Monday, February 19, 2018

Waiting for Saint Romero


JUBILEE YEAR for the CENTENNIAL of BLESSED ROMERO, 2016 — 2017

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”.
[* NB: A Salvadoran newspaper is reporting that the miracle relates to a cancer cure. However, Super Martyrio has confirmed that this is not the case. 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 date to do so, 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.

Esperando a San Romero


AÑO JUBILAR por el CENTENARIO del BEATO ROMERO, 2016 — 2017:

Siguen los trabajos en Catedral.

#BeatoRomero #Beatificación

Los movimientos en la causa de canonización del mártir salvadoreño Mons. Óscar A. Romero avanzan a ritmo irreversible, aunque bajo mucha reserva.  (Súper Martyrio prepara un resumen del curso desconocido de la causa que publicará cuando se libere la información.)
El vislumbre mas revelador lo ha concedido el Cardenal Gregorio Rosa Chávez, quien, en una reciente entrevista, ha dejado entrever varios detalles:
(1) a pesar de la falta de noticia oficial sobre la canonización de Romero, “la fecha se acerca muy rápidamente”;
(2) el milagro bajo estudio se encuentra en la etapa final — “Ya está todo analizado por los médicos”; *
(3) la ilusión de beatificar al P. Rutilio Grande junto a Romero se va desvaneciendo, pues “el proceso de Rutilio va un poco más lento”; y
(4) el objetivo de traer la canonización a El Salvador ha encontrado competencia — por parte de Roma — “las dos opciones tienen muchísimos seguidores”.
[* OJO: Un periódico salvadoreño está reportando que el milagro se trata de la curación de un cáncer. Sin embargo, Súper Martyrio tiene constancia de que no es así. El rotativo basa su informe en una malinterpretación de las palabras del cardenal, sin haberse tomado la molestia de entrevistarlo.]

De hecho, el vaticanista Austen Ivereigh, biógrafo del Papa Francisco, publicó el sábado en Twitter sobre la posibilidad de que Romero fuese canonizado a la par de Pablo VI en octubre — en Roma. Respondiendo a un informe sobre el proceso del Papa Montini, Ivereigh comentó, “he oído que podría ser a finales de octubre, y a la par de Romero. ¡Que momento más grande sería ese!
Desde hace un par de meses, el rumor ha corrido que Pablo VI y Mons. Romero podrían ser canonizados juntos después de darse a conocer los avances en el reconocimiento del milagro Montini.  El ritmo de la mayoría de los procesos que dan frutos a principios de año es que puede programarse la fecha de canonización en un consistorio de cardenales sesionado para ese propósito en los primeros meses del año—usualmente entre marzo y abril—y la fecha fijada suele caer tipo en octubre—mes conocido como “temporada de las canonizaciones”. Este año, habrá un sínodo de obispos, una reunión especial sobre la juventud, en Roma en esos días, lo cual hace pensar que esa sería la fecha idónea para hacerlo, inclusive como un “gran final” del sínodo.
La coincidencia de los dos santos parecería ser muy apropiada.  Como ha recordado el vice-postulador de la causa, el P. Edwin Henríquez por Twitter este lunes, “Montini fue maestro en Roma del Beato Romero” cuando el futuro mártir era un seminarista en la Ciudad Eterna.  Después, cuando Romero era arzobispo y era muy criticado por sus colegas, fue Pablo VI quien le indicó su apoyo pontifico.  Comenta el P. Henríquez, “Un santo confortando a otro santo”.  Por eso, para el sacerdote, “a estos dos servidores de la iglesia, la santidad también los une”.
En San Salvador, avanzan las preparaciones.  La canonización de Monseñor Romero podría estar muy cerca de suceder,” publicó en Facebook el influyente sacerdote Juan Vicente Chopin este fin de semana. “El proceso está en la etapa final. Esa fue una de las mejores noticias recibidas en el marco de la reunión entre las autoridades académicas del Seminario Mayor Mons. Romero y la universidad Don Bosco”—dos importantes instituciones de la Iglesia Salvadoreña.  En la Catedral Metropolitana, siguen las preparaciones para acoger al nuevo santo, incluyendo la elaboración de un enorme retablo (foto), obra del pintor Cristian López, el mismo que creo un mural de Romero en una pared aledaña que había sido vandalizada.
En Roma también, aunque la Curia Romana esté entretenida en los ejercicios espirituales con el papa toda la semana, siguen sesionando importantes conversaciones.  Este viernes, la Compañía de Jesús (la Orden Jesuita) presentará un importante seminario sobre el legado del P. Rutilio Grande en la Pontificia Universidad Gregoriana, una de las más importantes de Roma. La ocasión, que contará con grandes figuras jesuitas y diplomáticas salvadoreñas, será un escenario propicio para medir los avances de los próximos santos salvadoreños.
Si bien es cierto que octubre coincide con la “temporada de las canonizaciones”, estamos en estos días viviendo una temporada de preparaciones.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

El Salvador braces for a “spiritual earthquake”


JUBILEE YEAR for the CENTENNIAL of BLESSED ROMERO, 2016 — 2017



Empty canvas on which new Romero image for the San Salvador Cathedral will be created in connection with his expected canonization. Photo courtesy B. Hernandez.




