felix, joined him at the last moment. Adauctus means “added”.

    Gelasinus converted watching a play lampooning baptism and was killed instantly.

    I am sure there are many more…

  15. Benedict Joseph says:

    Yes, this was within my awareness Supertradmum.
    Time and space do not allow for engaging with every caveat of this topic. In groups of martyrs (those in antiquity, the martyrs of the French, Spanish Civil wars, the Cristeros, WWII) and those of a more remote time setting the absence of a life of heroic virtue might not jump to the foreground. In the more recent decades and in our cyber culture, the case of a solitary individual martyr, the beatification of an individual whose life was not well comported could be problematic. Do all martyrs have to be beatified any more than every individual who has lived a life of heroic virtue require the recognition of beatification and canonization? Obviously no. They are enjoying the beatific vision without our recognition, and interceding for us without our prayer of intercession.
    My reservation here is not primarily about Father Hamel. It is about Pope Francis acting imprudently, again.
    Father Hamel’s case, now keenly felt, needs the quiet and private reflection of his diocese. As time goes by if devotion to him persists and spreads, his diocese should do what is required – respecting the time requirements and follow the procedure as Providence allows.
    We appear to have collapsed into some ecclesial adolescent warp of “I can’t wait hero worship.” It is beginning to mirror some insane Justin Bibber/Taylor Swift cult. There are more than enough Saints and Blesseds, and there are an enormous number of Servants of God, and Venerables. Let us honor them by respecting and following the mandated process of recognizing the heroically virtuous and proceed with the greatest prudence. Prudence, a virtue which appears to have disappeared.
    I am at a loss, but I must reference a piece of news that came across the Catholic internet from a reasonable source a few weeks ago. I just can’t remember which one. But the weekend of the canonization of St. Teresa of Kolkata it was reported that Pope Francis does not regard canonization an infallible judgement. This has been a matter of debate in the Church over the centuries and, if I am correct, has never been definitively resolved – but regarding it as an infallible judgement I believe has had more adherents.
    There are problems here that have a history. Those problems are only being aggravated in recent history – and it appears particularly in the past three and a half years. An epoch characterized by imprudence.

  16. Nan says:

    Benedict Joseph, why Father Hamel rather than the men in orange jumpsuits? How is that even a question. I’m well aware that St Therese is the cause of the shorter waiting period, due to her autobiography and public acclaim, and that others wait longer.

    Why now for Father Hamel? So we remember that it is on the blood of martyrs that our Church grows. Because he was murdered for being Catholic. Sacrificed as he celebrated Mass. Because they wanted to kill Christ again. Because we, the Church, are unfaithful. To remind the world that the crusades happened for a reason, Islam.

  17. Benedict Joseph says:

    Be assured, there will be no shortage of martyrs.
    The unbridled exercise of impulse, imprudence, and whim remain the overarching concern here. Procedure and protocol developed over centuries are in place for the good of the Church. These necessarily must take precedence over immediate gratification. This is a reality that currently appears lost to those exercising authority. Impulse control is a major weakness in the zeitgeist and it is on full display in multiple facets of the Church today, including its governance. This results in undermining ecclesial office, those who hold them and the Church of Jesus Christ as a whole. To persist in such behavior in the face of the consequences presently on bold display is entirely illegitimate. Mature Christian lives are characterized by evangelical self-governance. Mindful constraint will never have an adverse result.
    The issue here is far bigger than what is immediately apparent.

  18. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    If I may, back to my question: Do people think we have waiting periods before inaugurating beatification-canonization processes because, I dunno, it’s fun to have waiting periods? Or is it maybe that the Church, with her CENTURIES of experience in such matters (experience greater than that of one pope, or two, or three), knows that TIME is a great aid toward discernment?

    [One reason for waiting periods is to let the fama sanctitatis manifest itself in a stable way after the first rush that follows the death of the servant of God. Another reason is that proofs must be collected… not just a few, but a substantial body so that a real case can be made or so that it can be determined that a cause shouldn’t be started.]

