ROME: DIOCESAN REPORT ON CARDINAL OTUNGA’S CAUSE OFFICIALLY UNSEALED
By Francis Njuguna (February 3, 2014)
A simple but historic ceremony on the on-going Beatification and Canonization Cause of the Servant of God Maurice Michael Cardinal Otunga took place in Rome on Tuesday, 14 January 2014.
According to the Vice Postulator of the Cause, Brother Reginald Cruz, the ceremony involved the unsealing of the Acts of the Diocesan Inquiry, which arrived in early November 2013 after the Tribunal appointed by His Eminence John Cardinal Njue to investigate the Cause wound up its work on 28 September.
With this act, the Congregation of Causes of Saints signaled the commencement of the second stage in the Cause of Cardinal Otunga, referred to as the Roman Phase.
Present in the ceremony were the Roman Postulator of the Cause, Dr Waldery Hilgeman, officials of the Congregation of Causes of Saints, and seminarians from the Pontifical Urbaniana University, where Cardinal Otunga studied theology.
Brother Cruz was happy with the unusual speed of the Cause of Cardinal Otunga at the Congregation of Causes of Saints. “This is a really good sign. But we must continue to pray very hard that all will be well in the Roman Phase.”
According to Brother Cruz, the unsealing of the Acts will be followed by the binding of the documents into several volumes. Once done, the Congregation of Causes of Saints will assign an Evaluator to study page after page of each volume to certify that the Diocesan Tribunal in Nairobi completely and properly fulfilled the task entrusted to it. If the result is positive, the Decree of Validity would be issued by the Congregation. Only after this can Brother Cruz and Doctor Hilgeman commence with the writing of official biography of the Servant of God – the so-called Positio – under the supervision of an official of the Congregation.
Brother Cruz also reminded everyone that an extraordinary miracle still needs to be presented to the Congregation of Causes of Saints for the beatification to take place. “We still have to pray hard for an exceptional miracle to happen through Cardinal Otunga’s intercession. Several have been reported to my office and we are verifying their authenticity and extraordinariness.”
Cardinal Otunga is the first son of Kenya whose Process of Beatification is being examined by the Holy See. He had served the Church in Kenya as a priest, bishop, and cardinal for over fifty years. He passed on 6 September 2003 at the age of 80.