New norms for beatification

New norms for beatification

The Vatican has codified the new norms for beatification, most notably, as has already been put into practice, that Pope Benedict will not preside at beatifications. In the past, a pope only presided at canonizations, not beatifications, to maintain the distinction between the two states. Beatification raises a deceased as an example for veneration on a local level, while canonization raises them for universal veneration, or at least that’s how in worked in days before instant global communication. Canonization is also an action of papal infallibility, whereas beatification is not.

Pope John Paul often presided at beatifications and it is well known that he raised more saints to the altars than all of his predecessors of the last millennium combined. It looks Pope Benedict is returning to the more sedate, considered pace of the past. We need time to assimilate all these new saints. We don’t want to give any of them short shrift.