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Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Governing the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope makes use of the Roman Curia, the administrative apparatus of the Holy See. Part of this apparatus are congregations which could be compared to the ministries of a government.
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints takes care of the complex process which leads to the canonization of Saints, passing through the steps of a declaration of "heroic virtues" and beatification. After preparing a case, including the approval of miracles, the case is presented to the pope, who decides whether or not to proceed with beatification or canonization.
The predecessor of the congregation was the Sacred Congregation for Rites, founded by Pope Sixtus V on 22 January 1588 in the Bull Immensa Aeterni Dei. The congregation dealt both with regulating divine worship, and the causes of saints. On 8 May 1969, Pope Paul VI issued the Apostolic Constitution Sacra Rituum Congregatio, dividing it into two congregations, the Congregation for the Divine Worship and one for the causes of saints. The latter was given three offices, those of the judiciary, the Promoter General of the Faith and the historical-juridical.
The current prefect is Cardinal Josť Saraiva Martins , who was appointed in 1998.
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