Opening of the Beatification Process of Don Luciano Sarti
Cathedral of St. Peter, 17 May 2007
In the Proposal for the Spiritual Life for Diocesan Priests (edited by the Presbyteral Council) it is written, "Together with the Mother of God, each of us is called to gaze at the eminent sacerdotal figures in the history of the Church and in particular at those of the diocesan priesthood, who with their example and their intercession constitute a true school of sanctity and a strong ground for identity, inspiration and encouragement among the toils and challenges of ministry" (ž37, pag. 31).
This text helps us to understand the profound sense of the canonical act that we are carrying out. The Church begins today to verify whether Don Luciano Sarti has experienced his following of Christ in such a way as to merit being "canonized": a proposal, that is, as a rule and way of life: "a ground for identity, inspiration and encouragement" for our pastors.
We are carrying out an ecclesial act, in the strict theological sense of the term. Not only for the reason that a judgment begins on the life and person of a priest, which is of the exclusive competence of the ecclesial authority. But I would say even more for the reason that our holy Church of Bologna, in which the Church of Christ is present and acts, will verify whether in Don Luciano she "finds" herself in his proper identity; whether in Don Luciano she finds canonically incarnate the holy pastoral ministry.
Our dedication to the Church of God in Bologna is not a peripheral detail of our self-knowledge. She defines our identity; it is the complete content of our sacerdotal self-knowledge. We no longer belong to ourselves. We belong to this Church. She, like every particular Church, incarnates the Mystical Body of Christ in the midst of our people, within their history.
We wish to hope that the Church will give us in Don Luciano, through the mediation of the apostolic ministry, one of the "exemplary figures" of this wonderful and mysterious "self-making" the flesh of the Gospel among the flesh of our people.
Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has desired that we should give evidence for this event.
La traduzione, non rivista dal Card. Caffarra, Ŕ di Ryan Hilderbrand.