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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Alternative Legal Careers: Devil’s Advocate

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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Well, ok, not any more. That position has been ‘downsized’, but it really was a job. According to Wikipedia:

Formerly, during the canonization process of the Roman Catholic Church, the Promoter of the Faith (Latin Promotor Fidei), or Devil’s Advocate (Latin advocatus diaboli), was a canon lawyer appointed by the Church to argue against the canonization of the candidate. It was his job to take a skeptical view of the candidate’s character, to look for holes in the evidence, and to argue that any miracles attributed to the candidate were fraudulent, etc. The Devil’s advocate was opposed by God’s advocate, whose job was to make the argument in favor of canonization. The office was established in 1587 during the reign of Pope Sixtus V and was abolished by Pope John Paul II in 1983.

A BBC radio story on the canonization process of Pope John Paul II turned me on to the subject this morning. If the abolishion of the position has dashed your current professional aspirations, fret not, you may still yet find yourself in a canonical practice.

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