The Easing of Standards for Canonization

I am wondering what others’ thoughts are regarding Pope John Paul II’s dismissal of a Devil’s Advocate, the requirement of miracles, and long waiting periods that were normally used in the process leading up to a canonization?

I believe Pope Benedict XVI also waived the five year waiting period needed for Pope John Paul’s prospective canonization.

Aren’t these valid measures to prevent the public and the electors from elevating someone to sainthood based on sentiment? The five year waiting period seems valid to let sentiment dissipate and judge the candidate merely on holiness, not on temporary popularity.

The same for the miracles. Obviously, the Church cannot make an error in declaring someone a saint, and the miracles seem a certain way of avoiding this potential problem in that miracles are direct interventions of God into the natural order.

Does anyone have insight as to why these former requirements have been waived?

I don’t think the requirement for a miracle has been rescinded.
Still I think the abolishing of the Devil’s Advocate was a very grave mistake. That role was there for a very good reason.
I also think waiving the 5 year period was also a serious mistake, but I have no idea why this decision was taken.
Jaypeeto4 (aka Jaypeeto3)

I’m pretty sure the miracles are still a requirement, but perhaps I’m mistaken. While I tend to prefer the idea of a Devil’s Advocate, I can also see how it can be argued to be superfluous, especially in the face of miracles. The role of the Devil’s Advocate is to hold the person’s life up to scrutiny to see whether it represents proper holiness. The problem with this is that the disposition of one’s soul at death has little to do with what a person did when they were twenty, assuming they’ve turned their life around and come to God and the Church.

St. Augustine, for example, would have been absolutely ripped to shreds by a Devil’s Advocate, and quite possibly wouldn’t have been canonized as a result. His canonization far predated the concept of a Devil’s Advocate, however, so we happily have him on our list.

I’m also partial to the waiting period, but again I can understand why it might be waived in the case of someone who already has a huge public devotion and possible miracles stacking up in their name.

Peace and God bless!

I think JPII probably waived these traditional parts of the process because in our day of instant communication the whole of a person’s life can be readily read about in the popular press, especially people like Mother Teresa. And gathering information doesn’t take the kind of time it used to when the fastest transportation on earth was the steam engine locomotive. He was just moving with the times–making decisions on these merely disciplinary matters as all the popes have done before him.

Excellent point! Five years waiting period is important for an obscure individual, because if gives a cusion of time to collect all possible information on them before rendering a decision. In the case of someone like JPII, we knew every time the man had a cold. It would be more likely to take five years to sift through everything we know to the pertainant stuff than it would be to need that time to collect information and testimony.

Think about it, the world, through the media, was literally outside his window for the entire last few days of his life. We even heard about his passing live, and there are so many books and testimonies, both favorable and not, already published about him that it could fill a library.

Peace and God bless!

I think that Pope Benedict just wanted to see the canonization happen within his lifetime. But that’s just a guess on my part.

As for the “easing” I dont know much about the stepts to go through, but I know that in the case of Blessed Mother Teresa she has not been canonized yet even after all these years and information about her, so thats something to think about.

It’s become far too easy to canonise people :(.

“Quicky” causes are quite likely an infection of the Church with the world’s "I want it NOOW!!! attitude - and it is terrible that the Church should have the attitudes of an over-indulged adolescent.

If the Church is going to have a process at all, it should be followed without any dispensations, otherwise it becomes a mockery. Especially when the person with a reputation for holiness has many admirers. ##

Canonizations have always been considered infallible so I don’t think we need to worry about it too much.

I too think that the waiting period should be kept and the number of miracles required not reduced.

I read somewhere that the office of Devil’s Advocate is now being performed by a committee instead of just one person.