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Dicastery for Saints opens conference on what sainthood means today


The Dicastery for the Causes of Saints is responsible for recognizing, verifying, and canonizing the world's saints. 

But for four days, it will shift its attention from the lives of great Christians from the past, to future saints, gathering theologians, scholars, and communications experts to discuss what it means to be a saint today.

BP. FABIO FABENE
Secretary, Dicastery for the Causes of Saints
This is an intense program, which we would like not to exhaust the topic, but offer insights to continue the study and reflection on these issues, which guide the work of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints.

The challenge is to find ways in which the Church and the world can share a religious and ethical code of ideas and experiences.

The prefect for the Dicastery says that the conference will focus on discussing how two elements of determining sainthood have changed in modern times: “Fame of sanctity,” and a candidate for sainthood's “heroic virtue.”

CARD. MARCELLO SEMERARO
Prefect, Dicastery for the Causes of Saints
What is fame today? If we measure it with “likes” then there are many people much more famous than any saint.

What do we mean by being heroic in exercising virtue? Is sanctity something muscular? No, sanctity is a response to a call from God.

Ultimately, Cardinal Semeraro says that just as the world has changed since the times of saints from history, so, too, must the way in which people respond to God's call for their lives.

CARD. MARCELLO SEMERARO
Prefect, Dicastery for the Causes of Saints
Living in today's world as Christians means responding, which has been the case before. For example, when St. Francis of Assisi sang brother sun, sister moon, sister water, there were not the same problems with pollution that we have today. So there is a different way of addressing the topic, it is not enough to love the water, love nature, birds, today we have different applications.

The Dicastery has expressed its desire to undertake these kinds of studies more often, to not only study the lives of exemplary Christians, but promote them as well. 

JM