by Anura Guruge
The February 27, 2012 post that efforts were again underway to beatify the nondescript, at best, Benedict XIII (#246) got me thinking as to where all of the other popes stood in terms of ‘their causes’. I tried to get a number of folks to research this but got the usual excuses. So, I started researching it myself — and I am glad I did so because it was quite intriguing. Since this at present is a 5th-tier project I only managed to get up to the 17th century — working backwards from John Paul II (#266).
The key to the Excel spreadsheet extract shown here:
>> The maroon underlines denote century splits.
>> A gray box means that there are no causes being investigated at present, as far as I can tell.
>> A maroon check mark against a yellow background means that there is an effort underway.
>> The ‘number’ against Blessed and Saints is a sequential count of these honors, starting at the top of the list. So it confirms that we have 78 Saints, Pius X the last in the list, and 11 Blessed, with John Paul II the last in that list.
>> ‘Ven’ = Venerated.
¤ Of the 33, one is a Saint, four are blessed and one (controversially) is a ‘Ven’; 18% of the total.
¤ Of the 27 remaining, 4 have causes being investigated; 15%.
¤ 23 of the 33 are in ‘limbo’; 70%.
Papal canonizations, as is well known, are front-loaded; i.e., the early popes are favored and heavily represented, the first 35 ‘popes’ all deemed Saints.
It now appears that recent popes are getting preference. Of the 8 20th century popes only two are in ‘limbo’. It seems incongruous, to say the least, that the causes for Paul VI (#263) are being looked at while Leo XIII (#257) goes unserved.
Have a look. Let me know if you have updates to the standings. I have yet to find a complete and accurate list of all active causes. They must have one at the Vatican but it is probably in a handwritten ledger.