Vatican City, Apr 2, 2017 / 00:24 am America/Denver (CNA).
On Saturday, Pope Francis moved the responsibility for Catholic shrines to be under the Congregation for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, stating that shrines, as sacred places, are especially suitable to conversion and the strengthening of faith.
April 1 the Pope issued the edict – called a motu proprio – formally moving the competency of shrines from the Congregation for Clergy to the Vatican department on the New Evangelization.
“The large influx of pilgrims, the humble and simple prayer of God's people alternating in the liturgical celebrations, the fulfillment of so many graces that many believers certify that they have received and the natural beauty of these places allow you to see how the shrines…express an irreplaceable opportunity for evangelization in our time,” Francis states in the letter.
According to the document, titled “Ecclesia in Sanctuarium,” the tasks of the congregation will include: the establishment of new national and international shrines, studying and implementing measures for promoting their role in evangelization, and promoting systematic pastoral care of the shrines and specific training for those who operate them.
They will also be in charge of the promotion of national and international meetings to promote communal pastoral renewal and pilgrimages to various shrines, spiritual guidance for pilgrims, and “cultural and artistic enhancement of the Shrines according to the via pulchritudinis (way of beauty) as a particular mode of evangelization of the Church,” Pope Francis said.