  19. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Why now for Father Hamel? So we remember that it is on the blood of martyrs that our Church grows. Because he was murdered for being Catholic. Sacrificed as he celebrated Mass. Because they wanted to kill Christ again. Because we, the Church, are unfaithful. To remind the world that the crusades happened for a reason, Islam.”

    Since we are discussing prudent matters (in which people of good will can disagree), I have to side with Benedict Joseph on this matter. While heroic virtue is not a requirement for martyrdom, martyrdom implies a choice – and not one made, in the moment. St. Teresa Benedicta knew she could die when she left the Carmel to go, “to the East.” She chose to do that. St. Maximilian Kolbe knew and calmly chose to go to his death for the man with wife and child.

    If someone breaks into a Catholic Church during, say a clown Mass, and walks up to the priest and stabs him, while the priest is uttering, “Go away, Satan,” one cannot be sure that the priest is calling the attacker, Satan, just as an attacker (he might call any such violence to be from Satan) or if he were responding as if he were being attacked specifically for the Faith. Given that it were a clown Mass, would the priest, then, be immediately given recognition of either martyrdom or sanctity? Given the violence of many pro-jihadists, one can expect many more priests and laity to be killed, suddenly, without warning, as in the case of Fr. Hamel. Now, his life of dedication to Christ may predispose his rejection of his attackers to be less from startlement and more from a theological disposition, but that is a matter of investigation.

    Heck, if I were at Mass and someone killed me with a knife and I tried to fight them off, yelling, “Get away you monsterous evil,” would anyone consider canonizing me for being a martyr? Well, maybe, because of the notoriety of a chicken dying for the Faith (and, hopefully, not just because the attacker were hungry), but otherwise? When killings become common, will all laity and priests so killed be given automatic judgment of being martyrs? As of yet, there is no organized action against the Church by jihadist – there is a lot of rhetoric and isolated killings from one splinter group or other, but this is not like the Diocletian persecution or the Nazi’s in WWII, where there is an organized group that is unified in their hatred for the Church.

    Suppose this had been some crazy man who had a grudge against the Church who stabbed Fr. Hamel. Would he, then, be so easily labeled a martyr? Unlike in the past, the easy access to the news cycle is not the same thing as universal acclaim by members of the Church. Would Fr. Hamel have been so quickly recognized had this been 1316 A. D. instead of 2016 A. D?

    These are the sorts of questions that call for caution in the canonization process. Fr. Hamel may be a proto-martyr for the modern age, but this is a matter that needs to be decided soberly and with prudence.

    The Chicken

  20. lairdangusmcangus says:

    While I sympathize with those calling for prudence and patience, I am also delighted at the prospect of Fr. Hamel being”fast tracked” to sainthood.

    We are facing an existential threat as Catholics in these times. There will be many more martyrs, both religious and laity, at the hands of Mohammedan heretics. They are already in our nations, and it is evident that they are committed to “breaking the cross” wherever they go.

    Fr. Hamel can serve as an inspiration and an intercessor for those of us who are willing (even eager!) to take up the defense of the Faith.

    Fr. Hamel, pray for us!

  21. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    The Masked Chicken asks, ” Would Fr. Hamel have been so quickly recognized had this been 1316 A. D. instead of 2016 A. D?” If we compare, say, St. Thomas of Canterbury (martyred 29 December. canonized 21 February 1173), the answer might well be, yes, indeed!

    He further asks, “would anyone consider canonizing me for being a martyr?” Apart from any Augustinian consideration of “a rational, mortal animal, no matter what unusual appearance he presents in color, movement, sound” (City of God, XVI, 8), I would hope so!

  22. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Hmm.. don’t know what I did with St. Thomas’s 1170! But browsing a bit, I see St. Francis died in 1226 and was canonized in 1228, while St. Clare died in 1253 and was canonized in 1255. Some 12 years passed between the death of St. Francis of Paola (1507) and his canonization (1519). On the other hand, St. Daniel and companions (10 October) were martyred in 1227 but only beatified in 1516, and St. Berard and his companions were martyred in 1220 and only canonized in 1481. There seems a lot of variation both between Alexander III and 1634 and thereafter. I wonder what, if any, generalizations are possible?

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