Church seeks miracle as Archbishop Pantin’s sainthood process continues

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Archbishop Gordon Anthony Pantin –

The office for the cause for the beatification and canonisation of Archbishop Gordon Anthony Pantin says an inquiry into a miracle is the next step in carrying out the diocesan phase of the process. The update comes 23 years after his death and ten years after the Catholic Church in TT began the process.

In a release, the church said there are three phases to be carried out when someone is put forward for beatification and canonisation.

Beatification is the process through which the Catholic Church declares that a deceased person a has gone to heaven, which is a step towards canonisation which is the church’s declaration of a person’s sainthood.

“According to Cardinal Amato in Importance of Cause of Beatification and Canonization, 2011, “A cause of beatification and canonisation presupposes in fact a network of collaboration, which develops first in the diocesan phase and then in the Roman phase, before it arrives at the final decision of the Supreme Pontiff.”

The church said the diocesan phase is about: the gathering of proofs; an inquiry into a miracle; and then the conclusion, which is the publication of all that has been uncovered, including the declaration of non-cult.

“All the reports, documents and interviews that are gathered locally through all these steps are prepared and sent to Rome for examination in the Roman phase. This examination is conducted by the Congregation of the Causes for Saints who prepares a position which is presented to the Holy Father.

“During the Diocesan phase, the time and energies of the competent bishop, the postulator, juridical vicar and the tribunal, the whole team that is assembled when the process of beatification and canonisation is started, can be summed up in three things: they must examine the life, death, and the demonstration of the intercessory power of the servant of God.”

The release said an inquiry was being carried out into Pantin’s virtues, as set out in the regulations of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints.

“How did the servant of God live the virtues heroically within the ordinariness of life? Is there proof of the theological virtues of the faith, hope, and charity toward God and neighbour, as well as proof of the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude together in a heroic degree, as well as a reputation for sanctity?”

Pantin was the eighth Archbishop of Port of Spain, installed on the Feast of St Joseph, March 19, 1968, and he died at age 70 on March 12, 2000.

The release said, “At his funeral, our newspapers observed, ‘From the soiled and tattered clothing to those in suits, fancy dresses, and casual wear they all express similar mournful sentiments. The Archbishop was described as a shepherd, a lamb of God, saint and gentle God-like being.’”

The church said the gathering of proofs is ongoing, including the examination of: witnesses; all that he has written, published and unpublished; the response of the people when he died, and if the servant of God had demonstrated intercessory power. It said several witnesses had already been interviewed, some put forward by Father Christopher Lumsden, and others who have come forward on their own accord.

“The writings of Archbishop Pantin have already been examined by two theological experts and they have written their opinions. Presently (sic) the historical commission has been appointed and the members are working on a report on his life, from his baptism to his death.

“An inquiry into a miracle must take place before the diocesan phase is completed and all the documents in the closing session must be processed and collated in a particular order before it is sent to Rome.”

The release asked the church to pray for the cause, “to pray to Archbishop Pantin to intercede for us and our country, a people and country that he loved dearly. We must also continue to pray for miracles, since we need one for beatification and one for canonisation.”

The Archdiocese’s secretariat office is located upstairs the St Theresa’s Parish Office in Woodbrook, and it can be reached via email, [email protected].