Monday, May 12, 2014

Romero beatification announcement looms

[For the latest developments, see here.]

The Salvadoran Church says that it will have a major announcement about the canonization process of slain Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar A. Romero next Sunday, May 18.  In describing the upcoming announcement, Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador Msgr. Gregorio Rosa Chávez would only say that it will be  very good news” and that “all indications are that we are on the verge of very exciting news, which will be given by [Archbishop José Luis Alas Escobar] when he returns to El Salvador.”

Archbishop Alas has been in Rome, where, on Friday May 9, he and three other Salvadoran bishops met with Pope Francis to give him a letter sent on behalf of all Salvadoran bishops in support of the canonization.  The Vatican confirmed that the Pope received the Salvadoran bishops, but did not issue any official statements.  Bishop Rosa said that the Pope received the delegation “with great joy” and that “we are arriving at the end of the process, therefore we hope in God that we will soon have Monseñor [Romero] on the altars.”

Archbishop Alas and the three bishops who accompanied him to Rome will return to El Salvador on Tuesday, but Bishop Rosa said he expected the announcement to come at the next weekly Sunday sermon presided by the archbishop. 

Super Martyrio analyzes that it is improbable that the local Church is about to announce that Archbishop Romero will be beatified.  Such announcements are customarily made by the Vatican after the Pope approves a decree presented to him by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (one such announcement was made on the day the Pope met with the Salvadoran bishops, concerning Pope Paul VI).  Additionally, the best information Super Martyrio has gathered suggests that the CCS has not advanced the process quite to the point to approve beatification just yet.

[Update:] Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said on Thursday, May 15, that as far as he knew there was no imminent beatification announcement.  Fr. Lombardi noted that beatification normally “would require a decree from Pope Francis on his martyrdom. I have not seen that yet.”  Fr. Lombardi, a Jesuit, added “I hope this cause will proceed.”

Accordingly, the big announcement is likely to be something short of a concrete determination relevant to beatification, and more likely to relate to Pope Francis’ intentions, including possibly of his involvement in the celebration of the Romero centennial in 2017.


Other recent beatification news:

Pope's Envoy Backs Romero Beatification at Salvadoran Eucharistic Congress
Vatican Doctrinal Czar: Romero is “a great witness of the faith
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