Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/440

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power to aid which lies in Catholic veneration of the saints, whether that be understood naively or philosophically.

Of course as soon as one resorts to figures a less attractive aspect of the matter appears. The process of beatification, and still more noticeably that of canonization, consumes huge sums of money which the petitioner an Order, a family, a diocese must raise. All members of the Congregation swear a solemn oath to spurn every bribe, but it may well be that deference to national wishes proves under given circumstances not without influence upon the readiness of the Curia to act. How imminent the danger always is that political in- terests may play a part was shown recently by the efforts of Austrian noblemen to make a martyr of Emperor Charles, and so to provide the Habsburg monarchy with a canonized saint. It is certain that in our times no servant of God is proclaimed a saint who was not really a hero of the faith and of charity. But it is no less certain that not everybody is beatified who deserves to be. It is reported that Prince Falconieri jestingly said to his children on the evening of the beatifica- tion of Juliana Falconieri, the expense of which he had wanted to bear alone as a matter of family pride: "Children, you may become angels, but never become saints it is too expensive."

What the Congregation of Rites is for the whole Church, the Con- gregation of Ceremonials is for the Papal Court. It regulates not only the rite of divine services in which the Pope officiates, or which are held in the Papal chapels, but also supervises the formalities which prevail in the Vatican in so far as its residence, its visitors, and the extra-mural activities of its dignitaries are concerned. As a custodian of decorum, it delivers to everyone who needs it a private lecture on etiquette.

The guardianship of the Church's treasury of grace is also confided in part to the Congregation of Sacramental Discipline, to which are referred all questions concerning the administration of the Sacraments, excepting those of a ritual character. The cleavage is more distinct than the layman realizes. This Congregation came into being through Pius X's reform and exercises powers of administration, legislation and canonical decision. Dispensations for obstacles, and decisions con- cerning the validity of a sacrament received are its province. Thus for example it deals with obstacles to ordination in the secular clergy,