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BEATIFICATION


366


BEATIFICATION


territory over ^hich the grantors held jurisdiction. Still, it was only the Bishop of Rome's acceptance of the cultus that made it universal, since he alone could permit or command in the Universal Church [Gonzalez Tellez, Comm. Perpet. in singulos textus libr. Deer. (Ill, xlv), in cap. i, De reliquiis et vener. Sanct.]. Abuses, however, crept into this form of discipline, due as well to indiscretions of popular fervour as to the carelessness of some bishops in in- quiring into the lives of tho.se whom they permitted to be honoured as saints. Towards the close of the eleventh century the popes found it necessarj' to restrict episcopal authority on this point, and de- creed that the virtues and miracles of persons pro- posed for public veneration should be examined in councils, more particularly in general councils. Urban II, Calixtus II, and Eugenius III followed this line of action. It happened, even after these decrees, that "some, following the ways of the pagans and deceived by the fraud of the evil one, venerated as a saint a man who had been killed while intoxi- cated". Alexander III (1159-81) took occasion to prohibit liis veneration in these words: "For the future you will not presume to pay him reverence, as, even though miracles were worked through him, it would not allow you to revere him as a saint un- less with the authority of the Roman Church" (c. i, tit. cit., X, III, xlv). Theologians do not agree as to the full import of this decretal. Either a new law- was made (Bellarmine, De Eccles. Triumph., I, viii), in which case the pope then for the first time reserved the right of beatification, or a pre-existing law was confirmed. As the decretal did not put an end to all controversy, and some bishops did not obey it in as far as it regarded beatification (which right they had certainly possessed hitherto), Urban VII published, in 1634, a Bull which put an end to all discussion by reserving to the Holy See e.xclusively not only its immemorial right of canonization, but also that of beatification.

N.iTURE OF Be.\TIFIC.\TION AND C.\XONIZ.4TION.

Before dealing with the actual procedure in causes of beatification and canonization, it is proper to de- tine these terms precisely and briefly in view of the preceding considerations. Canonization, generally speaking, is a decree regarding the public ecclesias- tical veneration of an individual. Such veneration, however, may be permissive or preceptive, may be universal or local. If the decree contains a precept, and is universal in the sense that it binds the whole Church, it is a decree of canonization; if it only per- mits such worship, or if it binds under precept, but not with regard to the whole Church, it is a decree of beatification. In the ancient discipline of the Church, probably even as late as Alexander III, bishops could in their .several dioceses allow public veneration to be paid to saints, and such episcopal decrees were not merely permissive, but, in my opinion, preceptive. Such decrees, however, could not prescribe universal honour; the effect of an epis- copal act of this kind, was equivalent to our modem beatification. In such cases there was, properly speaking, no canonization, unless with the consent of the pope extending the cultus in question, im- plicitly or explicitly, and imposing it by way of pre- cept upon the Church at large. In the more recent discipline beatification is a permission to venerate, granted by the Roman Pontiffs with restriction to certain places and to certain liturgical exercises. Thus it is unlawful to pay to the person known as Blessed (i. e. the Beatus, Beatified), public reverence outside of the place for which the permission is granted, or to recite an office in his honour, or to celebrate Mass with prayers referring to him, unless special indult be had; similarly, other methods of honour have been interdicted. Canonization is a precept of the Roman pontiff commanding public


\eneration to be paid an individual by the Universal Church. To sum up, beatification, in the present discipline, differs from canonization in this: tliat the former implies (1) a locally restricted, not a uni- versal, permission to venerate, which is (2) a mere permission, and no precept; while canonization im- plies a universal precept. In exceptional cases one or other element of this distinction may be lacking: thus, Alexander III not only allowed but ordered the public cultus of Bl. William of Malavalle in the Dio- cese of Grosseto, and his action was confirmed by Innocent III; Leo X acted similarly with regard to Bl. Hosanna for the city and district of Mantua; Clement IX with regard to Bl. Rose of Lima, when he selected her as principal patron of Lima and of Peru; and Clement X, by making her patron of all America, the Philippines, and the Indies. Clement X also chose Bl. Stanislaus Kostka as patron of Poland. Lithuania, and the allied provinces. Again, in re- spect to universality, Sixtus IV permitted the cultus of Bl. John Boni for the Universal Church. In all these instances there was only beatification. The cultus of Bl. Rose of Lima, it is true, was general and obligator^' for America, but, lacking complete preceptive universality, was not strictly speaking canonization (Benedict XIV, op. cit., I, xxxix).

Canonization, therefore, creates a cultus which is universal and obligatory. But in imposing this obligation the pope may, and does, use one of two methods, each constituting a new species of canon- ization, i. e. formal canonization and equivalent canonization. Formal canonization occurs when the cultus is prescribed in an explicit and definitive decision, after due judicial process and the cere- monies usual in such cases. Equivalent canoniza- tion occurs when the pope, omitting the judicial process and the ceremonies, orders some servant of God to be venerated in the Universal Church; this happens when such a saint has been from a remote period the object of veneration, when his heroic virtues (or martiiTdom) and miracles are re- lated by reliable historians, and the fame of his miraculous intercession is uninterrupted. Many ex- amples of such canonization are to be found in Bene- dict XIV: e. g. Saints Romuald, Norbert, Bruno, Peter Nolasco, RajTnond Nonnatus, John of Matha, Felix of Valois, Queen Margaret of Scotland, King Stephen of Hungary, Wenceslaus Duke of Bohemia, and Gregory VII. Such instances afford a good proof of the caution with which the Roman Church proceeds in these equivalent canonizations. St. Romuald was not canonized until 439 years after his death, and the honoiu" came to him sooner than to any of the others mentioned. We may add that this equivalent canonization consists usuallj- in the ordering of an Office and Mass by the pope in honour of the .saint, and that mere enrolment in the Roman Martvrologv does not by any means imply this honour (Bened. XlV, 1. c. xliii, n" 14).

P.vp.\L In'f.\llibilit\- .\xd C.\noxiz.\tiox. — Is the pope infallible in issuing a decree of canonization? Most theologians answer in the affirmative. It is the opinion of St. Antoninus, Melchior Cano, Suarez, Bellarmine, Bafiez, Va.squez, and, among the canon- ists, of Gonzales Tellez, Pagnanus, Schmalzgriiber. Barbosa, Reiffensttil. Covarruvias (Variar. resol., I. X, n° 13), Albitius (De Inconstantia in fide, xl. n" 205), Petra (Coram, in Const. Apost., I, in notes to Const. I, Alex., Ill, n" 17 sqq.), Joannes a S. Thoma (on II-II, Q. I, disp. 9, a. 2), Silvester (Summa, s. v. Canonizatio), Del Bene (De Officio Inqui.sit. II, dub. 253), and many others. In Quodlib. IX, a. 16, St. Thomas says: "Since the honour we pay the saints is in a certain sense a profession of faith, i. e. a belief in the glorj' of the Saints [qud sanctorum gloriam credimus] we must piously believe that in this matter also the judgment of the Church is not liable to error"