For the first time in the history of the canonization cause of Archbishop Óscar A. Romero of El Salvador, the facts warrant Super Martyrio changing its color coded beatification alert status to “green” to indicate that beatification appears, if not imminent, then certainly on the near horizon. This judgment is based on the significant progress that has been made to remove impediments to the issuance and approval of a decree approving Romero’s martyrdom, after which the Church would be expected to proceed to beatify him. Super Martyrio makes this finding after considering the following factors, which demonstrate an unequivocally positive climate for beatification:
- The Vatican is now clearly in favor of Archbishop Romero’s beatification:
- The Pope, by all reports, is very favorably inclined.
- The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has signed off.
- The Congregation for the Causes of Saints sees no impediment.
- The Salvadoran Bishops Conference is unanimously in favor.
- The Government of El Salvador is favorably disposed:
- The current Salvadoran president is very favorably disposed toward Romero.
- The major candidates for president in 2014, across the political spectrum, are in favor.
- International and ecumenical support for Romero’s beatification continues to grow.
The only negative factors to consider are the lack of news that a commission of theologians, and a commission of cardinals at the CCS have acted to approve Romero’s martyrdom. Their approval is required in order to move forward with the process. However, it is possible that progress has been made on this count that simply has not been reported yet. Additionally, in light of the overwhelming support from Rome, San Salvador, and from other quarters highlighted above, it seems hard to fathom that an internal commission in a dicastery of the Church would put up impediments to Romero’s beatification. (Additionally, numerous other constituencies within the Church have embraced Romero: the Sant’Egidio Community has adopted Romero as a patron, as have the Carmelites, and the Jesuits have officially endorsed his canonization cause, as have numerous national bishops’ conferences—including the U.S.)
Super Martyrio began tracking Romero’s beatification cause using the color coded system in October 2010, designating the status of the cause under an “amber alert” at the time, to indicate “moderate or slow forward motion.” The “amber” status was maintained until March 2012, when the condition of the beatification process was downgraded to “red:” “Archbishop Romero’s canonization drive is dormant,” we said at the time. The situation was restored to amber/yellow in May of this year, shortly after the announcement at the end of April that Pope Francis had lifted the hold order over the cause.Shortly after Pope Francis was elected, Msgr. Gregorio Rosa Chávez, the Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador, commented that the stars appeared to be aligning in favor of Archbishop Romero’s beatification. As far as we can see, the alignment is now complete.