In RCm, definitive sentence by which the pope declares a faithful departed (previously beatified) to have entered eternal glory and establishes a cult for the saint. Beatification allows only limited public veneration, whereas canonization establishes such veneration throughout the church.
In the early ch., martyrs were publicly venerated; later, also confessors. Local bps. controlled the cults of saints in their diocese; such control later devolved upon the pope. Canonization follows a long legal procedure (CIC, 19992141) in which the promotor fidei (advocatus diaboli, devil's advocate) produces arguments against canonization, while the postulator (advocatus Dei, God's advocate) urges the claims of the candidate. In the Russ. Ch. canonization was performed by the Holy Synod.
A. D. Severance, Beatification and Canonization with Special Reference to Historic Proof and the Proof of Miracles, American Society of Church History Papers, ed. W. W. Rockwell, 2d series, vol. 3 (New York, 1912), 4162; G. Oesterle, Heiligsprechung, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, V (Freiburg, 1960), 142143; E. W. Kemp, Canonization and Authority in the Western Church (New York, 1948).
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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