Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana and Special Envoy to Pope Francis at the V National Eucharistic Congress in El Salvador, prayed for the canonization of Archbishop Oscar Romero. The cardinal made his remarks during his homily at the closing Mass of the Congress.
“We ask the Lord the honor of the altars for [Archbishop Romero]”, Cardinal Ortega said. The Mass was held in a sports complex in Santa Tecla, located near the capital, San Salvador. The occasion also marked the Centenary of the Archdiocese of San Salvador.
Archbishop Romero was appointed archbishop of San Salvador during a troubling time in the nation’s history, where the Revolutionary Government Junta came into power despite egregious human rights abuses.
The former of Archbishop of San Salvador became an outspoken voice against the abuses committed by the government, particularly after the death of his close friend and Jesuit priest Fr. Rutilio Grande in 1997. Archbishop Romero was quoted as saying, “When I looked at Rutilio lying there dead I thought, ‘If they have killed him for doing what he did, then I too have to walk the same path.”
After speaking out for several years on the crimes committed against the Church and the poor, Archbishop Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass in the chapel of a local hospital on March 24, 1980.
According to Fides News Agency, thousands of lay and clergy present at the Mass expressed their joy and enthusiasm upon hearing the Cardinal’s mention of Archbishop Romero.