#BlessedRomero #Beatification

The signs that 2018 will be “the year” of Blessed Oscar A. Romero continue to pile up. One of the most recent is the publication in his blog and on Twitter by postulator of the cause Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, of information originally published in this blog on the very subject, suggesting a swift conclusion of the process.  [See also Prediction: “Saint Romero,” 2018.]

Asked about the canonization prospects, Salvadoran Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez, visiting Barcelona, ​​Spain, responded: “We expect that the news will arrive at any moment.” According to several sources, Cardinal Rosa Chavez added that “the Holy Father is impatient for the day to arrive,” and described the process as a “spiritual earthquake” that awaits his country, insisting that El Salvador is “discovering” Archbishop Romero after his beatification in May 2015.

If what is coming is a “spiritual earthquake”, then Bellini Hernandez, a member of a secular group called Cultura Romeriana in San Salvador, experienced a bit of a foreshock when she arrived at the Metropolitan Cathedral last Sunday and discovered that the images of Romero that had adorned the temple had been removed. Disturbed by the fact, because Cultura Romeriana had donated one of the images, the parishioner decided to question Fr. Francisco Gongora, the pastor of the Cathedral.

He answered that it is because they are preparing a large altarpiece and likewise a large picture of Archbishop Romero,” says Hernandez, “on the occasion of the canonization of Archbishop Romero.”

Contacted by Super Martyrio, Father Gongora confirmed the plans. “I proposed to the archbishop to make a place in the cathedral dedicated to Archbishop Romero, and since we do not have a chapel, I drafted some plans for him on how to make an altarpiece in line with the background of the presbytery wherein he [Romero] represents the Good Shepherd who walks with his people and that’s how it will be done,” he says.

The Cathedral has undergone a small restoration. Last year, local media reported a donation from Taiwan to help with the process. “Not only has Taiwan donated; there are around eight companies that have donated to allow us to restore the Cathedral,” says the pastor. “All the money that has been received has been fully invested in the works of the Cathedral including the change of sewage pipes and the waterproofing of the interior roof which was in bad shape. In addition, the Crypt has not only been painted but we have also invested through donations from the different companies in the floor, to crystallize it; in the same way the entrance to the Crypt has been decorated with a false ceiling and lighting,” he summarizes.

As a footnote, not everyone is satisfied with these measures. On Facebook, Fr. Héctor Fernando Martínez Espinoza, Vicar General of the Diocese of Tarahumara, Mexico, expressed consternation at the removal of Romero’s images. “We believe that if you are going to put some other image of Romero, you could in the meantime, not remove the picture from Cultura Romeriana, since it is the only explicit reference in the cathedral temple,” the priest wrote from Mexico.  Father Gongora dismisses the criticism, asserting that “the Church is hierarchical, not democratic,” and that the decision has been vetted and deserves to be respected, “because I respect each diocesan territory and therefore I ask respect for mine.”

The Cathedral prepares for a canonization, but El Salvador must prepare for a “spiritual earthquake” in which there will surely be many rumblings and murmurings about the best way to receive and venerate the new saint.

El Salvador se prepara para un “terremoto espiritual”


AÑO JUBILAR por el CENTENARIO del BEATO ROMERO, 2016 — 2017:
 

 
Lona vacía sobre el cual se creará una nueva imagen de Romero para la Catedral de San Salvador en relación con su esperada canonización. Foto cortesía B. Hernández.




#BeatoRomero #Beatificación

Siguen llegando las indicaciones de que el 2018 va a ser “el año” del beato Óscar A. Romero.  Una de las más recientes es la publicación en su blog y por Twitter del postulador de la causa, Mons. Vincenzo Paglia, de información publicada originalmente en este blog sobre el mismo tema, augurando la próxima conclusión del proceso.  [Ver también Predicción: “San Romero”, 2018.]

