Originally posted by rwingett
It seems the Catholic Church has decided to slow down the process toward sainthood by applying more rigorous standards. Some had suggested the Church had become a "saint factory", with huge numbers of saints being cranked out. It seems that Pope John Paul II had beatified more people than all his predecessors ...[text shortened]... ing John Paul II through the express lane, even as people like Oscar Romero get put on hold.
According to Catholic sources, the new norms established for the process of canonisation deal largely with how diocesan
bishops nominate a person for sainthood. Cardinal Martins, responsible for the causes of saints, explains,
Cardinal Martins also explained the need for the publication of the document. “In some dioceses, certain provisions of the law have not always been understood and, consequently, not been put into practice with the necessary meticulousness, which has sometimes made it necessary for the congregation to supply clarifications or to ask diocesan curias to correct errors.”
He continued, “dioceses do not always have access to specialized individuals with practical experience of the various procedures involved in a cause of canonization.” For this reason, “it is evident that a practical document, such as this Instruction, was useful, indeed necessary.
Ordinarily, the local bishop considers a recently deceased person and then nominates them for sainthood. However, due to poor levels of competency, the bishops have often failed to ensure that all requirements of candidacy were satisfied. Consequently, the Vatican has been deluged with many requests to investigate the cause for sainthood, far beyond their capacity.
The intention, therefore, is not to reduce the number of saints canonised by popes, but to reduce the number of people proposed to the Vatican. The new instructions should not affect those whose cause has already reached the Vatican.
(And Pope John Paul is no further in the process than Oscar Romero. Romero has been declared A Servant of God and beatification is impending. JPII had also promised to beatify Romero, but died before that could happen. It is also noteworthy that others must wait even longer before they become saints. St. Thomas Aquinas had to wait some fifty years, and he is regarded as one of the great.)