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Journey to Canonization
Canonization Process for Servant of God Joseph Dutton Layman
Moving Forward to Next Phase
See below videos from the celebration Mass and information on the next phase.
Making of a Saint
Compiled by Msgr. Robert J. Sarno, Episcopal Delegate for the Cause of Canonization of the Servant of God Joseph Dutton, Layman and Former Official of the Congregation, now called Dicastery, for the Causes of the Saints, Rome.
All souls who are in heaven and enjoy the vision of God face to face are Saints. In the process of canonization, the Catholic Church declares as “Saints” those faithful Catholics who gave outstanding testimony of holiness lived out in one of three essential ways: (1) they accepted or tolerated a violent death that was inflicted "in hatred of the Faith" (Martyrs); (2) they offered their lives as an expression of love, and died a rather quick and unexpected death (Confessors): (3) they gave heroic example of living all the Christian virtues (Confessors); For the first 1200 years of the history of the Catholic Church, Saints were canonized in various ways. Today, the process of canonization is very complex and thorough, and governed by a strict canonical or juridical procedure established by St. Paul II in 1983.
Servant of God
A cause of canonization cannot begin until five years after the death of the eventual candidate for canonization. This period of time permits the Church, through the local bishop or eparch, to verify whether the candidate enjoys an authentic and widespread reputation of holiness and of intercessory prayer among a significant portion of the people of God. When the local bishop officially begins the cause, the candidate is given the title of “Servant of God”.
The first or local phase of the process begins with the official opening of the Cause by the bishop of the diocese or eparchy where the Servant of God died, and the appointment of a Postulator, to assist in its promotion. The bishop then nominates those Officials charged with gathering all the documentary and eyewitness evidence for and against the Canonization of the Servant of God. Two theologians examine the published writings of the Servant of God to ascertain whether there is anything in them contrary to the Faith and the moral teaching of the Church, and an Historical Commission is appointed to collect all the documentary evidence in the Cause.
Finally, the testimony of eyewitnesses is taken.
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