Vatican issues regulations for official promoters of causes of holiness


VATICAN CITY – To avoid any appearance of impropriety or undue influence, a cardinal or bishop who is a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and anyone officially appointed as a consultant to the congregation cannot serve as a postulator or official promoter of a candidate’s cause. for holiness.

And, with the exception of postulators general of religious orders, no postulator can have more than 30 active causes running at a time, according to regulations issued by the congregation on October 11.

Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the congregation, told Vatican News that the conflict of interest clause and workload limit were the only new rules for postulators in the document, which collected the norms and procedures of the law canon and various other Vatican documents. govern and explain the long process leading to canonization.

The two new restrictions, he said, underscore how seriously the Catholic Church takes the process of declaring saints.

Following Pope Francis’ 2016 rules to ensure greater financial transparency and greater accountability in causes of holiness, the regulations say postulators deserve “fair compensation” for the work they do, but they do not. are not considered Vatican employees and therefore do not benefit from tax exemptions. Italy gives to Vatican employees.

And, he says, with the exception of postulators working on the causes of members of their own religious orders, postulators are not to be treasurers or administrators of funds donated to the cause.

“Any member of the Catholic faithful of proven integrity who has an adequate knowledge of theology, canon law and history, as well as the practice of the dicastery (for the sake of the saints), can exercise the function of postulator” when a cause opens at the diocesan level, specifies the regulations. However, even at the local level, it is recommended that the person has taken the congregation’s course for postulators and, when a cause reaches the Vatican stage, the diploma is required.

“The ideal postulator is one who assumes and performs the function entrusted to him as a service – not just any service, but a service rendered in the church and for the good of the church, for the good of the faithful” said Cardinal Semeraro. “Pope Francis, in his address to the congregation on December 12, 2019, speaking of the postulators, stressed that they must cultivate in themselves the awareness that the causes they are dealing with are ‘realities of a spiritual character; not just procedural, spiritual ”. “

While many steps in the holiness process are legal and procedural steps, he said, the postulator is also responsible for making the candidate known, encouraging people to pray to him, and gathering the testimony of inspired people. by the candidate and who believe that they have been bestowed by the candidate’s intercession with God.

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