Could there be a 'Saint G.K. Chesterton?'
Scholars will soon meet in Oxford to discuss the possible Cause of G.K. Chesterton.
In this week's paper former Catholic Herald editor and Chesterton biographer William Oddie writes: "It is becoming clear that serious attention needs to be paid in the country of his birth to the question of Chesterton's holiness."
Dr Oddie will take part in a one-day conference on July 4 in Oxford where the speakers will include Dr Ian Ker, Fr John Saward, Fr Aidan Nichols OP and Dr Sheridan Gilley.
He said: "I have thought it possible for a long time, although when I wrote my book it wasn't something I particularly thought of him. But there was a time when no one thought Newman was particularly holy, just a bad-tempered, anti-Anglican polemicist. That's the way we think of Chesterton, as a polemicist.
"It'll be a long time before anything gets under way. The purpose of the conference is to make it thinkable."
Dr Oddie was surprised to find support for his Cause after delivering a paper at the American Chesterton Conference last year.
"I was asked what stage the Cause towards Chesterton's beatification had reached. When I said there was no Cause, the audience showed incredulity," he said.
Dr Oddie added that Chesterton had particular spiritual resonance in today's troubled climate. "As a social prophet he's coming into his own. First Communism collapsed, now monopoly capitalism has collapsed - what we're coming into now is the idea of small economic units, something clearly based in Catholic teaching."
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