Two weeks ago, Catholic Archbishop Jose Gomez disclosed that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles "lacks funds and canon law experts for a sainthood cause." While disappointing, this admission by the Archdiocese does not prevent a group called The Friends of Father Aloysius to "take up the torch" for the lengthy and expensive process of canonization.
"I'm sorry to hear there are no local experts in sainthood causes. This is what the Church is all about, to help us become saints. At least now we have clarity," reports Fr. Kevin Manion. Rev. Manion knew Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria for years and served as his personal secretary. "We need holy priests, and it is vital to publicly recognize examples of heroic virtue and holiness." Fr. Manion added, "The fact that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles doesn't have resources or experience in these matters helps 'The Friends of Father Aloysius' reorganize their efforts."
According to a news release, the petition for the canonization of Fr. Aloysius is developing new momentum. Fr. Aloysius was a well known member of the Claretian Missionary order of priests. He served in the Los Angeles Archdiocese for many years until his death in 1981. "The association of 'The Friends of Father Aloysius' has decided to go ahead with plans to promote a cause of sainthood for Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, CMF," according to Heather Gallagher. A member of the association, Gallagher said, "In light of the Archbishop's statement, no one will be offended that they weren't asked to be instrumental."
"We've just finished the process of vetting who is going to be the promoter of the cause" said Gallagher. "Two years ago, we presented a petition to Archbishop Jose Gomez. After study and prayer the Archbishop forwarded the petition to the superior of the Claretian Missionaries in Chicago. They sent it to Rome and then it came back to Los Angeles. Recently Archbishop Gomez told a supporter, Jeff Moynihan, the Archdiocese lacks resources and canon law experts in causes of sainthood. While disappointing, this is actually positive information," according to Gallagher. "Now 'The Friends of Father Aloysius' can promote freely and independently with the blessing of the Church a cause of sainthood for Father Aloysius."