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Process of Canonisation -2
Welcome to INSPIRING LIVES, a series on the lives of Saints in the catholic church from around the world. Saints are holy people who lived ordinary lives in extraordinary ways. These saints are examples of great holiness and virtue, and they invite us to follow their paths to holiness. Their unique stories inspire us to be rooted in our faith. God calls each one of us to be a saint.
In the last couple of years, we have witnessed several canonizations. These new saints of the church came from various walks of life – lay women, catechist, religious, priests and nuns. How do they become saints? What does the Catholic church do in canonizing people? I asked these and similar questions to Jesuit father Peter Gumpel, the first relator, or the investigating judge for the causes of saints, appointed by Pope John Paul II in 1983. Last week, in the first part of this interview, Fr. Gumpel explained the pastoral reasons for canonizing people – that is, to set examples of Christian living before the people of God.
The process of canonization begins in a particular diocese where the candidate for sainthood died and where exist a widespread feeling among the people that the person lived a holy life. Then on request, the local bishop decides to start the process, technically called ‘introducing the cause’. The bishop has to do two things – first, he has to call a number of witnesses, and second, he has to constitute a tribunal with 3 people, a president, a canon law expert and a notary.
Listen: Q. Fr. Gumpel, what does the Tribunal do?
Q. An what are witnesses asked to do?
Q. What happens once the testimonies of the witnesses and observations of the historians are recorded?
Q. What is the next step?That’s was second part of an interview with Jesuit Father Gumpel, an investigating judge for the causes of saints in the Catholic Church. You can listen to the third and final of this interview next week.XXXYou have been listening to INSPIRING LIVES, a weekly series based on the lives of Catholic Saints from around the world. Today we heard the stages in the process of canonization, brought to you by Vatican Radio’s English Service for South Asia.
By P.J. Joseph SJ
FRIDAY, 06 December 2013