Pope Francis Signs a Decree of Equipollent Canonization

Source: FSSPX News

Blessed Bartholomew of the Martyrs, Dominican bishop of Braga, Portugal, in the 16th century, was the subject of a equipollent canonization by decree signed by the pontiff on July 5, 2019.

The equipollent (equivalent) canonization occurs when the successor of Peter orders a servant of God to be venerated in the universal Church, for whom no judicial process has been introduced—investigation of miracles, etc., but who, from time immemorial, has a public cult. 

Equipollent canonization does not therefore fall under the current procedure of investigation leading to a judgment based on heroic virtues, according to a methodology that the Society of Saint Pius X has repeatedly stated is questionable, in the case recent canonizations.

In the framework of the equipollent canonization, it is necessary that the heroic virtues and miracles observed before and after the death of the blessed, without having been verified legally, be told by historians worthy of belief, and may be the object of the general belief of the people.

Born in Lisbon in 1514, Bartholomew received the Dominican habit in 1528. A teacher in the convents, he was appointed archbishop of Braga in 1559. He wrote a catechism and was the creator of a prolific literary work. From 1561 to 1563, he took part in the Council of Trent, presenting 268 petitions for the reform of the Church.

On July 16, 1590, he died in the odor of sanctity at the Dominican convent of Viana do Castelo—which he had founded in 1561.

Since his election, the pope has proclaimed several equipollent canonizations, including those of Angela de Foligno, Pierre Favre, Joseph Vaz, the apostle of Ceylon, and François de Montmorency-Laval, the first bishop of Quebec.

Still, there are doubts about these canonizations, really for the current procedural system, because one of the important points in this matter is the intention of the pontiff to form a definitive judgment and to want to oblige adherence to this judgment. But the transformation of the canonization process on the one hand, and the modernists’ concept of truth, on the other hand, introduces serious doubt as to its definitive value.