Friday, May 27, 2016

Deciphering Francis


#BlessedRomero #MartyrOfMercy
Pope Francis has raised expectations for an impending canonization of Archbishop Oscar A. Romero, by alluding to a trip “around Central America” ​​in informal comments to the President of Costa Rica.

Leaving an audience with the Holy Father, the Costa Rican president invited him to visit Costa Rica, which is the practice of many heads of state when they visit the pope. Francis replied, “There is something that I'm thinking about around Central America... So it's possible, it's possible...” The comment suggests that the “thing” that the pope has in mind is the canonization of Archbishop Romero, who was beatified last year.
With the caveat that I do not have inside information on the subject, I will engage in a mental exercise on the pope’s words, which leads me to think that the pope is not talking about a trip to El Salvador to canonize Archbishop Romero.
For me, “around Central America” ​​is a very heavy phrase. He did not say “I'm thinking about going to Central America.” First of all, we can eliminate Costa Rica, because that is where he was invited, and he seems to have demurred. But he also did not refer directly to Central America, but said “around Central America.” I think he's saying that he is thinking of going to a country close to the isthmus, but not to Central America itself. Is there a known possibility that fits the bill? Yes. The Pope has accepted a visit to Colombia for “the first quarter of 2017”, without setting a date. Colombia is 740 miles from Costa Rica; it can be called “around Central America” ​​and the “thing” he is going to do may be to celebrate the peace agreements with the FARC.
Moreover, neither the cause of Archbishop Romero nor the cause of Father Rutilio Grande (his, for beatification) appear to be ready. In the Romero case, the Church is looking for a miracle, and the Archdiocese of San Salvador announced that they have sent six to Rome (three last year and three more in recent months) that have yet to be studied.  Additionally, the Salvadoran Church reports to have no inkling of an impending trip, which would seem unlikely if one was in the works.
But I repeat: in truth, I do not know. And, after all, Francis is the pope of surprises ...

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