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CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS

 

With the Constitution "Immensa Aeterni Dei" of January 22, 1588, Sixtus V created the Sacred Congregation of Rites and entrusted to it the task of regulating the exercise of divine worship and of dealing with the Causes of Saints.

Paul VI, with the Apostolic Constitution "Sacra Rituum Congregatio" of May 8, 1969, divided the Congregation of Rites, creating two congregations: one for Divine Worship and another for the Causes of Saints.

With the same Apostolic Constitution of 1969, the new Congregation for the Causes of Saints took on its own structure with three distinct offices: the judiciary, that of the Promoter General of the Faith, and the historical-juridical, which was the continuation of the Historical Section created by Pius XI on February 6, 1930.

The Apostolic Constitution "Divinus Perfectionis Magister" of January 25, 1983, and the respective "Normae servandae in inquisitionibus ab episcopis faciendis in causis sanctorum" of February 7, 1983, made possible both a profound reform in procedure for canonization causes and the restructuring of the congregation. It was given a College of Relators, assigned to take care of the preparation of the "Positiones super vita et virtutibus (o super martyrio) of Servants of God.

John Paul II, with the Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus" of June 28, 1988, changed the name to Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The prefect of the congregation is Cardinal Angelo Amato; the secretary is Archbishop Marcello Bartolucci and the under-secretary is F. Bogusław Turek. In addition, there is a staff of 23 people. The congregation has 34 members - cardinals, archbishops and bishops - 1 promoter of the faith (prelate theologian), 5 relators and 83 consultors.

Joined to the dicastery is the "Study," instituted June 2, 1984, whose objective is the formation of postulators and those who collaborate with the congregation, as well as those who exercise the various assignments before the diocesan curia for the treatment of the causes of saints. The "Study" also has the task of updating the "Index ac Status Causarum."

The congregation prepares each year everything necessary for the pope to be able to set forth new examples of holiness. After approving results on miracles, martyrdom and heroic virtues of various Servants of God, the Holy Father proceeds to a series of canonizations and beatifications.

 

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