New Norms Issued for Rites of Beatification

From the Congregation for Sainthood Causes

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VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 29, 2005 ( The Vatican Congregation for Sainthood Causes published the new dispositions on the rite of beatification in the Church.

The move reflects part of the novelties that have been introduced under Benedict XVI’s pontificate.

The norms are in keeping with the conclusions of a theological-pastoral study on the rites of beatifications and canonizations approved by Benedict XVI.

Reported today in a brief communiqué — signed by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins and Archbishop Edward Nowak, the prefect and secretary, respectively, of the Vatican congregation — the indications were published in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

According to the new dispositions, there is no change in the fact that «canonization, which attributes to the blessed the devotion of the whole Church, will be presided over by the Supreme Pontiff.»

However, «beatification, which is always a papal act, will be celebrated by a representative of the Holy Father, who will usually be the prefect of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes.»

The «rite of beatification will take place in the diocese that promoted the cause of the new blessed, or in another locality considered suitable.»

In any case, «the rite of beatification may take place in Rome … at the request of the bishops and proponents of the cause,» with the advice of the Vatican Secretariat of State.

Finally, the dicastery points out that «the rite of beatification will take place in the Eucharistic celebration, unless special liturgical reasons suggest that the latter take place in the course of the celebration of the Word or of the Liturgy of the Hours.»

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