Murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Romero can become a saint, pope says

This video says about itself:

Assassination of bishop Romero – clip from Salvador

A clip from the movie Salvador by Oliver Stone.

From the BBC:

19 August 2014 Last updated at 03:03 GMT

Pope lifts beatification ban on Salvadoran Oscar Romero

Pope Francis has lifted a ban on the beatification of murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero.

For years, the Roman Catholic Church blocked the process because of concerns that he had Marxist ideas.

An outspoken critic of the military regime during El Salvador’s bloody civil war, Archbishop Romero was shot dead while celebrating Mass in 1980.

Beatification, or declaring a person “blessed”, is the necessary prelude to full sainthood.

If Archbishop Romero will become a saint, then he will be worth it a lot more than Jose María Escrivá de Balaguer y Albas, founder of Opus Dei. Jose María Escrivá de Balaguer y Albas from Spain supported the Franco dictatorship. Nevertheless, Pope John Paul II declared Jose María Escrivá de Balaguer y Albas a saint in 2002.

Archbishop Romero will also be more worthy of sainthood than Pope John Paul II, canonized in 2014. Among the many criticisms of Pope John Paul II are child abuse and Vatican bank scandals during his papacy, and his reactionary views on women and LGBTQ people.

Archbishop Romero will also be more worthy of sainthood than Pope Pius X, canonized in 1954. During Pius X’s papacy, little girl Marietje Kessels was raped and murdered by a priest. And the Vatican covered that up.

The bishop was one of the main proponents of Liberation Theology – an interpretation of Christian faith through the perspective of the poor.

‘Death squads’

On Monday, the Pope said he was hoping for a swift beatification process.

“For me Romero is a man of God,” the pontiff told journalists on the plane bringing him back from a trip to South Korea.

“There are no doctrinal problems and it is very important that [the beatification] is done quickly.”

ANALYSIS: John McManus, BBC News

It seems Francis hasn’t finished wielding his new broom at the Vatican just yet, despite being Pope for more than a year now. After peering into the dark corners of the Vatican’s banking system, and pushing an inclusive brand of Catholicism, he’s now tackling what’s been a painful episode for many Catholics.

Francis’s decision to send the case of the Archbishop Romero to the Vatican’s saint-making office flies in the face of what his two predecessors advocated. Indeed, Francis’s own instincts early on in his Church career also tended to be suspicious of Romero’s Liberation Theology, preferring clerics to steer away from political analysis and advocate salvation through prayer instead.

Yet many Catholics have been puzzled as to why a man killed for standing up for the Poor, has for so long been ignored by a Church which claims to speak for them. The Pope’s comments don’t mean he’s changed his mind on Liberation Theology but may be an acknowledgment that, for many Catholics, Oscar Romero is already a saint – in practice, if not in name.

Archbishop Romero’s funeral was also attacked and dozens were killed.

Archbishop Romero denounced the right-wing death squads that operated in the Central American nation at the time and the oppression against the poor, calling for an end to all political violence.

Left-wing rebels fought an insurgency against the US-backed right-wing government.

Some 75,000 people were killed in the civil war, which began in 1980 and ended in 1992 with a UN-brokered peace agreement.

Archbishop Romero was killed on 24 March 1980, aged 62, after ending his sermon in the capital, San Salvador.

No-one has ever been convicted in connection with his murder.

In 2010, then President Mauricio Funes – El Salvador’s first left-wing leader since the end of the civil war – made an official apology.

“I am seeking pardon in the name of the state,” Mr Funes said as he unveiled a mural honouring Oscar Romero at El Salvador’s international airport.

The archbishop, he said, was a victim of right-wing death squads “who unfortunately acted with the protection, collaboration or participation of state agents”.

General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, who headed the Salvadoran National Guard (1979-89) and was Minister of Defense (1983-1989) during the CIA and Pentagon’s dirty war in El Salvador (1979-1992) was deported to San Salvador on Wednesday April 8 after the Board of Immigration Appeals refused to overturn a Florida immigration judge’s order of deportation. Upon his arrival in San Salvador, Vides Casanova, 77, was met by a protest demonstration of torture survivors and their supporters, denouncing the general and demanding justice. Many were holding signs with the photos of victims of National Guard and Army death squads. It is estimated that the Salvadoran civil war killed 75,000 people, disappeared 10,000, and displaced more than one million: here.

6 thoughts on “Murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Romero can become a saint, pope says

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