Monday, January 20, 2014

El Salvador honours Archbishop Oscar Romero President of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes has announced several new initiatives to honour Archbishop Óscar Romero this week.

He has changed the name of the Hall of Honour of the Presidential Mansion after Archbishop Romero and unveiled a large portrait of Romero, whom he has called the spiritual leader of El Salvador. 

President Funes has also said that he is now seeking to change the name of El Salvador's International Airport after the slain prelate.

On 20 April last year, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and the official promoter of the Cause of the Archbishop Romero of San Salvador, revealed that the Cause of Romero's Beatification had been 'unblocked'.

The Archbishop, who was preaching at a Mass in the town of Molfetta, to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the diocese’s Bishop Antonio Bello, said: “Today, the anniversary of the death of Don Tonino, the cause for the beatification of Archbishop Romero was unblocked.”

His office later said that no more would be said until there was something “concrete” to report.

Julian Filochowski, former director of CAFOD, who met Archbishop Romero many times, said: “It is wonderful to learn that the Cause for Archbishop Romero’s beatification has been ‘unblocked’ by Pope Francis. This is a carefully chosen word and it means that the Cause will leave the siding where it has been parked for more than a decade, whilst accusations that Archbishop Romero’s homilies went beyond the bounds of orthodoxy were examined by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It will now be put back on the regular road to sainthood under the auspices of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints - and in all probability it will be fast-tracked since the beatification of a martyr does not require a miracle.

“Archbishop Romero is already a hugely popular icon of holiness across the Catholic Church worldwide and within the Anglican Communion; but he is perhaps especially important to Pope Francis who in his words and symbolic actions has seemed so clearly to emulate Romero’s lifestyle simplicity and his closeness to the poor.

“Maybe 2014 will be Romero’s year - as Archbishop Paglia seems to anticipate; we can certainly now hope, and indeed expect, to celebrate the centenary of Archbishop Romero’s birth in 2017 with his sanctity formally recognised by the Church. Santo subito!”

For more information on the Oscar Romero Trust, see:

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