Church becomes new home of a basilica
AKRON, Ohio — The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, is now home to a basilica.
St. John the Baptist Church in Canton, Ohio, has been granted the title of Minor Basilica by the Holy See. The Vatican decree, received by Youngstown Bishop George V. Murry, states in part “such honorific title is intended to strengthen the relation of this important church with the Chair of Peter and to make it an ideal center of special liturgical and pastoral ministry in the Diocese,” according to diocese information.
The designation means that the Basilica of St. John the Baptist holds the greatest dignity of all the churches in the diocese. Churches are elevated to basilica status because of their historical and architectural value, coupled with their contributions to the community. The process requires a church to supply documents, including a petition of the bishop; reports related to the origin, history and religious activity of the church; and photographs of the exterior and interior of the church.
The Basilica of St. John the Baptist is among 74 churches in the United States with the minor basilica title. It is the only basilica in the Youngstown and Cleveland dioceses. There are nine major basilicas worldwide, seven of which are in Rome.
As a basilica, the local church is charged with being a center of worship in the diocese.
It is also expected to promote the teaching of the Holy See, to provide liturgical formation and exemplary sacred music and to make ample provisions for the celebration of sacraments and devotions.
The church now has the right to display the coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI, who designated the church as a basilica.