JUBILEE YEAR for the CENTENNIAL of BLESSED ROMERO, 2016 — 2017
The followers of Blessed Oscar A. Romero in El Salvador are smiling. Super Martirio will not publish any confidential information regarding the Salvadoran martyr’s canonization process so as not to jeopardize it, but the anticipation has become quite evident.
Update: In comments to the press on Sunday, November 27, Msgr. Rafael Urrutia confirmed the prospects for Romero. “We have sent a fourth miracle that, in our opinion, can make a difference for the cause of Archbishop Romero and we are waiting for it to be accepted. We are very hopeful, we believe that it is going to be,” he said. He also reported that the Church is already preparing an ecclesiastical court “so that when they give us the word, we can instruct the process for the miracle of Archbishop Romero and we are able to present it to the Holy Congregation for the Causes of Saints.” Urrutia conjectured about “having at least some good news about his canonization” next year “so that, one day maybe, we could have a big celebration for Rutilio [Grande] and Romero together.”
To recap a little background, in late October, Msgr. Urrutia, vice postulator of the cause, revealed the existence of a miracle attributed to Romero under study in Rome. Its favorable reception can be inferred from a suggestive tweet published by Urrutia on November 18, under the image of Romero: “His good news buoys both the present and the future of our Church.” Days later, the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Leon Kalenga, exclaimed during a mass concelebrated with the Salvadoran episcopate, “We pray to God that we may soon invoke the prophet of El Salvador, our Blessed, as Saint Oscar Romero.”
The encouraging notes have come from all sides. The Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) announced that it will hold its XXXVI General Assembly next year in San Salvador to pay homage to the centenary of the birth and the second anniversary of the beatification of Romero. Most recently, on 23 November, San Salvador Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas was elected President of the Episcopal Secretariat of Central America (SEDAC), and his Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chávez, was elected Vice President. Vatican watcher Austen Ivereigh, author of a leading biography of Pope Francis, thinks that the pontiff could accept calls to visit the Central American country in 2017.
“It will be hard to imagine Pope Francis resisting such an invitation, as well as the opportunity personally to canonize Romero in situ,” Ivereigh writes. Consequently, using the red-yellow-green color classification system used here in previous years, we can say that the canonization cause warrants a GREEN advisory. In this system, “green” denotes fluid movement (and “red” indicates stagnation, while “yellow” indicates slow progress).
The Salvadoran Church’s dream of having the most universal Salvadoran canonized for the centenary of his birth suddenly seems within reach.