BEATIFICATION OF ARCHBISHOP ROMERO, MAY 23, 2015
This weekend the Archdiocese of San Salvador published in its diocesan weekly the news that the Archbishop of San Salvador has accepted the «Suplex Libellus» or formal request to open the cause of the Salvadoran Jesuit priest Rutilio Grande García, although the process is already in an advanced phase. In the decree published by the archdiocese we read that the request was made by Msgr. Rafael Urrutia, who was appointed vice postulator of the cause “by order given in Rome on June 16 this year.” Super Martyrio has confirmed that the Postulator of the Cause will be Fr. Anton Witwer, SJ, Postulator General for the Jesuit Order.
The assignment to Jesuit headquarters confirms the importance of the cause for a Jesuit pontificate. Many sources have reported that the cause is close to Pope Francis’ heart. Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints—the highest authority on canonization processes in the Church—conveyed the importance to the Archbishop of San Salvador, Mgr. José Luis Escobar Alas in May. “We are very pleased—the Pope is very pleased”—the prelate said to Archbishop Escobar upon greeting him at the airport—“that you have already begun the process of canonization of Father Rutilio Grande”.
The Pope himself brought up Fr. Grande on his own when asked about the Romero case in August 2014 flying back from Korea, “after him [Romero] there is Rutilio Grande,” the Pope recalled.
The interest of the Holy Father is no coincidence: “I met Rutilio Grande once, at a meeting on Latin America, but did not speak with him,” said the Pontiff. “After his death I became very interested. He left the ‘center’ to go to the peripheries”—one of the central pastoral themes of the Bergoglio pontificate. Father Grande left a university teaching position, “to be the pastor of the oppressed and marginalized peasants,” Cardinal Amato said in his homily for Archbishop Romero. “He was a great one,” says the Pope.
The Rutilio Grande cause will draw on lessons learned during the course of the Romero case and expects to dramatically shorten the time needed to accomplish the goal. In fact, even before the acceptance of the «Suplex Libellus» much work had already been done. Between the end of last year and beginning of this year, about 30 testimonies of witnesses, including family members, priests and laity, were collected to support the beatification of the Salvadoran Jesuit martyr. Msgr. Urrutia, Father Edwin Henriquez (second vice postulator of the cause), and the lawyer Rodrigo Belismelis (also a veteran of the Romero cause) collected testimonies in El Salvador and Guatemala.
After concluding the diocesan process, the Father Grande file will be put into the hands of the Jesuit curia, whose recently successfully completed cases include the equivalent canonization of Saint Peter Faber and Saint José de Anchieta, both under Pope Francis. Based on the track records of the Salvadoran and Jesuit postulators, we should expect to see the second Salvadoran Blessed very soon.
|Publication on Suplex Libellus.|