Monday, February 19, 2018

Waiting for Saint Romero


Work continues at the San Salvador Cathedral.

#BlessedRomero #Beatification
Movements in the canonization cause of Salvadoran martyr Archbishop Oscar Romero continue at an irreversible pace, albeit with a great deal of guardedness. (Super Martyrio is preparing a summary of the hidden course of the cause that will be published when the information is made known.)
The most revealing glimpse was allowed by Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez, who, in a recent interview, revealed various details:
(1) despite the lack of official news about Romero’s canonization, “the date is approaching very quickly”;
(2) the miracle under study is in the final stage — “everything has already been analyzed by the doctors”; *
(3) the dream of beatifying Fr. Rutilio Grande with Romero is fading, because “the process for Rutilio is going a bit slower”; and
(4) The goal of bringing the canonization to El Salvador has run into competition — from Rome — “the two options have a lot of followers”.
[* A Salvadoran newspaper is reporting that the miracle relates to a cancer cure. However, as it had already been revealed, the miracle relates to a pregnant woman who had serious problems in pregnancy and was about to lose her life. The newspaper bases its report on a misinterpretation of the words of the cardinal, without having taken the trouble to interview him.]

In fact, Vatican watcher Austen Ivereigh, Pope Francis’ biographer, posted on Twitter on Saturday about the possibility that Romero could be canonized along with Paul VI in October — in Rome. Responding to a report on Pope Montini’s process, Ivereigh remarked, “I’m hearing that it could be late October, and possibly jointly with Romero. What a great moment that would be.”
For a couple of months, the rumor has been that Paul VI and Archbishop Romero could be canonized together after the advances in the recognition of Montini’s miracle were made known. The pattern of most processes that bear fruit at the beginning of the year is that the canonization date is scheduled in a consistory of cardinals convened for that purpose in the first months of the year — usually around March and April — and the ceremony is given an October-ish date, which why the month is called “canonization season”. This year, there will be a synod of bishops, a special meeting on youth, in Rome in those days, which suggests that this would be the ideal time to do it, perhaps even as the “grand finale” of the synod.
The coincidence of the two saints seems very fitting. As Fr. Edwin Henriquez, vice-postulator of the cause, recalled on Twitter this Monday, “Montini was Blessed Romero’s teacher in Rome” when the future martyr was a seminarian in the Eternal City. Later, when Romero was archbishop and was being heavily criticized by his colleagues, it was Paul VI who indicated his pontifical support. Fr. Henriquez remarks, “A saint comforting another saint.” Therefore, for the priest, “these two servants of the church are also united in holiness.”
In San Salvador, preparations are going forward. “The canonization of Archbishop Romero could be very close to happening,” an influential priest, Juan Vicente Chopin, posted on Facebook this weekend. “The process is in the final stage. That was one of the best news received in the context of the meeting between the academic authorities of Archbishop Romero Major Seminary and Don Bosco University” — two important institutions of the Salvadoran Church. In the Metropolitan Cathedral, preparations to welcome the new saint continue apace, including the painting of a large altarpiece (photo), the work of the painter Cristian Lopez, who created a popular mural of Romero on a nearby wall that was recently vandalized, creating a great outcry.
In Rome too, although the Roman Curia is away for the spiritual exercises with the Pope all week, important conversations continue to be held. This Friday, the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit Order) will present an important seminar on the legacy of Fr. Rutilio Grande at the Pontifical Gregorian University, one of the most important in Rome. The occasion, which will feature great Jesuit figures and Salvadoran diplomats, will be a logical scenario to assess the progress of the immiment Salvadoran saints.
While October may well be “canonization season”, we are certainly living now in a preparation season.

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