Monday, 27 August 2012

The Non Expedire to Teresa Higginson's beatification

On February 21st 1938 the then vice - postulator of cause of the Servant of God Teresa Helena Higginson Monsignor John O'Brien received this letter from a colleague in the Holy See:

You must have been expecting for some time news of me or rather of the cause that we have at heart - Teresa Higginson.  As a matter of fact I have not written to you for the last six months.  Since it was necessary just to have the approbation of the writings of the Servant of God and the Decree - Procedi Potest ad ulteriora.  I presented myself on several occasions to the Congregation in order to obtain information about the said decree, and behold, last Friday unexpectedly received the following note from His Excellency Monsignor Carinci, Secretary of the Congregation.

Mi reco a donare significazione alla P.V. Rev. ma alla che Introduzione della Cause Serva di Dio Teresa Helena Higginson, a stato posto dal Sant Uffizio il NON EXPEDIRE.  Tanto Le communico per sua intelligenze e norma, etc.

(Translation:  It is my duty to inform you Very Reverend Father that the Holy Office has apposed the NON EXPEDIRE (not expedient) to the introduction of the Cause of the Servant of God, Teresa Helena Higginson.  I communicate this to you for your information and manner of procedure etc.)

This morning I called on Monsignor the Secretary to beg for his explanation and advice.  I know of course that the Holy Office never publishes the facts which have influenced its decisions.  On that subject I did not expect any information from Monsignor Carinci, but he himself began to explain that it was not the Congregation of Rites which had pronounced the NON EXPEDIRE, and that one must be clear on this point.  Had the Holy Office discovered anything against the Servant of God - e.g. by reason of heresy or moral disorder, it would have pronounced against the introduction of the Cause its REPONATUR, and then that would have ended it completely, but it had pronounced its NON EXPEDIRE, and that means two things.

Palace of the Holy Office

Firstly, that it has found in the writings a reason apart from the person of the Servant of God.  At once I answered that I had already thought of the propaganda which Teresa had exercised of the Devotion to the Sacred Head of Our Lord.  "Exactly," answered Monsignor the Secretary, "we have had other cases where the Holy Office has pronounced the NON EXPEDIRE because the Servant of God promoted the Devotion to the Arms, the Feet of Our Lord, or some other new form of devotion not yet introduced into the cultus of the Church.

Secondly, it means that in itself a further procedure has been postponed ad tempus, in non perpetuum, for instance, a striking miracle could easily cause the Holy Office to revoke its NON EXPEDIRE.  Consequently the cause is not lost, only its progress has been stopped for the time being and for an indefinite period.  This being so, I asked Monsignor Carinci it I should continue, nevertheless, the translation of the Acts of the Diocessa in the process, and his answer was "No, you must stop the translation in order not to incur expenses which might prove useless."

I sincerely regret that the Cause should have come to this,  If the Devotion to the Sacred Head had just been a private devotion of the Servant of God I do not think they would have pronounced the NON EXPEDIRE, but she promoted and recommended this Devotion, and that is going too far.  I beg of you Monsignor to be do good as to acquaint His Grace the Archbishop of Liverpool (Richard Downey), our principal, on this matter.

No comments:

Post a comment