Monday, December 15, 2014

St. Gilbert?

I'm so late on this but last year a priest was assigned to begin investigating if a cause for G.K. Chesterton's canonization should be opened. Some people are overjoyed, others are not. I read one essay by Stephen Drummel a few weeks ago that said Chesterton was too fat (well gee Sherlock, we never noticed), smoked cigars and drank his wine from a tumbler instead of a proper wine glass and that  he got crabby if anyone interfered with him while he was trying to chow down. He also was messy. Mr. Drummel doesn't come out and call Chesterton a drunken slob but he gets darn close to that.  In response to the essay a Dale Ahlquist, the premier US based G.K. Chesterton expert, wrote  that sure Gilbert was a big man but so was St. John XXIII (Pope Pius XI and St. Gertrude the Great were not fly weights either) and for what it's worth,  Pope St. Pius X dipped snuff and  St. Damian smoked and that  passionately liking wine doesn't make one a confirmed drunkard.

Is Drummel rough but absolutely right or is  Ahlquist correct? I don't know but several other sources throughout the decades have pointed out--- and this, I think will be the real deal breaker-- that although Chesterton was a Zionist for a time, it was only because he distrusted Jews and wanted them out of England and Europe. Later in his life he concluded that immigration to Palestine wouldn't work because of the Arabs who were already there and suggested that a carving a country out of territory in Africa might be the answer.  Chesterton's fans are hopeful that one day he'll be canonized but I wouldn't bet any money on it.