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Vatican commission weighs cases for 550 new martyrs

November 13, 2023

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CWN Editor's Note: The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Causes of Saints is considering 550 cases of possible martyrdom involving Christians who have died for the faith in the years since 2000.

A special commission set up by Pope Francis to honor “new martyrs” is looking into cases such as that of Father Jacques Hamel, the French priest murdered on the altar by Islamic militants; and the victims of the Easter bombings of churches in Sri Lanka in 2019.

For the first time the Vatican is actively considering the possible martyrdom of non-Catholics, in line with the directive of Pope Francis regarding the “ecumenism of blood.” Among the possibilities are the 21 Egyptian Christians who were brutally killed by the Islamic State in 2015, and have already been declared martyrs by their Coptic Orthodox Church.

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