Monday, January 19, 2015

Francis will not beatify Romero

Pope Francis stated during in his press conference returning from Manila that he does not plan to travel to El Salvador to beatify Archbishop Oscar Romero:

Q.  You talked about the trip to the US. For the beatification of Junipero Serra do you foresee a stop in California? Will you enter the United States through the border of Mexico? Are you considering traveling to Latin America to beatify Archbishop Romero in El Salvador? 

A.  I will start from the last [question]. No, no. There will be a war [Ed.: laughs] ... between Monsignor Paglia [Ed.: the postulator of the cause] and Cardinal Amato [Ed.: the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints] over which of the two will do the beatification. Normally beatifications are done by the cardinal of the dicastery or another ... The Latin American countries expected this year are Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. Next year, God willing, I will go to Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. Peru is missing here, and we do not know where to fit it in ...


The first point is, as stated by John Allen Jr. of CRUX: In his remarks, “Francis seemed to take for granted that [Romero’s] beatification will come soon.”

Another inescapable inference from the Holy Father’s remarks is that he does not have in mind canonizing Romero this year as some have speculated, because his delegating the ceremony to a cardinal is premised on the fact that it will be a beatification.

Press reports suggested that Francis left an opening.  Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press reported that Francis “essentially ruled out travelling to El Salvador” and Allen of Crux reported that Francis “said he likely won’t personally preside over a beatification ceremony for Archbishop Oscar Romero.”  Why the qualified language?  Mostly because Francis did not make an absolute declaration, but one that appeared to be contingent on the premise that the process that will follow is a beatification.  If there is an infinitesimal opening, it appears to be if the CCS itself proposes canonizing Romero.
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