Cardinal Saraiva Martins Reviewed Some Canonization Causes

Source: FSSPX News


On February 18, on the occasion of the presentation of the Instruction Sanctorum Mater, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, reviewed the progress of a number of causes of beatification and canonization. Beforehand, he declared: “The Church is interested in truth, only in truth, in facts, in reality,” and in every case she undertakes a “deep and serious study.”

About the French priest Léon Dehon (1843-1925), “we are still researching his cause,” the Roman prelate declared. His beatification had been scheduled for April 2005, but was suspended by Benedict XVI who had decided to gather a commission in charge of bringing light on his anti-Semitism. Without adding more precisions, Cardinal Saraiva Martins pointed out that further research into the case might “prevent useless discussion after the beatification.”

Concerning Pius XII (1939-1958) the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stated that his cause “was not stalled.” He briefly recalled the existence of a special commission to which is entrusted the care of studying the dossier of the beatification cause of the pope of the Second World War. He stated that the famous silence of Pius XII concerning a condemnation of Nazism is not a historical truth. “More than silence, I would say prudence” in order not to make the Jews’ situation “even more serious and more unbearable.” And he observed that “immediately after the war many Jews paid homage” to his initiatives. The Portuguese cardinal specified that the cause of Pius XII “had not been delayed nor much less is it suspended.” He explained that this year we were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the death of Pope Pacelli, and we thought it opportune to take advantage of this to promote a number of initiatives - among others a symposium and an exposition on his pontificate -- thus contributing to make the person of Pius XII as well as his spirituality better known.

For John XXIIII (1958-1963), a miracle must still be proved after his beatification in 2001 to allow his canonization. As for Paul VI, the promotor of the cause is presently writing his positio, a document synthesizing all the testimonies collected during the diocesan inquiry. Concerning John Paul II, Cardinal Saraiva Martins indicated that if Benedict XVI had granted a dispensation from the necessary delay before the opening of the cause of beatification and canonization of the Polish pope, he did not dispense him from the process itself. Thus, “the procedure must follow its normal course.” He added that we should not expect a beatification of Karol Wojtyla for next April 2, on the occasion of the third anniversary of his death.

In an interview granted to Avvenire on February 1, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints spoke about the beatification of the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897). Whereas on January 9, in the Osservatoret Romano, he had announced that the procedure for the beatification of the Martin spouses was about to be concluded, Cardinal Saraiva Martins thought that “this event” was “not yet to be considered as imminent.” “There is a presumed miracle, which happened on a new-born baby in 2001. It has already been examined by the medical commission, but must still be studied by theologians.” For the Portuguese Cardinal “this will be a momentous event in the universal Church, by reason of the great devotion their daughter enjoys all over the world.” (Sources: Zenit/ Apic/Imedia)