Pontiffs Must Demonstrate ‘Extraordinary Virtue’ to Become Saints, Says Religious Studies Professor

Joanne Pierce, professor of religious studies. Photo by John Buckingham

The Conversation

On Sept. 4, 2022, Pope John Paul I will be beatified, which is the last step before being canonized as a Catholic saint, begging the question: Does every pope become a saint?

In an article for The Conversation, Joanne Pierce, professor of religious studies at Holy Cross and a scholar of Catholicism, explains the highly regulated and complex process of becoming a saint in the Roman Catholic Church.

According to Pierce, while the process has changed through history, the Catholic Church’s view of canonization has remained the same: “No one, even a pope, becomes a saint automatically – but every Catholic whose life and actions demonstrate ‘extraordinary virtue,’ famous pope or obscure layperson, may be proposed.”

To read the full article, go to TheConversation.com.