Cardijn beatification process officially launched
Trade unionist and ex-YCW leader, Guy Tordeur, postulator of the Cardijn sainthood cause

Mechelen-Brussels Archbishop André-Joseph Mutien Léonard has announced the appointment of a church tribunal to investigate the beatification of Joseph Cardijn.

The tribunal will launch the first diocesan stage of the sainthood process which examines the life of the candidate and prepares a submission to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome with evidence of the “heroic virtues” of the candidate. At the end of this stage, the candidate is declared a “Servant of God”. This is followed by the beatification and canonisation stages.

The tribunal will meet for the first time on 16 January 2014 under the presidency of Monsignor Stefaan Van Calster.

Archbishop Léonard has appointed Guy Tordeur from the ACV (Christian Trade Union) in Brussels as postulator for the cause while CCI Belgium and Europe chaplain, Dean Felix Van Meerbergen, will be vice-postulator.

The role of the postulator is to prepare documentation in favour of the cause for presentation to the tribunal.

Fr Felix Van Bergen told Kerknet that the process will take some time.

“With the help of theologians and historians all the information is collected. With the start of the diocesan process we will start to listen to the first witnesses who knew him. We already have 40 to 80 witnesses on our list,” Fr Van Meerbergen said.

“We are also looking for people whose prayer intentions have been answered.”

“All information and testimonials should also be translated into Italian, French and English. At present, we need to find plenty of volunteers willing to translate.

“We have collected many letters and testimonials from people who tell us what a great impact on their lives has had. The testimonies are from prominent trade unionists as well as clergy and religious, but also simple people whose lives he helped turn around.”

Dean Felix Van Meerbergen, vice-postulator

Fr Van Meerbergen said that it is difficult to predict how long the diocesan phase will take.

“According to optimists, the preparatory phase can be completed quickly. But we want to proceed thoroughly. After this, all files will be transferred to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. Moreover, a miracle must also be recognised (for beatification).”

Fr Van Meerbergen added that the Cardijn Community in Belgium is working to develop a series of new publications on the life of Joseph Cardijn, including a scholarly biography as well as in a more popular format.

“I am convinced that Cardinal Cardijn can continue to inspire us both in the church and in society.  There are new things that Cardijn can teach us,” Fr Felix said.

“The Cardijn Community hopes that Cardinal Cardijn will not only be beatified but soon proclaimed a Doctor of the Church,” Fr Felix concluded.