Pope Francis oversaw the diocesan phase of Shaw’s cause while he was serving as archbishop of the Argentine capital.
The pope praised Shaw in a 2015 interview with the Mexican television station Televisa.
He said: “Enrique Shaw was rich, yet saintly. A person can have money. God gives it to him so he can administer it well, and this man administered it well.”
The pope added that Shaw used his wealth “not with paternalism, but by fostering the growth of people who needed help.”
The decree means that Shaw can now be referred to as “Venerable.”
Heroic virtue is one of the requirements for beatification in the Catholic Church. A verified miracle attributed to the candidate’s intercession is also usually required.
Pope Francis also authorized a decree Saturday recognizing the martyrdoms of 12 members of the Redemptorists religious congregation killed during the Spanish Civil War.
He formally acknowledged that Vincenzo Nicasio Renuncio Toribio and his 11 companions were killed in hatred of the faith in the Spanish capital, Madrid, in 1936.
In addition, the pope approved decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of four other candidates for canonization:
• Cardinal Pietro Marcellino Corradini (1658-1743), the bishop of the Italian diocese of Frascati who founded the Collegine Sisters of the Holy Family, providing religious instruction for girls.
• Emanuele Stablum (1895-1950), an Italian physician who belonged to the Congregation of the Sons of the Immaculate Conception (C.F.I.C.)
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• María de los Desamparados Portilla Crespo (1925-1996), a Spanish laywoman and mother of 11 children. Known as Amparo Portilla Crespo, she was renowned for her care of the poor and sick, and the serenity with which she accepted her diagnosis of terminal lung cancer.
• Anfrosina Berardi (1920-1933), an Italian girl known for devotion to the Virgin Mary who died at the age of 12 from complications following appendicitis.