Friday, February 06, 2015

Romero beatification update #4

© Florescruz, Panaromio
Last week was a quiet week in the lead-up to the beatification of Archbishop Óscar A. Romero.  This week was not.
Welcome to our weekly update—“Roma locuta” edition.  (St. Augustine famously said «Roma locuta, causa finita»—“Rome has spoken; case closed”).  In case you missed it, on Tuesday, a commission of cardinals at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints unanimously approved an earlier vote by theologians at the CCS, holding that Archbishop Romero is a martyr.  In unusual lightning speed, Pope Francis approved a decree recognizing Romero’s martyrdom later that same day, making Romero eligible for immediate beatification.
Some of the details for that beatification have been defined and some will be defined within the next week.  The ceremony will be set in El Salvador, most likely between now and August, at an iconic spot called Plaza de las Américas in Western San Salvador (photo).  We can say “with certainty” that the celebrant will be Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of CCS, according to Archbishop Vincezo Paglia, the postulator of Romero’s cause.  The Salvadoran Church is considering March 24 and August 15 as possible dates, according to Msgr. Rafael Urrutia, a vice-postulator of the cause.  (All, as we foresaw here.)  The decision will be made by the time of the Ordinary Consistory of Cardinals set for February 14, according to San Salvador Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chávez, but no decision will be made until San Salvador Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas returns from a spiritual retreat—again, according to Urrutia.
Takeaway: we’ll find out the date next week.
This week’s approval from Rome clears the way for all the planning to get done.  Msgr. Urrutia told Salvadoran news outlet “Frente A Frente” (an interview show) that he has been scoping out Plaza de las Américas with a team of architects to design a temporary altar for the ceremony.  He acknowledged that if March 24 is chosen, the team will have to “race,” but he said with tentative confidence that “it’s doable.”  The President of El Salvador and the Salvadoran Church both confirmed that very high level planning talks have begun.
Last but not least, planning has begun in Rome for what will be the Eternal City’s 31st annual ecumenical service in memory of Romero.  The coordinating team had their first planning meeting last week, and their idea was to have an event on March 24 (the anniversary of Romero’s martyrdom—we no longer have to put quotation marks around that term!) with Archbishop Paglia as the keynote speaker.  However, their plans may need to wait for the Salvadoran beatification date to be announced to ensure there is no conflict.

Takeaway here is also: we’ll find out next week.

Super Martyrio will continue to monitor developments and provide an update every Friday regarding plans for the beatification, as well as for commemorations of Romero's anniversary in March and his birthday in August.
President of Guatemala visits Romero's grave, February 5, 2015.

Recently on the blog:

Swift approval (at last)
Theologians’ vote
Three game changers
Why Romero
The Evangelist
Pope quotes Romero

Prior updates:

35th Anniversary Theme
Update No. 1
Update No. 2
Update No. 3
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