The Vatican will advise bishops around the world this next week to be more rigorous in their selection of the candidates they propose for sainthood, ANSA reports.
A 20-page document to be presented in the Vatican on February 18 will ask bishops to show “greater sobriety and rigor” in accepting requests to begin inquiries into a prospective saint’s life.
Initial investigations into the life of a proposed saint take place in the diocese where he or she died. The local bishop must begin the inquiry and oversee the first phase, which produces a dossier of evidence to be sent to Rome.
Cardinal Saraiva Martins said the new document would “respond better to the new spirit introduced by Benedict XVI.”
Since the formal canonization procedure was founded by Pope Sixtus V in the 16th century until the start of the pontificate of John Paul II, the Church had canonized 296 saints. During John Paul's pontificate, he had canonized that number by November 21, 1999.