New norms on the administration of the assets of the Causes of beatification and canonization were published today. The norms consist of a preamble and six articles:
In the preamble it is affirmed that the Causes of beatification and canonisation, on account of their complexity require much work, involve expenses for the dissemination of knowledge of the figure of the Servant of God or the Blessed, for the diocesan or eparchial inquiry, for the Roman phase and, finally, for the celebrations of beatification or canonisation.
With regard to the Roman phase, the Apostolic See, given the special nature of the public asset of the Causes, assumes the costs, in which the Actors participate with a contribution, and ensures that the costs and expenses are kept within limits so as not to impede progress.
The article regarding the assets of the Cause and the nomination of the Administrator establishes that after the formal request to initiate the Cause, the “supplice libello”, the actor constitutes an asset fund for the expenses of the Cause. The fund constituted for a Cause of beatification and canonisation, originating from offers from physical and legal persons, is considered, due to its particular nature, as a “pious cause fund”. The actor, with the consent of the bishop or eparch, nominates the Administrator of the fund. The Postulator General may carry out the duties of the Administrator. For the Causes in progress during the Roman phase, the Postulator shall communicate the appointment of the Administrator to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The part regarding Administration affirms that the Administrator is required to observe the norms regarding the administration of the assets of pious causes, and in particular must respect scrupulously the intention of the petitioners, maintain regularly updated accounts, annually prepare financial statements, budget (by 30 September) and balance (by 31 March), to be presented to the Actor for the necessary approval, and send to the Postulator a copy of the financial statements approved by the Actor.
The General Postulations must keep separate the accounts of the individual Causes. Should the Actor intend to use a part of the assets for purposes other than the Cause, authorisation by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints must first be obtained. The Actor, having received the statement, must approve it promptly, and send a copy to the competent supervisory Authority, as indicated in the subsequent article.
The Authority responsible for monitoring, in the diocesan or eparchial phase and in the Roman phase, is: a) the diocesan bishop, the eparch or their legal equivalent in terms of jurisdiction; b) the major superior for Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, within their jurisdiction; c) other ecclesiastic authorities.
This article also establishes that supervision shall be exercised over all movements relating to the Cause, both incoming and outgoing, and that the authority responsible for monitoring shall revise and approve the financial statements of the Cause and send a copy of them to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as the highest supervisory authority, may at any moment request of the Administrator, Postulator or Actor any form of financial information, documentary or supporting information, check the statements provided by the competent authorities in accordance with the provisions herein, and may control, during the Roman phase, any fees or other expenses on the basis of what is established by the same Congregation.
Similarly, the Administrator is required to adhere diligently to all the rules issued by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints regarding the administrative and financial activity of a Cause.
In the case of failure to comply or abuse of an administrative or financial nature by participants in the progress of the Cause, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints shall intervene to take disciplinary action.
The fourth chapter details the contribution of the Actor to the Apostolic See, establishing that for the Roman phase a contribution shall be required, to be established by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and communicated via the Postulator, to be paid in several instalments, as specified herein. Should it become necessary, eventual extraordinary contributions may be requested. With regard to the recognition of martyrdom, heroic virtues or doctorate, the contribution is divided into four instalments: upon submission of the Proceedings of the diocesan or eparchial inquiry, upon request for the appointment of the Relator, upon submission of the Positio, and before the Peculiar Congress of Theologians.
With regard to the recognition of the presumed miracle, the contribution is divided into three instalments: upon submission of the Proceedings of the diocesan or eparchial inquiry, prior to the Medical Consultation, and before the Peculiar Congress of Theologians.
The contributions, which shall not include the cost of printing the Positio, shall be paid by bank transfer to the current account of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, to which it is necessary to send the documentation relating to the completed transaction.
Once the beatification or canonisation has been celebrated, the Administrator of the fund will provide an account to the general administration of the goods for the necessary approval.
After the canonisation, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, on behalf of the Apostolic See, shall keep the eventual remainder of the fund, considering the requests for use from the Actor and the needs of the “Solidarity Fund”. Once these requirements are fulfilled, the fund for the Cause and the Postulation will cease to exist.
The fifth part describes the Solidarity Fund, constituted in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, funded by voluntary contributions from Actors or any other source, aside from the provisions of the previous article.
Should it become genuinely difficult to sustain the costs of a Cause during the Roman phase, the Actor may ask for a contribution from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints via the competent Ordinary. Before sending an eventual request, they must confirm the economic-financial situation of the fund and the impossibility of sustaining it by obtaining other subsidies. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints will evaluate each case on its own merits.
The norms will enter into force, ad experimentum, for three years starting from the date of their approval, notwithstanding any other norm.
The regulations are signed by Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., and Archbishop Marcello Bartolucci, respectively prefect and secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.