Formal Canonical Inquiry

On 10 June 2008 the Nihil Obstare, signed by the President of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Josephus Cardinal Saraiva Martins, was issued. It declared that there was no reason why the Cause for the beatification and canonization of the Servant of God, Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa, should not proceed. This opened the way for the commencement of the Formal Canonical Enquiry.

The Canonical Enquiry, which commenced in 2008 concluded in July 2009, began and ended with special Liturgical Services. Under the direction of Father Eddie O’Neill sdb, a Canon Lawyer from Cape Town, and the assistance of two Notaries, the Canonical Enquiry was conducted in the presence of Bishop Slattery and the Chancellor of the Diocese of Tzaneen. Witnesses were interviewed under oath. These testimonies carefully signed by all present were placed in sealed envelopes and boxes and formally handed to the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop James Green, at a special Closing Ceremony in July 2009. Archbishop Green personally delivered them to Rome.

When the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints opened and examined the work the diocese had done, it issued the Decree of Validity guaranteeing that everything had been done correctly. These documents were made available to the newly-appointed Roman Postulator, Father Lucio Di Stefano msc, to prepare the Positio. The aim of this book-length document is to prove that Benedict Daswa was indeed a true martyr for the faith. To oversee and guide the work of the Postulator, the Roman Congregation appointed a Relator (supervisor) who would also write the Introduction to the Positio on its completion.