Vatican official announces stricter guidelines for sainthood requests

It may soon be more difficult to become a saint. A senior cardinal said Tuesday that the Vatican has written a document setting down stricter rules for initiating the process of beatification and sainthood, saying bishops should be more rigorous when accepting requests. In an interview with Vatican daily newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, who is prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, said the new instructions on how to examine requests are "very important innovations." "It is necessary to proceed with even greater caution and accuracy," the cardinal said. Beatification is the last formal step before possible sainthood in the Roman Catholic Church.