JUBILEE YEAR for the CENTENNIAL of BLESSED ROMERO, 2016 — 2017
In an interview with the Italian Catholic journalist Alver Metalli, Msgr. Rafael Urrutia, the vice-postulator of the Blessed Oscar A. Romero canonization cause, reveals several details about the progress of the cause, which is focused on finding a miracle worked through the intercession of the martyred bishop that will take him to the altars. According to Urrutia, about ten people have come forward with alleged Romero miracles, including people from Mexico and Ecuador, since Romero was beatified last year. Among these are three whom the postulator, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, decided to hold back for prudential reasons, and the most recent case, which Urrutia hopes will be the miracle that definitively leads to the first Salvadoran saint.
Msgr. Urrutia tells us that the documentation regarding the miracle was sent to Rome in early October of this year—one year after the abortive presentation of three cases last year, whose caliber did not entirely convince Archbishop Paglia, who decided not to introduce them. “We felt it was best to avoid rejections,” said the postulator in July. But now, Msgr. Urrutia has the confidence that he has found a cure that fulfills the requirements: “We hope that this time it works out. Two doctors whom we have consulted believe that it is indeed a scientifically inexplicable occurrence,” he says in the new interview.
If the quality of the possible miracle is better than the cases presented before, the criteria under which any miracle must be analyzed has also gone up after, this past September, when the Vatican announced a reform of regulations for miracles during the Roman phase, which seeks to ensure “transparency” and “scientific rigor” in the corresponding processes. For example, under the new rules, to approve a miracle, the experts must approve it with a majority of 5 out the 7. Before, it was 5 plus 1, but this was modified under Benedict XVI and it may be 4 out of 6. (Art. 15). As another example, if a case is rejected in the initial ballot, it cannot be presented again more than a total of three times. To examine the alleged miracle again requires a consultation by new members.
Given these considerations, what factors give assurance that the new miracle is up to the new requirements? “I cannot talk about it because it would reveal things that have been neither accepted nor approved,” said Msgr. Urrutia. In that, he was very prudent, because the new rules impose a duty of secrecy over the process of verifying miracles: “Medical experts, postulators and actors are bound to secrecy about everything concerning the alleged miracle under review, especially if it is a miracle involving a minor,” reads the regulation. (Art. 19).
The Salvadoran Church has expressed its desire to see Blessed Romero canonized during the Jubilee for the centenary of his birth—that is, between this year and the next. Between the quality and quantity of possible miracles, that hope lives on ...