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TT moves to beatify late Archbishop Pantin

By Sasha Harrinanan Monday, April 28 2014

Archbishop of Port-of-Spain Joseph Harris was among the millions who woke up before dawn yesterday to watch the historic canonisation of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII during a special Mass at St Peter’s Square, Vatican City.

“It was a moment of great hope for all of us, that in spite of our human weaknesses, we too can be good and are capable of achieving great things. I was studying in Chicago when Pope John Paul II visited Trinidad in 1985, so I never got to meet him but it’s always good to see human beings raised to the dignity of the altar,” Harris told Newsday yesterday.

The Catholic Church in Trinidad and Tobago embarked on a similar journey in early December 2013, after it was given what Harris at the time described as “unprecedented and historic” permission by the Holy See to open the Diocesan Inquiry for the cause of Beatification of late Archbishop Anthony Pantin. The process is “slow but it is going along,” the Archbishop said yesterday. “We are collecting all the historical information and testimony of people who knew Archbishop Pantin. He communicated with a very large number of people via letter, some very interesting letters, so we are collecting and reviewing those to ensure that nothing he wrote was against faith or morals.”

Harris also reminded that Pantin used to write a weekly column in the local Church’s weekly newspaper, Catholic News, called “Ask Me Another.”

“So there’s quite a lot of correspondence we have to go through, then everything will be sent to Rome for approval” before the next stage in the beatification process.

“Once that is done, Archbishop Pantin would be given the title of ‘Venerable.’ This would be a great honour for the Caribbean,” Harris noted, “because we’ve never had someone from this region declared ‘Venerable’ before.”

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