Interrogado sobre las perspectivas de canonización, el cardenal salvadoreño Gregorio Rosa Chávez, de visita en Barcelona, España, respondió: “Esperamos que la noticia llegue cuanto antes”.  Según varios medios, el Cardenal Rosa Chávez agregó que “el Santo Padre está impaciente porque llegue el momento”, y definió el proceso como un “terremoto espiritual” que le espera a su país, asegurando que El Salvador está “descubriendo” a Mons. Romero después de su beatificación en mayo del 2015.

Si lo que viene es un “terremoto espiritual”, entonces Bellini Hernández, una integrante de un grupo laico llamado Cultura Romeriana en San Salvador, experimentó un sismo premonitor cuando llegó a Catedral Metropolitana el domingo pasado y descubrió que las imágenes de Romero que habían adornado el templo habían sido removidas.  Perturbada por el hecho, ya que Cultura Romeriana había regalado una de las imágenes, la feligresa decidió cuestionar al P. Francisco Góngora, el párroco de Catedral.

Él me contestó que es porque están preparando un retablo grande y así mismo un cuadro grande de Mons. Romero”, dice Hernández, “con motivo de la canonización de Mons. Romero”.

Contactado por Súper Martyrio, el P. Góngora confirmó los planes.  Le propuse al arzobispo hacer un lugar en la catedral dedicado a Mons. Romero, y cómo no tenemos una capilla le hice unos planos para hacer en lo alto un retablo siguiendo la sintonía del fondo del presbiterio y así que él [Romero] represente al Buen Pastor que camina con su pueblo y así se hará”, relata.

La Catedral ha experimentado una pequeña restauración.  El año pasado, medios locales reportaron un donativo por parte de Taiwán para ayudar en el proceso.  No sólo Taiwán ha donado; hay alrededor de ocho empresas que han donado para poder restaurar Catedral”, asegura el párroco.  Todo el dinero que se ha recibido ha sido íntegramente invertido en los trabajos de Catedral incluyendo el cambio de tuberías de aguas negras y la impermeabilización del techo interior que estaba destruido. Además, la Cripta no ha sido solo pintada sino también hemos invertido a través de donativos de las distintas empresas en el piso para cristalizarlo; de igual manera la entrada a la cripta se ha decorado el techo con cielo falso y luminaria”, finaliza.

Como nota de pie, no todos están satisfechos con estas medidas.  En Facebook, el P. Héctor Fernando Martínez Espinoza, Vicario General de la Diócesis de Tarahumara, México, expresó consternación por la remoción de las imágenes de Romero.  Creemos que si se va a poner alguna otra imagen de Monseñor, podría no quitarse mientras tanto, el cuadro de Cultura Romeriana, siendo la única referencia explícita en el templo catedralicio”, escribió el sacerdote desde México.  El P. Góngora descarta la crítica, postulando que “la Iglesia es jerárquica no democrática”, y que la decisión ha sido ventilada y merece ser respetada, “porque yo respeto cada territorio diocesano y por ello pido respeto al mío”.

Catedral se prepara para una canonización, pero El Salvador debe prepararse para un “terremoto espiritual” en que seguramente habrá muchos rumores y murmuraciones sobre la mejor manera de recibir y venerar al nuevo santo.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Blessed Romero, ‘flagship of the Church’


JUBILEE YEAR for the CENTENNIAL of BLESSED ROMERO, 2016 — 2017

Romero poster at Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Francis kisses Romero cross; Card. Amato.

#BlessedRomero #Beatification
The year has opened with favorable expressions regarding Blessed Archbishop Oscar A. Romero resonating in the highest circles of the Catholic Church in Rome.
In an annual speech at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the ecclesial body currently considering Romero’s canonization cause, the Cardinal Prefect of said body highlighted Romero among the distinguished saints of the Church. Musing on the phrase “factory of saints” to describe his work, Cardinal Angelo Amato said in a speech on January 8:
Like the 'factories' that produce, for example, excellent luxury cars, such as Mercedes, Ferrari or Chevrolet, the result of continuous research and innovation, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints also ‘produces’ Blesseds and Saints, like Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Father Pio of Pietrelcina, John Paul II, and Archbishop Oscar Romero, who, because of their extraordinary evangelical witness, are in our times the flagship of the Church and of society.
The inclusion of Romero among the greatest saints of the last decades in a prepared speech by the highest authority in the saint-making process in the church after the Pope himself is especially noteworthy given that Archbishop Romero has not been canonized yet and his cause is up for consideration in these days. [See Prediction: “Saint Romero,” 2018.]
Without uttering a word, Pope Francis also manifested himself in Romero's favor during the Pope's meeting with the Vatican’s accredited diplomatic corps on the same day, January 8. In the words of Vaticanista Andres Beltramo on Twitter, "the Ambassador of El Salvador in the Vatican [Manuel Roberto Lopez Barrera] gave [Francis] a cross with the image of Archbishop Romero and the Pope kissed it immediately." The Pope receives many gifts during such encounters, including religious images, but it is rare to see such a show of reverence and affection.
A few days later, the leaders of various Christian churches in Italy quoted Romero in a joint message for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Signed by representatives of the Catholic Church, the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy, and the Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy and Malta, the statement reads:
The Lord asks us to be prophets again in this world, wearing the gospel armor of peace and justice to respond to evil with good, hatred and enmity with love. Oscar Arnulfo Romero, archbishop of San Salvador murdered on the altar for his love of the Gospel and the poor, said that ... “The only violence that the gospel countenances is that which one does to oneself.” It is the continuous testimony of the martyrs, whose blood is, therefore, a seed of unity.
That same day, the postulator of Romero’s cause, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, was appointed to the commission of bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Celebrating his nomination on Twitter, Archbishop Paglia stated, “Today’s appointment reminds me I must re-double my efforts as Postulator of the Causes of the Martyr-Bishop Oscar Romero and the Cuban-American Priest Ven. Felix Varela.”
All these citations to Romero by the highest Roman authorities suggest that the officials of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints are also redoubling their efforts to bring Archbishop Romero to the altars as soon as possible.


