|Faithful pack the rural country church of Oscar Romero's hometown to celebrate what would have been his 96th Birthday. Photo courtesy the Romero Foundation's FB page.|
When Pope Francis received the President of El Salvador in an audience, the Pope urged the devotees of Archbishop Oscar Romero to have confidence in the Church’s canonization process. “The Pope said that the Salvadoran people must have faith that the canonization of Archb. Romero is proceeding at an appropriate speed,” President Funes said after the audience. This is important because sainthood is a religious, spiritual, subject which must be understood with a sense of faith. However, the Church works through human instruments, and these can produce some minor hiccups.
- The Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, has confirmed that the Romero cause does not follow the speed of the two most prominent causes, those of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. Regarding the causes of beatification of Pope Paul VI and Romero, the prefect reported that these continue “with their own times” which “do not depend” on the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, but respond to the dictates of the postulators who promote those causes. (The postulator for Mgr. Romero is Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.) Amato added that the processes of the two churchmen “continue to be good”.
- Meanwhile, in El Salvador, the faithful celebrated what would have been the 96th birthday of Archb. Romero in Ciudad Barrios, the place where Romero was born, and in the Cathedral of San Salvador, where Romero is buried. In San Salvador, there has been some tension between the Romero Foundation, and the Cathedral Crypt Community, a parish group that celebrates Mass at Romero’s Tomb every Sunday, over the right to commemorate his birthday in the Crypt. The misunderstanding has been resolved amicably, but the Crypt Community has seen it necessary to issue a communiqué explaining its position in the matter.
- Finally, some will remember that Pope Francis commented that the slain Salvadoran Jesuit Rutilio Grande could be the next after Romero to be beatified. In Father Grande’s old parish, there has been some tension over some decisions by the current parish priest, to remove a mosaic of Father Grande and to put pews over Grande’s tomb, which the faithful see as a lack of respect for Fr. Grande. However, the moves may be to give effect to the decrees of «non cultus» in Fr. Grande’s process. There was great indignation when Archb. Romero’s tomb was moved from the main floor of the Cathedral to the Crypt for the same reasons (some mistakenly see this as an attempt to suppress his memory).
The news coming out of Rome about the beatification of Msgr. Romero has been absolutely positive for months. Now, the Prefect of the CCS has confirmed that Romero is in the top five postulants to the sainthood—and surrounded by popes who are about to become saints. The only impediment is that the postulator may not be able to keep up with the new quick pace. This is a good problem to have ...