Salvadoran Bishops Eager for Romero Canonization

Write Pope for 30th Anniversary of Archbishop

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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, JAN. 26, 2010 ( The episcopal conference of El Salvador has expressed to Benedict XVI its hopes for the canonization of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero.

Archbishop Romero was assassinated March 24, 1980, when celebrating Mass. He was a staunch critic of the El Salvadorian government and defender of the poor.

Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chávez of San Salvador reported in a parish publication that the bishops decided at their first meeting of 2010 to make an appeal to the Holy Father.

On Sunday, Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas of San Salvador announced that the Church would begin the commemorative events of the 30th anniversary of Archbishop Romero’s death with days of reflection.
He also exhorted Salvadorans to pray and promote «private devotion» to stimulate the process of Archbishop Romero’s beatification, and called for respect for the figure of the murdered archbishop so as not to affect the process.
«I would like to call us to prayer. […] if some one is canonized, it is because God wills it,» the archbishop affirmed.
He acknowledged in a press conference that the cause «is advanced,» but said he did not know «how long it will take» for Archbishop Romero to be declared blessed.
«The truth is that we have seen little private devotion and, on this point, it is fitting that there be greater devotion. There can be no public devotion for a person whose cause is being studied in the Vatican, but there can be private devotion, and it is fitting that it increase,» he added.

In 2008, it was reported that Archbishop Romero’s cause was stalled because of concern that the figure of the prelate is politicized and a source of disunity in El Salvador.

It was also noted that Archbishop Romero’s teachings regarding social doctrine were still being studied.

But also in 2008, after El Salvador had appointed a new ambassador to the Holy See, Benedict XVI recalled Archbishop Romero in his address to the envoy. The Pope referred to the archbishop as one of the «pastors full of love for God» who has helped to root the Gospel in the Central American nation, «bringing abundant fruits of Christian life and holiness.»

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