Will G. K. Chesterton Join Pope John Paul II as Newest Saints?

Christians and Jews split over effort to canonize writer.

CANTERBURY, England – As Pope Francis reveals more details about the final steps to sainthood for Pope John Paul II, Christians and Jews are mounting campaigns for and against another high-profile name: British writer G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), one of the world's best-known Catholic converts.

Roman Catholic Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton, where Chesterton lived and worked, has ordered an examination of Chesterton's life—the first step in what is likely to be a long and unpredictable process toward canonization.

Chesterton's many admirers delighted in the news.

"There is a growing devotion to this life-changing writer," said Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society, who has pushed the church to explore a formal declaration of sainthood for a man he called "a maker of converts."

Ahlquist said Chesterton, whose appeal crosses racial, gender, age and national boundaries, influenced two Americans who are currently ...

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