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Budget cap on saints

VATICAN (Agencies): In an attempt to level the sanctity playing field, Pope Francis has put a cap on budgets for saints, telling postulators they must adhere to financial restraints, the prefect for the Causes of Saints, Angelo Cardinal Amato, announced on January 13.

In a speech at the Pontifical Lateran University, Cardinal Amato said that a reference tariff came into force earlier this year inspired by a sense of simplicity and fairness in order to avoid causes for beatification and canonisation being treated differently.

The January 15 edition of L’Osservatore Romano called the decision a good step, saying that it helps postulators and actors to be “aware of the expenses involved, both in terms of Holy See taxes and the postulator pay.”

He added, “Some have already sent donations for causes that are less well-funded.”

He said that the new austerity measures are positive, as it makes money available for investigations for many worthy causes that have a problem finding adequate funding.

Cardinal Amato cited one case in which a woman in Naples accidentally ingested some cyanide in 2002, but after invoking Pope John XXIII, she “escaped without suffering from poisoning to the kidneys and spleen, and was healed of liver cirrhosis at the same time.”

The cardinal said there were 18 beatification ceremonies last year with 540 new blesseds, of whom 528 are martyrs. Pope Francis also canonised 804 new saints in 2013, of whom 800 are martyrs.

The cardinal reminded the gathering that the congregation especially encourages cases of those who have shown concrete evidence of holiness from outside Europe.

“The congregation always reserves a fast track for causes coming from Asia, Africa, the Americas and also Eastern Europe, which is noted for the brutal persecution of the Church under Nazi and Communist regimes,” he explained.


He lamented that often causes, even those that are duly matured, face considerable delays because the actors—bishops, religious superiors or others seem to be absent.

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