Saturday, January 04, 2014

Odium virtutis et veritatis....

...expect more martyrs in the future to fall into that category.

John Allen explains:

3. A new patron for Christian martyrs

One unfortunate side effect of the fact that popes generally no longer preside over beatification ceremonies is that people don't pay as much attention, which caused the May 25 beatification of Fr. Giuseppe "Pino" Puglisi, the great anti-Mafia priest of Sicily gunned down in 1993, to pass largely without comment.

I wrote at the time that it was the most important beatification of the early 21st century, and I'm sticking by that diagnosis.

That's because Puglisi is an ideal patron saint for today's new generation of Christian martyrs. The number of Christians killed for reasons linked to their faith is approximately 100,000 every year, with millions more facing other forms of violent persecution. Puglisi is a compelling symbol not just because he's one of them, but because his beatification represents a key theological breakthrough in how Catholicism understands the concept of martyrdom.

Puglisi was pastor of San Gaetano Parish in the rough-and-tumble Palermo neighborhood of Brancaccio. He became famous for his strong anti-Mafia stance, refusing to take their money for feast day celebrations and not allowing dons to march at the head of processions. He received multiple death threats and, according to the testimony of one of his hit men (who later confessed), Puglisi's last words were: "I've been expecting you."

The broader significance of the beatification is this: Historically, the church has recognized martyrs only if they were killed in odium fidei, meaning hatred of the faith. Puglisi, however, was recognized as a martyr who died in odium virtutis et veritatis, meaning hatred of virtue and truth.//

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