Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Francis greets Romero niece


BEATIFICATION OF ARCHBISHOP ROMERO, MAY 23, 2015


#BlessedRomero #MartyrOfMercy
Pope Francis has met with Cecilia Romero de Franchy, the niece of Blessed Oscar A. Romero, after the General Audience of Wednesday, March 23, 2016. The meeting took place on the eve of the 36th anniversary of the assassination of the Salvadoran martyr beatified in May of last year. Blessed Romero’s relative told Super Martyrio that she discounts rumors that the pope is about to canonize Romero. “Here in Italy no one is talking about the prospect of the Pope visiting El Salvador,” said the Salvadoran, who lives in Viterbo, some 65 miles north of Rome.

Many asked me that question yesterday,” says the niece of Blessed Romero, referring to rumors of an impending canonization. “I'd say consider it just a rumor; unless there is a press conference to say that the Pope is coming, you cannot listen to what is being said on the street.”

This was the second meeting of Ms. Romero de Franchi with the Pope, after an initial meeting, also in St. Peter’s Square, in 2014. On that occasion, the Pope responded to the Romero family’s eagerness for the beatification assuring them that “it is on track and it will come with patience.” Romero was beatified the following year. This time, “in our very brief conversation, we did not speak at all of canonization,” Romero’s niece says, but “I did deliver a very confidential letter to the Pope.” Both times, Romero de Franchi was received by the Pope along with other relatives of victims of Latin American persecution. 


Mrs. Romero was accompanied by her husband and the Salvadoran Ambassador to Italy Sandra Elisabeth Alas Guidos.  Each member of the delegation was embraced and kissed by the Pope. “He sends many blessings to the whole family, to friends, to the Salvadoran people, to the elderly and children that he loves so much.”
In El Salvador, speculation has soared after the Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador, Msgr. Gregorio Rosa Chavez commented to the press that Pope Francis wants to come to El Salvador to canonize Msgr. Romero and beatify Father Rutilio Grande. Perhaps meant as a general comment, his words were taken as fact by enthusiastic Romero followers, and were reported as a news item by the press. Something similar happened in 2014, when another enthusiastic phrase by Rosa Chavez sparked rumors that Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi was forced to deny.
Adding to the expectation, the South American network Telesur’s web site re-published a story from last year indicating that the Salvadoran bishops would travel to the Vatican to lobby for Romero’s cause (they made the trip in October 2015), and some commentators have taken it as a new development in the canonization cause.
In fact, the requirements for Romero’s canonization and Grande’s beatification have not been fulfilled. In January of this year the Salvadoran Church sent information on three unexplained cures attributed to Romero, two cancers and a coma, to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. According to sources in the Salvadoran Church, these have not been sufficient and officials have been asked to seek new cases. Progress is slower for Fr. Grande. The documentation has not been sent from San Salvador, although the pope has asked for it and called for a speedy conclusion.
However unlikely, Archbishop Romero’s niece does not rule out the possibility that we will soon have a ‘SAINT ROMERO’. “If the dream that Pope Francis travels to El Salvador comes to pass, it will be one of the great miracles of Blessed Romero,” she says.

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