Sainthood on the Horizon for G.K. Chesterton?

My favorite bit from the article:

For [Dale] Ahlquist [President of the American Chesterton Society], movement toward a cause for Chesterton’s canonization shows the universality of the Church.

He said, “The fact that a 300-pound, cigar-smoking journalist might be a saint of the Catholic Church made me understand what the communion of saints is all about. They’re not just one particular type of person.”

Well said, Mr. Ahlquist!

And I think I can safely say we’re all rooting for you, G.K.! :thumbsup:

I have heard Thomas Aquinas was rather large too, and that Mary MacKillop loved a nip of brandy =)

:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

while i’m sure you meant no harm,St. Mary of the Cross suffered calumnies against her regarding accusations of drinking problems.

Yes I have heard that too, and of course I meant no harm, I think it’s annoying that just because someone twists a true thing we can no longer say that true thing. Many people twist the truth about the Catholic church too, for instance they say praying to Mary is evil because we worship her instead of God. Does that mean we should be all hush hush and embarrassed about rosaries?

ps April sorry for that previous post being a bit grumpy I came back to delete but left it too late, I actually think it’s fine of you to point this out. I am clearly just a grump tonight and I do apologise. :o

Wonderful news! I’ve believed for some time now that he had the right stuff for sainthood.

It would be hard for me to describe how much I’ve enjoyed his writing, and how salutary its influence can be.

I shared Orthodoxy with a friend, and I think it just might have softened his antipathy toward Catholicism—he did his first Communion as a child, but balked at getting confirmed later, and his parents didn’t push the issue. Perhaps G.K. gave him a gentle nudge in the right direction. We’ll see.

And The Everlasting Man gave a great example of how to view the progression of human history through the binocular of Catholic faith (the example being the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage). Who else could take something as apparently fraught with pessimism as human history and make it a thing from which a Christian can extract hope?

:blessyou: :hug3: didn’t take that way at all

Amen! I heard this on EWTN radio this morning and couldn’t be more ecstatic!

The radio this morning said something like hopefully there is a smoking room in heaven for him or something like that! :smiley:

If this were a poll I would vote no. :confused:

Care to elaborate?

The man was notoriously charitable and has brought and continues to bring countless numbers to the Faith. Abp. Sheen said everything he ever said of value, besides the Gospel itself, came from Chesterton. Even Pope Francis is enthusiastic about his case for sainthood. So, what’s your reservation?

Never was inspired by his writings. I find him crude and rude. Hey, I love the writings of Saint Paul while others do not. Saints should be holy, I do not see Chesterton in that category.

Crude and rude? I suppose that’s why he was beloved by everyone who knew him, including his “enemies”? George Bernard Shaw, one of the men of whom Chesterton was most fiercely critical, remained a good friend throughout his life. Jews, who he is often accused of being prejudiced against, saw him as an ally. Virtually everyone who knew him described him as one of the kindest, most self deprecating (a quality also abundantly evident in his writing) people in the world. I think you have either misread Chesterton or haven’t read enough of him.

Bill Gates donated millions to charity and was loved by all that knew him. I am not saying Chesterton was not a good man in his own right but I do not agree that he has earned Sainthood.

Not that I have anything to say about it but I wonder at his cause for sainthood. His girth may be troubling and he did seem to drink a lot but the most troubling for me is that G. K. Chesterton also sang the praises of the French Revolution. Read WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE WORLD.

I am sorry for the long quote but I wanted to get it in context.

“The world had always loved the notion of the poor man uppermost; it can be proved by every legend from Cinderella to Whittington, by every poem from the Magnificat to the Marseillaise. The kings went mad against France not because she idealized this ideal, but because she realized it. Joseph of Austria and Catherine of Russia quite agreed that the people should rule; what horrified them was that the people did. The French Revolution, therefore, is the type of all true revolutions, because its ideal is as old as the Old Adam, but its fulfilment almost as fresh, as miraculous, and as new as the New Jerusalem.”

