Cause for Beatification 

The process of beatifying Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ has made significant progress.


Two important steps have recently been taken in the cause for beatification of Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ (1907-1991), 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus. 

On 19 February last year, after five years of work, the Historical Commission (formed by Gianni La Bella, Monica Borsari, Robert Danieluk, SJ, Massimo De Giuseppe and Carlo Luongo) was sworn in on the basis of the work they had accomplished which allowed the Commission to submit their collected material to the ecclesiastical tribunal of the Vicariate of Rome. Together with the accompanying report, there are almost 10,000 pages of unpublished texts of Fr Arrupe and printed material relating to his life and his reputation for holiness. 

On 29 February this year, the members of the same tribunal visited the church of the Gesù in Rome, where Fr Arrupe’s tomb is located. The purpose of the visit was to fulfil the last of the requirements for a beatification process: the verification that the Servant of God is not being unduly worshipped. This can occur when the Servant of God is presented with outward signs that he is already publicly venerated as a saint (e.g. with the typical halo around his head) or is considered as such in liturgical celebrations. All other types of private devotion and the spontaneous spreading of his reputation as a saint are permitted. This is done by the members of the court visiting his grave and verifying the result of the inspection. The “declaration of non-cult” attests that what is prescribed is being fulfilled in the case of Fr Arrupe. 

These two conditions are combined with the interrogation of witnesses and the reading, by a team of theologians, of the subject’s published works in order to verify that they are in accordance with the “faith and customs” of the Church. This work has been ongoing since the official start of the case on 5 February 2019. This will complete the objective of the diocesan phase of the process, which is the collection of information about the Servant of God, both through texts and oral statements. 

Moving forward, what remains is for the tribunal to organise all materials and inspections concerning Fr Arrupe and prepare them for a public closing session at the seat of the Vicariate, St John Lateran. Though the date of the session is not yet known, it would normally be expected to take place within a few months’ time. 

And what happens afterwards? After the closure, all the materials are sealed and sent to the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, where they will be opened shortly afterwards. Their contents will be checked to certify that the diocesan canonical process has been carried out correctly. This is the beginning of the so-called “Roman phase” of the cause, essentially devoted to the drafting of the Positio on the Servant of God by the Postulator General, ready to be examined and judged by the Church. 

Read the original story on the Jesuits Global website

Above, from left to right: Notary Marcello Terramani, Msgr. Giuseppe D’Alonzo (president of the tribunal), Carlo Luongo, Fr Robert Danieluk, SJ, Monica Borsari, Gianni La Bella (Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Massimo De Giuseppe (Professor of Contemporary History at IULM). 

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