Editorial: When the saints go marching in

Does the Church need so many saints?

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The Independent Online

Heaven must be getting crowded, to judge by the number of saints that the Catholic Church has proclaimed lately.

Canonisation, once a solemn, slow process that could take decades, now proceeds apace and by batch.

Yesterday, Pope Francis elevated several hundred more people to sainthood, including a whole crowd from Otranto most of whose names are no longer remembered but who resisted the Ottomans in the 15th century.

Does the Church need so many saints? The line of recent Popes is that the old list was too full of Italian men and needed bulking out with women, married men and people from Latin America and the like.

The Church needs to keep up with the times. But there may also be something to the traditionalist charge that the multiplication of saints is akin to an inflationary process – and inflation, as we know, devalues the currency.