Skip to comments.Sainthood Cause of 16th-Century Jesuit Moves to Vatican
Posted on 05/23/2013 10:19:21 AM PDT by marshmallow
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Although it has taken more than 400 years, the sainthood cause of Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci, the 16th-century missionary to China, appears to be back on track.
Bishop Claudio Giuliodori, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Macerata, Italy, where Father Ricci was born in 1552, formally closed the diocesan phase of the sainthood process May 10. The cause now moves to the Congregation for Saints' Causes at the Vatican.
Bishop Giuliodori had met Pope Francis, a Jesuit, at the Vatican the first week of May. He wrote in the Macerata diocesan newspaper, "I never imagined I'd be able to speak about the cause of Father Matteo Ricci with a Jesuit pope. After the great attention given by Benedict XVI, who never missed an occasion to encourage us to promote the cause, we now have the joy of placing it into the hands of a Jesuit."
The bishop said when he spoke to Pope Francis about the cause, the pope highlighted Father Ricci's "innovative method of evangelization based on the inculturation of the faith" and the missionary's courage and humility in learning from the Chinese.
Father Ricci died in Beijing May 11, 1610, and his death was followed by centuries of church debate and even disputes over the extent to which a very limited number of Confucian practices -- including veneration of ancestors -- could be seen as a tolerable part of Chinese social and cultural tradition rather than as religious practices incompatible with Christianity.
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I'm a huge Matteo Ricci fan. I am SO GLAD they're lining him up for a full appreciation of his brilliant, Christ-centered, faith-filled work --- after only 400 years!
Now at least he has a Chinaman's chance!
And, well, you can't be too careful...
Ricci was also a brilliant scholar