Beato Romero, ‘buque insignia de la Iglesia’


AÑO JUBILAR por el CENTENARIO del BEATO ROMERO, 2016 — 2017:

Poster de Romero en Congregación para las Causas de los Santos; Francisco besa cruz Romero; el Card. Amato.

#BeatoRomero #Beatificación
Se ha abierto el año con expresiones favorables sobre el beato Mons. Óscar A. Romero resonando en los círculos más altos de la Iglesia Católica en Roma.
En un discurso anual de la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos, el ente eclesial que está considerando la causa de canonización de Romero, el Cardenal Prefecto de dicho órgano, destacó a Romero entre los santos insignes de la Iglesia.  Comentando la frase “fabrica de santos” para describir su trabajo, el Cardenal Angelo Amato dijo en un discurso del 8 de enero pasado:
Al igual que las ‘fábricas’ que producen, por ejemplo, excelentes automóviles de lujo, como Mercedes, Ferrari o Chevrolet, resultado de la investigación y la innovación continua, la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos también ‘produce’ Beatos y Santos, como la Madre Teresa de Calcuta, el Padre Pío de Pietrelcina, Juan Pablo II, y Mons. Óscar Romero, quienes, por su extraordinario testimonio evangélico, son en nuestros tiempos el buque insignia de la Iglesia y de la sociedad.
La inclusión de Romero entre los más grandes santos de las últimas décadas en un discurso preparado de la máxima autoridad en la iglesia después del mismo Papa en la proclamación de santos es especialmente notable dado que Mons. Romero no ha sido canonizado todavía y su causa estaría siendo ventilada en estos días. [Ver Predicción: “San Romero”, 2018.]
Sin pronunciar palabra alguna, el Papa Francisco también se manifestó a favor de Romero durante el encuentro del Papa con el cuerpo diplomático acreditado en el Vaticano el mismo día 8 de enero.  En las palabras del vaticanista Andrés Beltramo en Twitter, “el Embajador de El Salvador en el Vaticano [Manuel Roberto López Barrera] le regaló a [Francisco] una cruz con la imagen de Mons. Romero y el Papa la besó inmediatamente”.  El Papa recibe muchos obsequios en tales encuentro, incluyendo imágenes religiosas, pero es raro ver tal muestra de afecto y reverencia.
Unos días después, los líderes de las Iglesias cristianas en Italia, citaron a Romero en un mensaje común por la Semana de Oración por la Unidad de los Cristianos. Firmado por representantes de la Iglesia Católica, la Federación de Iglesias Evangélicas en Italia, y de la Arquidiócesis Ortodoxa de Italia y Malta, el comunicado reza:
El Señor nos pide que seamos profetas otra vez en este mundo, vistiendo la armadura del evangelio de la paz y la justicia para responder al mal con el bien, el odio y la enemistad con amor. Óscar Arnulfo Romero, arzobispo de San Salvador asesinado en el altar por su amor al Evangelio y a los pobres, dijo que … “La única violencia que admite el evangelio es la que uno se hace a sí mismo”. Es el testimonio continuo de los mártires, cuya sangre es, por lo tanto, una semilla de unidad.
Ese mismo día, el postulador de la causa de Romero, Mons. Vincenzo Paglia, fue nombrado a la comisión de obispos de la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos.  Celebrando su nominación sobre Twitter, Mons. Paglia declaró, “el nombramiento de hoy me recuerda que debo redoblar mis esfuerzos como Postulador de las Causas del Obispo Mártir Óscar Romero y del Sacerdote Cubanoamericano el Venerable Félix Varela.”
Todas estas alusiones a Romero por las máximas autoridades romanas hacen pensar que los funcionarios de la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos también están redoblando sus esfuerzos para llevar a Mons. Romero a los altares cuanto antes.

