From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Electronic version copyright © 1996 by New Advent, Inc.


We must first distinguish causes of martyrs from those of confessors or virgins, since the method followed is not entirely identical in both cases.

The Beatification of Confessors

In order to secure beatification (the most important and difficult step in the process of canonization) the regular procedure is as follows:

  1. Choosing of a vice-postulator by the postulator-general of the cause, to promote all the judicial inquiries necessary in places outside of Rome. Such inquiries are instituted by the local episcopal authority.
  2. The preparation of the inquiries (processus) all of which are carried on by the ordinary episcopal authority. They are of three kinds: (a) Informative inquiries regard the reputation for sanctity and miracles of the servants of God, not only in general, but also in particular instances; there may be several such inquiries if the witnesses to be examined belong to different dioceses. (b) Processes de non cultu are instituted to prove that the decrees of Urban VIII regarding the prohibition of public worship of servants of God before their beatification have been obeyed; they are generally conducted by the bishop of the place where the relics of the servant of God are preserved. (c) Other inquiries are known as Processiculi diligentiarum and have for their object the writings attributed to the person whose beatification is in question; they vary in number according to the dioceses where such writings are found, or are thought likely to be found, and may not be judicially executed before an "Instruction" is obtained from the promotor of the Faith by the postulator-general and by him sent to the bishop in question.
  3. The results of all these inquiries are sent to Rome, to the Congregation of Rites, in charge of a messenger (portitor) chosen by the judges, or by some other secure way, in case a rescript of the congregation dispenses from the obligation of sending a messenger.
  4. They are opened, translated if necessary into Italian, a public copy is made, and a cardinal is deputed by the pope as relator or ponens of the cause, for all which steps rescripts of the congregation, confirmed by the pope, must be obtained.
  5. The writings of the servant of God are next revised by theologians appointed by the cardinal relator himself, authorized to so act by a special rescript. Meantime, the advocate and the procurator of the cause, chosen by the postulator-general, have prepared all the documents that concern the introduction of the cause (positio super introductione causae). These consist of (a) a summary of the informative processes, (b) an information, (c) answers to the observations or difficulties of the promotor of the Faith sent by him to the Postulator.
  6. This collection of documents (positio) is printed and distributed to the cardinals of the Congregation of Rites forty days before the date assigned for their discussion.
  7. If nothing contrary to faith and morals is found in the writings of the servant of God, a decree is published, authorizing further action (quod in causā procedi possit ad ulteriora), i. e., the discussion of the matter (dubium) of appointment or non-appointment of a commission for the introduction of the cause.
He had nearly completed his ninety-first year. He was declared "Venerable", 4 May, 1796; was beatified in 1816, and canonized in 1839. In 1871, he was declared a Doctor of the Church.
(End of Catholic Encyclopedia Quotes)
According to this, a person Cannot be Canonized if he has published any writings which are contrary to the Roman Catholic Church's Doctrine.  So, St. Liguori was made a Saint, thus a seal of approval was given to his works.  A seal of approval was given again by Cardinal Patrick Joseph Hays, of New York.  After his death, Rome gave its seal of approval, declaring him a Doctor of the Church and the patron of moralists and confessors

Presents of God ministry