Be Your Own Critique!Published: Jul 6th, 2020 08:52 am
Published by Rajiv Krishnan Pisharoti
During the canonization process of Mother Teresa (to grant Sainthood), renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens and controversial biographer Aroup Chatterjee argued against her ascent to sainthood.
Playing “devil’s advocate” is a phrase we’ve all heard or said before. It’s used by a person taking a contrarian stance, especially when they’re espousing an idea they don’t truly believe in order to have a vigorous debate. This can play out in classrooms, boardrooms, and even movie theaters.
It turns out “devil’s advocate” was an actual person within the Catholic Church. The position of advocatus diaboli, or devil's advocate, existed at the Vatican for centuries. Until Pope John Paul II modernized the canonization process and did away with the formal office in 1983. However ‘Devils Advocate’ has an important role to play in granting saint hood in Catholic Church even today (also called Canonization). To understand same, lets take brief look at below:
The Catholic church has a well defined process for Canonization. The steps can be summed up as below:
Step 1: Die. Unfortunately, the first thing you have to do to become a saint is to die.
Step 2: Servant of God .This is where the process of naming a saint gets put into motion. While it’s generally five years after a person dies before the process can begin, there have been some exceptions.
Step 3: VenerableIf the person is deemed “Servant of God,” then the findings of the local bishop are sent to Rome to the Congregation of the Causes of Saints. The investigation into the life of the person will continue, with a positive outcome being the person is deemed a person of “heroic virtue.” As part of this process a person called a “devil’s advocate” raises questions and objections to the candidate’s sainthood to make sure all aspects of the person's life is examined. (That's where the term originated)
Step 4: Blessed.If a person claims a miracle happened due to intercession by the person in heaven, and it is investigated, confirmed and approved by the pope, then the would-be saint’s status is moved to “Blessed.”
steps are completed, there’s just one more, but it’s a big one. A second miracle must be investigated and confirmed. Once that happens, the person may be named a Saint. If they are, they are assigned a feast day on which they will be celebrated. A Mass at the Vatican usually follows that.
The sitting pope has the option to shorten any part of the process – including waiving the requirement for one or both miracles and not waiting to start the process until the person has been dead for five years.
As Boston Globe language columnist Ben Zimmer put it, “I guess the idea then was that there should be a position advocating a negative view, even if it was unpopular, just so that something as important as sainthood can withstand any kind of skepticism.”
As a business manager, how many times have we asked ourselves, below questions for important plans prepared by us?
a) In what all different ways can my plan fail?
b) What is the weakest link in my plan?
c) Who’ll could have vested interes in killing/resisting my plan?
d) Having anticipated the above, what steps can I take now to strengthen my plan?
Be a critique of your own plan, by asking bare minimum the above three questions. It’s also a practical way to develop a futuristic mind set.