A stained glass window of St. Thomas Becket is seen at St. Alban’s Cathedral in St. Albans, England. (CNS picture/Gene Plaisted, The Crosiers)
Dec. 30, 2020
Catholic Information Service
WASHINGTON – The White Home issued a proclamation honoring the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket Dec. 29 and alluring “the individuals of the USA to look at the day in faculties and church buildings and customary locations of assembly with acceptable ceremonies.”
The proclamation, signed by President Donald Trump Dec. 28, described Becket as “a statesman, a scholar, a chancellor, a priest, an archbishop and a lion of spiritual liberty.”
A London-born clerk to Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury, St. Thomas studied canon legislation overseas and was ordained a deacon. His help of Henry II’s declare to England’s throne led to his appointment as royal chancellor.
However he and the king clashed over many points, notably the jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts. Becket fled to France for six years; quickly after his return, Henry’s want to be rid of this troublesome prelate led to Thomas’ homicide by 4 knights.
The White Home proclamation described this martyrdom as “an occasion that modified the course of historical past” and which “ultimately led to quite a few constitutional limitations on the facility of the state over the church throughout the West.”
It additionally stated Becket’s loss of life “serves as a robust and timeless reminder to each American that our freedom from spiritual persecution is just not a mere luxurious or accident of historical past, however moderately a necessary component of our liberty.”
It urged People to “have a good time and revere” the saint’s brave stand for spiritual liberty and to reaffirm efforts to finish spiritual persecution worldwide.
The White Home acknowledged spiritual believers in all places who are suffering persecution for his or her religion, notably Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong and Pastor Wang Yi of Chengdu, China, describing them as “tireless witnesses to hope.”
“To honor Thomas Becket’s reminiscence, the crimes in opposition to individuals of religion should cease, prisoners of conscience should be launched, legal guidelines limiting freedom of faith and perception should be repealed and the weak, the defenseless and the oppressed should be protected,” the proclamation stated, including that the “tyranny and homicide that shocked the conscience of the Center Ages mustn’t ever be allowed to occur once more. “