Catholic Church in Russia reorganizes causes of 20th-century martyrs

The 10 Russian Catholic martyrs of the 20th century whose beatification process is underway. The 10 Russian Catholic martyrs of the 20th century whose beatification process is underway. |

The Church in Russia has reorganized the causes of 20th-century Catholics who it hopes will be recognized officially as martyrs.

The 10th session of a diocesan tribunal reorganizing the beatification process took place on May 21, reported ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language news partner.

Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, leader of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God at Moscow, led the session.

The organization was prompted by the reduction in the number of sainthood candidates from 15 to 10.

The process is now known formally as “The case for beatification or proclamation of the martyrs of the Servants of God, Bishop Antony Malecki, titular bishop of Dionysiana, apostolic administrator of Leningrad, and nine companions killed in hatred of the faith.”

Alongside Bishop Malecki (1861-1935) are the causes of Fr. Constantine Budkiewicz (1867-1923), Fr. Jan Trojgo (1881-1932), Fr. Pavel Chomicz (1893-1941), Fr. Frantiszek Budrys (1882-1937), Fr. Antony Czerwinski (1881-1938), Mother Catherine Abrikosova, O.P.L. (1883-1936), and laywoman Camilla Kruczelnicka (1892-1937).

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved the addition of two other candidates to the group, Bishop Karol Śliwowski (1855-1933) in Vladivostok and Fr. Anthony Dzemeshkevich (1881-1938), who served in parishes in Nizhny Novgorod and Vladimir.

All the candidates died after the Russian Revolution and the Bolshevik establishment of the Soviet Union.

ACI Stampa reported that three candidates were no longer part of the group: Fr. Epiphany Akulov (1897-1937), Fr. Potapy Emelianov (1884-1936), and Sr. Rosa of the Heart of Mary, O.P.L. (1896-1944).

Meanwhile, three priests of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary -- Fr. Andrej Tsikoto (1891-1952), Fr. Janis Mendriks (1907-1953), and Fr. Fabian Abrantovich (1884-1946) -- were excluded from the process in Russia. But their causes will now progress under the care of their congregation in Poland, as will that of the Pallottine priest Fr. Stanislaus Szulminski (1894-1941).

The reorganization makes it possible for the archdiocese to advance the beatification process of those Servants of God who lived and worked in the territory of present-day Russia and whose private veneration is well established.

Within a few years, it will be possible to complete the diocesan phase of the process and transfer the cases to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

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