New financial rules for those putting causes of saints

Pope Francis has imposed new rules governing the establishment and management of funds for the advancement of investigations into the lives of people proposed for sainthood.

The new financial accountability regulations came after reports of gross abuses on the use of donations from the faithful.

At least two books by Italian journalists revealed that the Vatican’s saint-making process brought in hundreds of thousands of euros in donations for each saintly candidate but had virtually no financial oversight as to how the money was spent.

The books estimated the average cost for each beatification at around 500,000 euros ($550,000), with much of the proceeds going to a few lucky people with contracts to do the often time-consuming investigations into the candidates’ lives.

The new rules call for an administrator to be named for each saintly cause who must “scrupulously respect” the intention of each donation.

The administrator must keep a running tab on expenditures and donations, prepare an annual budget and be subject to the oversight of the local bishop or religious superior.

That person must also approve the annual budget and send it to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints — the Vatican office responsible for reviewing saintly candidates, investigating miracles and preparing the cases for the pope’s ultimate decision.

The rules also set out the mechanism by which each cause pays the congregation for its services finalizing the beatification or canonization, though it doesn’t specify how much is given.

The rules were published just days before Pope Francis is due to set the official date for the canonization of Mother Teresa.


Vatican Radio
The Daily Mail
Image: AP/Vatican Radio

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