Friday, November 04, 2016

CELAM will celebrate Romero Centennial


#BlessedRomero #MartyrOfMercy
The XXXVI General Assembly of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) will be held in San Salvador, El Salvador from May 9 - 12, 2017 to honor the centenary of the birth and the second anniversary of the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, per a CELAM press release. “The Salvadoran, and the Central and Latin American Church, lives with joy the invaluable testimony of the bishop who advocated for social justice, peace, human rights and reconciliation,” reads the statement.
San Salvador Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas expressed his pleasure to Super Martyrio, stating that “we are very happy and grateful to God and to CELAM because this will give greater honor to our beloved Archbishop Romero.” Archbishop Escobar opened a Jubilee Year for the Romero Centenary during the patronal feast of San Salvador in August of this year, which will end in August 2017, on the actual centenary of the birth of the Salvadoran martyr who was beatified by the Church in May 2015.
The XXXVI General Assembly of CELAM has been in preparation since June, according to information on the CELAM website. Rev. Rigoberto Perez Garrido, a spokesman for the ecclesial body, told Super Martyrio that “The assembly to be held in San Salvador is an assembly of coordination and work held by the CELAM, which will now have a special touch regarding the 100th anniversary of the birth of Archbishop Romero as part of its content.”
Archbishop Escobar explains that next year's session is a meeting of CELAM that convenes every two years in different countries of Latin America. Super Martyrio has compiled the following list of the venues of the meetings between 1995 and 2015:
·         XXXV General Assembly
Dominican Republic, May 2015
·         XXXIV General Assembly
Panama City, May 2013
·         XXXIII General Assembly
Montevideo, Uruguay, May 2011
·         XXXII General Assembly
Nicaragua, May 2009
·         XXXI General Assembly
Havana, Cuba, July 2007
·         XXX General Assembly
Lima, Peru, May 2005
·         XXIX General Assembly
Tuparenda, Paraguay, 2003
·         XXVIII General Assembly
Caracas, Venezuela, 2001
·         XXVII General Assembly
Cumbaya, Ecuador, 1999
·         XXVI General Assembly
Rio de Janeiro, 1997
·         XXV General Assembly
Mexico City, 1995
In addition to coinciding with the Romero centenary, the General Assembly to be held in San Salvador will mark ten years since the historic continental conference in Aparecida, Brazil in 2007, which was attended by Pope Benedict XVI and was coordinated by the then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis. The Aparecida document is regarded as a sort of manual for his pontificate.  In fact, the original intention was to have this 2017 meeting in Brazil, but given the Romero centenary, CELAM thought it appropriate to celebrate the Aparecida anniversary in San Salvador.
Arguably, it was in Aparecida that the beatification of Archbishop Romero gathered strength. It was on the flight back from that conference that Benedict said he had no doubt that Romero as a person merited beatification and, at the meeting, Cardinal Bergoglio remarked off the record, “Were I the pope, the very first thing I would have done is to order the beatification of Archbishop Romero.”

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