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CCBI Releases “Norms for the Designation of National Shrines”

Designation of National Shrines
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Bengaluru: The Commission for Canon Law in the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) has established a clear path for recognising significant diocesan shrines as national shrines.

The newly drafted “Norms for the Designation of National Shrines” were officially released as a book during the 94th Executive Committee meeting held at St John’s Medical College in Bangalore on 7 May 2024.

These comprehensive Norms address the desire expressed by several Bishops to elevate cherished diocesan shrines to national status, fostering greater recognition and pilgrimage opportunities.

The document represents the culmination of a meticulous process spearheaded by Most Rev. Dr. Antonysamy Savarimuthu, the Chairman of the Commission for Canon Law and Rev. Dr. Merlin Rengith Ambrose, Executive Secretary of the Commission and Professor of Canon Law at St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary, Bangalore.

It was released by His Eminence Filipe Neri Cardinal Ferrão, the President of the CCBI.

The document is structured into five distinct sections. After a brief introduction on the significance of the Shrines, the first section lays out the overarching guiding principles governing national shrines.

The second section delves into detailed guidelines concerning liturgy, sacraments, sacramentals, pilgrimages, charitable endeavours, ecumenical celebrations and popular devotions.

The third section addresses a range of additional guidelines.

The fourth section outlines the procedure for obtaining the designation of “National Shrine” from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India.

The fifth section elaborates on the required documentation and application process.

This Book is intended to serve as a vademecum for Bishops seeking to elevate their diocesan shrines to the status of National Shrines.

Report by:- Fr Stephen Alathara

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