“There are only three things in the world that women do not understand; and they are Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. But men (a class little understood in the modern world) find these things the breath of their nostrils; and our most learned ladies will not even begin to understand them until they make allowance for this kind of cool camaraderie.”

“It is always said that great reformers or masters of events can manage to bring about some specific and practical reforms, but that they never fulfill their visions or satisfy their souls. I believe there is a real sense in which this apparent platitude is quite untrue. By a strange inversion the political idealist often does not get what he asks for, but does get what he wants. The silent pressure of his ideal lasts much longer and reshapes the world much more than the actualities by which he attempted to suggest it. What perishes is the letter, which he thought so practical. What endures is the spirit, which he felt to be unattainable and even unutterable. It is exactly his schemes that are not fulfilled; it is exactly his vision that is fulfilled. Thus the ten or twelve paper constitutions of the French Revolution, which seemed so business-like to the framers of them, seem to us to have flown away on the wind as the wildest fancies. What has not flown away, what is a fixed fact in Europe, is the ideal and vision. The Republic, the idea of a land full of mere citizens all with some minimum of manners and minimum of wealth, the vision of the eighteenth century, the reality of the twentieth. So I think it will generally be with the creator of social things, desirable or undesirable. All his schemes will fail, all his tools break in his hands. His compromises will collapse, his concessions will be useless. He must brace himself to bear his fate; he shall have nothing but his heart’s desire.”

Burke was certainly not an atheist in his conscious cosmic theory, though he had not a special and flaming faith in God, like Robespierre. Nevertheless, the remark had reference to a truth which it is here relevant to repeat. I mean that in the quarrel over the French Revolution, Burke did stand for the atheistic attitude and mode of argument, as Robespierre stood for the theistic. The Revolution appealed to the idea of an abstract and eternal justice, beyond all local custom or convenience. If there are commands of God, then there must be rights of man. Here Burke made his brilliant diversion; he did not attack the Robespierre doctrine with the old mediaeval doctrine of jus divinum (which, like the Robespierre doctrine, was theistic)…"

You are quite correct. He was not prejudiced against Jews although he was accused of being so more than once.

“What perishes is the letter, which he thought so practical. What endures is the spirit, which he felt to be unattainable and even unutterable. It is exactly his schemes that are not fulfilled; it is exactly his vision that is fulfilled.”

I think herein might lie the key to this apparently (for him) contradictory stance. I think he amplifies just what that “spirit” or “vision” is in another work in which he speaks about “the new rebel” as sceptic—ORTHODOXY:

"As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is a waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. A man denounces marriage as a lie, and then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie. He calls a flag a bauble, and then blames the oppressors of Poland or Ireland because they take away that bauble. The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite sceptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything…

“…The wild worship of lawlessness and the materialist worship of law end in the same void. Nietzsche scales staggering mountains, but he turns up ultimately in Tibet. He sits down beside Tolstoy in the land of nothing and Nirvana. They are both helpless–one because he must not grasp anything, and the other because he must not let go of anything. The Tolstoyan’s will is frozen by a Buddhist instinct that all special actions are evil. But the Nietzscheite’s will is quite equally frozen by his view that all special actions are good; for if all special actions are good, none of them are special They stand at the cross-roads, and one hates all the roads and the other likes all the roads. The result is—well, some things are not hard to calculate. They stand at the cross-roads.”

It seems that you are replying to my post but I don’t know what you are trying to say here.


Well, what I think CHESTERTON is saying in the verbatim quote I gave was that the “spirit” of the Revolution (French) was a self-undermining scepticism. I think also that, in the case of what you quoted, he was saying that the “spirit” of the French Revolution was one that has been around forever, but it had never been made so thoroughly manifest as in that revolution.

That’s my take. I’m sure it is debatable. It is anytime you try to reconcile apparently contradictory writings from the same writer.

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