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Rescriptum ex Audientia Sanctissimi

The Supreme Pontiff Francis, in an Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Secretary of State on the 4th of March in the Year of Our Lord 2016, approved the new “Norms regarding the Administration of the Temporal Goods of the Causes of Beatification and Canonization”, repealing those previously approved by St John Paul II on 20 August 1983.

The Supreme Pontiff has disposed that the aforesaid Norms, together with the present Rescript, be promulgated and published in L’Osservatore Romano, establishing that the same enter into force ad experimentum for three years starting from the date of approval.

From the Vatican, 7 March 2016

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
Secretary of State

Norms regarding the Administration of Temporal Goods
in the Causes of Beatification and Canonization


Causes for Beatification and Canonization are complex and therefore require a great deal of work and involve expenses for the dissemination of knowledge of the figure of the Servant of God or Blessed, for the diocesan or eparchial inquiry, for the review of the Cause in Rome and finally for the celebration of the beatification or canonization.

In what pertains to the Roman phase, given that Causes by their unique nature are a public good, the Apostolic See covers all expenses, in which the other Parties participate by way of contribution, and is vigilant that the costs be contained such that they do not hinder the development of the Cause.

I. Temporal Goods of the Cause and Designation of the Administrator

1. The Petitioner, upon the acceptance of the petitioning libellus, establishes a fund of material resources, or goods, for the costs of the Cause.

2. The fund established for a Cause of Beatification or Canonization comes from offerings made by both physical and juridic persons and, on account of its particular nature, figures as a “fund for a pious cause”.

3. Upon the consent of the Bishop or Eparch, the Petitioner appoints the Administrator of the fund. The Postulator General may assume the duties of Administrator.

4. For Causes in their Roman phase, the Postulator communicates the nomination of the Administrator to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

II. Administration

5. The Administrator is obliged to observe the Norms regarding the administration of temporal goods for pious causes.(1) In particular, the Administrator must:

a. rigorously respect the intention of those who make the offerings;(2)

b. keep regularly updated accounts;

c. draw up an annual financial report, estimate (by 30 September) and final statement (by 31 March), which must be submitted by the Petitioner for due approval;

d. send the Postulator copies of the budget approved by the Petitioner.

6. The General Postulations require that the accounts of each Cause be kept separate.

7. Should the Petitioner wish to use even a fraction of the funds for ends different than those of the Cause, the Petitioner must obtain the authorization of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

8. On reception of the budget and immediately upon its approval, the Petitioner sends a copy to the competent authority to be audited, as contained in n. 9.

III. Overseeing the Administration

9. The authority with competence to oversee, for the diocesan or eparchial phase or for the Roman phase, is:

a. the diocesan Bishop, Eparch or person qualified by law in the sphere of his jurisdiction;(3)

b. the Major Superior for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, in that sphere of jurisdiction;

c. other ecclesiastical authority.(4)

10. Oversight is exercised over all transactions inherent to the Cause, both incoming and outgoing.

11. The authority with competence to oversee the annual statements approves the budget of the Cause and sends a copy thereof to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

12. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as the highest supervising authority:

a. may at any time request of the Administrator, as well of the Postulator or Petitioner of the Cause, any financial information and relative documentation to support it;

b. require verification of statements issued by the competent authorities according to n. 9;

c. check that during the Roman phase the fees and every relative expenditure adhere to what has been established by this same Congregation.

13. The Administrator is obligated to diligently adhere to all the norms issued by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints regarding the administrative-financial activity of a Cause.

14. In the event of shortcomings or abuses of an administrative-financial nature by those responsible for the process of the Cause, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints intervenes with disciplinary measures.(5)

IV. Petitioner’s contribution to the Apostolic See

15. For the Roman phase, the Petitioner is required to make a contribution established by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and, communicated through the Postulator, to be paid in installments at various times as specified in nn. 16 and 17. Whenever deemed necessary, further extraordinary contributions may be requested.

16. Should the martyrdom or heroic virtue or the title of Doctor be recognized, this contribution is divided into four moments:

a. upon the submission of the diocesan or eparchial Acts of the Inquiry;

b. upon the request for the appointment of a delegate;

c. upon the submission of the Positio;

d. prior to the particular meeting of theologians.

17. In light of the recognition of an alleged miracle, the contribution is divided into three moments:

a. upon the submission of the diocesan or eparchial Acts of the Inquiry;

b. prior to medical consultation;

c. prior to the particular meeting of theologians.

18. Contributions, which do not cover the costs of the publication of the Positio, must be dispatched by way of wire transfer to the bank account of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, to whom the documentation regarding the transaction must also be sent.

19. After the celebration of the Beatification or Canonization, the Administrator of the fund submits a comprehensive statement of the goods administered (cf. nn. 8–12).

20. Following the Canonization:

a. the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in the name of the Apostolic See, disposes of any surplus funds, adhering to the specific intentions of the Petitioner and the needs of the Solidarity Fund;

b. Upon the fulfillment of the prescripts of n. 20.a, the fund of the Cause and the Postulation cease to exist.

V. Solidarity Fund

21. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has established a Solidarity Fund, consisting of freely-offered contributions from the Petitioners or any other source, over and above what may result from the disposition of n. 20.a.

22. In the event of real difficulty in meeting the costs of a cause in its Roman phase, the Petitioner may request a contribution from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints through the competent Ordinary. The latter must verify the economic-financial status of the fund and the impossibility of providing other subsidies before submitting any such request. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints will evaluate these requests on a case-by-case basis.

VI. Norms Entering into Force

23. The present Norms enter into force ad experimentum for three years beginning on the date of approval by the competent authority, and abrogate any and all norms to the contrary.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B.

+ Bishop Marcello Bartolucci


1 Cf. CIC cann. 1282, 1284–1289, 1299–1310; CCEO cann. 1020 §§ 1–2, 1028–1033, 1043–1054.

2 Cf. CIC cann. 1267 § 3 and 1300; CCEO cann. 1016 and 1044.

3 Cf. CIC can. 1276; CCEO can. 1022.

4 Inasmuch as these are not subject to the jurisdiction referred to in n. 9.a and b. For example, entities and organisms directly tied to the Apostolic See, Episcopal Conferences, etc.

5 Cf. CIC cann. 1377, 1386, 1399; CCEO cann. 1449–1463.