(Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, President, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 1 hour 10 minutes into the session.)
Archbishop Kurtz: Because of the movement of this afternoon’s segment, I would like to suggest that Archbishop Blair, that you allow us to jump ahead, so that when we return from break, we will be refreshed and focused to hear the presentation on the Year of Mercy.
If we could have our presentation for the review of the causes of canonization, and so I would ask if Archbishop Gomez, Bishop Parks, and Archbishop Shapeau, would go to their respective microphones, so that we could hear from each of you, briefly, on the action required. We would begin then, if Archbishop Gomez is ready...
(looking curiously at his notes...)
Archbishop Kurtz: Now... this sounds... now this sounds ridiculous... 2 minutes... It says here 2 minutes.
Bishop Gomez: You don’t know my mind.
Archbishop Kurtz: What we would need, then, is a voice vote. After you speak eloquently, we would have a voice vote.
Archbishop Gomez: Thank you Archbishop, good afternoon to everyone.
Today I would like to do the canonical consultation on the cause of a holy priest, who ministered in California, as well as Texes and Arizona. Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria was a Claretian Father and was born in the Basque country, region of Spain, in the early 20th Century, in 1905. He came from a good Catholic family, he was one of nine children. He entered the religious life at the age of 20-21. In the 1930’s and 1940’s he came to California where he taught at several Claretian seminaries. He taught Greek and Latin, he was prefect, spiritual director, and rector. Through his pastoral guidance, he attracted many vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. He was a Claretian superior in California, and was in Los Angeles, from the 1950’s to the early 1960’s. He later became a parish pastor in Phoenix and San Antonio.
In his ministry he accompanied the sick and the dying with mercy and tenderness. He also promoted the scapular of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and he spread the message of the apparitions of Fatima, and he founded a new religious congregation, the Missionaries of Fatima.
There is already a popular devotion to him, he had a reputation of holiness, and he inspired others to holiness in their life. He died in Los Angeles in 1981 and is buried at Mission San Gabriel... which, by the way, was founded by our newest canonized saint, Father Junipero Serra.
So, my brothers, I am supporting the Claretian Fathers and the Association for the Beatification and Canonization of Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria in promoting his cause of canonization. And I ask your consent to advance his cause. Thank you for your for attention.
Archbishop Kurtz: Thank you, Archbishop Gomez, and it is a request for us to support for your moving forward.
Archbishop Kurtz: We need, it says here, a formal voice vote. So is there a motion to accept? Is there is a yellow card... (shows a yellow card)...
Archbishop Kurtz: ... Bishop Tratman... please... (Bishop Emeritus Donald W. Tratman, Diocese of Erie) Bishop Tratman: Thank you very much...
I wonder if the archbishop could enlighten us on what... on page 2, the second paragraph from the bottom, where it says that this particular individual had the grace of “retaining the sacramental species, uncorrupted within himself.” What does that mean?
Gomez: That’s a good question.
Gomez: It’s over my 2 minutes, sir. (Gomez smiles broadly.)
(There is louder laughter and applause.)
Archbishop Kurtz: It sounds like, Bishop Tratman, the Archbishop will have to do some further...
Bishop Tratman: It’s a curious theological question that has an impact on our Eucharistic Theology. I don’t think we should advance someone until that question is answered...
Archbishop Kurtz: Archbishop Gomez, do you have any comments beyond the 2 minutes?
Archbishop Gomez: No I don’t, but I would be happy to research what he means, and I’ll be happy to inform all of you, where he is coming from. I don’t have a response at this moment.
Archbishop Kurtz: Cardindal Rigali you wanted to speak?
Cardinal Justin Rigali: I just wanted to mention in reference to the “fama santitatis”, in reference to Fr. Aloysius... He was in Los Angeles during the time I was in the seminary. Over 60 years ago, during my vacations, I must admit that I was very, very impressed, his ability to help the sick, and he actually had a reputation also to be the instrument of healing the sick at that time. I just wanted to mention, this question of the Holy Eucharist. I think it also says that the Archbishop He had the same privilege as his same founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret. So it might be interesting to see in the life of St. Anthony Mary Claret, as an example, what exactly that meant...
Archbishop Kurtz: Thank you, Your Eminence. Archbishop Gomez: I’m just want to clarify, I’m just consulting.
Archbishop Kurtz: We are not approving, but we can offer comments, we are offering our support to move forward.
(Bishop Plácido Rodriguez takes the microphone)
Bishop Rodriguez: It’s my privilege to give witness to Fr. Aloysius as a Claretian Missionary in Los Angeles. I was privileged to live a full year in the same provincial house with the Clareitans, back in August of 1959 to September of 1960. At that time it was located at 1119 Westchester Place, between Pico Blvd and Wilshire Blvd.
He already, in 1959 when I initiated my Novitiate, had the reputation of being a holy man. Lots of people would come to see him and come to him for counsel. On Wednesdays I used to be a porter for the Claretian house... On Wednesdays many people would come to see him, Maureen O’Hara... and Conrad Hilton... many others I cannot remember right now. But he had a reputation of being a holy priest. I would serve Mass, he was so devote at Mass, so there was the rumor, at that time, that he celebrated so well,.. that he would levatate. He fostered purity, modesty of the eyes, he was prayerful... an excellent confessor, I remember before we would enter the refectory he would kneel out of humility. He would ask for prayers. So even at that time he was a holy man.
Also the reference to the Eucharist, after the example of St. Anthony Mary Claret. It is in his autobiography... It is a reflection that he was a true follower of St. Anthony Mary Claret.
Archbishop Kurtz: Archbishop Gomez, you’ve been good enough to present us... Are you ready to ask us?
Archbishop Gomez: I make a motion of support for proceeding with this sainthood cause.
Archbishop Kurtz: All those in favor say “Aye”.
Plenary Session Participants: Aye.
Archbishop Kurtz: Those opposed.
Archbishop Gomez: Thank you.
Archbishop Kurtz: I must say I may have underestimated the intensity of these reviews, so regarding the other two, we'll wait until after the break...