Beato Romero, ‘fiore all’occhiello della Chiesa’


ANNO GIUBILARE per il CENTENARIO del BEATO ROMERO, 2016 — 2017

Poster di Romero nella Congregazione per le Cause dei Santi; Francesco bacia croce Romero; il Card. Amato.

#BeatoRomero #Beatificazione
L’anno si è aperto con espressioni favorevoli sul Beato Vescovo Oscar A. Romero che hanno risuonato nei più alti cerchi della Chiesa cattolica a Roma.
In un discorso annuale della Congregazione per le Cause dei Santi, il corpo della chiesa che sta valutando la causa di canonizzazione di Romero, il Cardinale Prefetto di quel dicasterio, ha incluso Romero tra eminenti santi della Chiesa. Commentando la frase “fabrica de santi” per descrivere la sua opera, il cardinale Angelo Amato ha detto in un discorso l’8 gennaio:
Al pari delle ‘fabbriche’ che producono, ad esempio, eccellenti auto di lusso, come la Mercedes, la Ferrari o la Chevrolet, frutto di ricerca e di continua innovazione, anche la Congregazione delle cause di Santi ‘produce’ Beati e Santi, come Madre Teresa di Calcutta, Padre Pio da Pietrelcina, Giovanni Paolo II, Mons. Oscar Romero, che, per la loro straordinaria testimonianza evangelica, sono nel nostro tempo il fiore all’occhiello della Chiesa e della società.
Includendo Romero tra i più grandi santi degli ultimi decenni in un discorso preparato per la più alta autorità della chiesa nella proclamazione dei santi dopo il stesso Papa è particolarmente notevole, dato che Mons. Romero non è stato ancora canonizzato e la sua causa deve essere considerata in questi giorni.
Senza dire una parola, il Papa Francesco ha parlato anche a favore di Romero durante l’incontro con il corpo diplomatico accreditato in Vaticano lo stesso 8 gennaio. Nelle parole del vaticanista Andres Beltramo su Twitter, “l’ambasciatore di El Salvador in Vaticano [Manuel Roberto Lopez Barrera] ha dato a [Francesco] una croce con l’immagine di Mons. Romero e il Papa la baciò subito.” Il Papa riceve molti doni in tali incontri, tra cui ci sono immagini religiose, ma è raro vedere tale manifestazione di affetto e riverenza.
Pochi giorni dopo, i leader delle chiese cristiane in Italia citarono Romero in un messaggio comune per la Settimana di Preghiera per l’Unità dei Cristiani. Firmato dai rappresentanti della Chiesa cattolica, dalla Federazione delle Chiese evangeliche in Italia e dall’Arcidiocesi ortodossa d’Italia e Malta, la dichiarazione recita:
Il Signore ci chiede di essere di nuovo profeti in questo mondo, indossando l’armatura del vangelo della pace e della giustizia per rispondere al male con il bene, all’odio e all’inimicizia con l’amore. Oscar Arnulfo Romero, arcivescovo di San Salvador ucciso sull’altare per il suo amore per il vangelo e i poveri, diceva che “L’unica violenza che ammette il vangelo è quella che si fa a se stessi […]”. È la continua testimonianza dei martiri il cui sangue è perciò seme di unità.
Lo stesso giorno, il postulatore della causa di Romero, Mons. Vincenzo Paglia, è stato nominato alla commissione dei vescovi della Congregazione per le Cause dei Santi. Celebrando la sua nomina su Twitter, Mons. Paglia ha dichiarato: “L’appuntamento di oggi mi ricorda che devo raddoppiare i miei sforzi come postulatore delle cause del vescovo Mártir Óscar Romero e del sacerdote cubano-americano venerabile Félix Varela”.
Tutte queste allusioni a Romero da parte delle più alte autorità romane suggeriscono che anche i funzionari della Congregazione per le Cause dei Santi stanno raddoppiando i loro sforzi per portare Arcivescovo Romero sugli altari il prima possibile.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Prediction: “Saint Romero,” 2018


JUBILEE YEAR for the CENTENNIAL of BLESSED ROMERO, 2016 — 2017

Montini and Romero, bound for the altars.

#BlessedRomero #Beatification
A year ago, I went out on a limb to predict that, although Archbishop Romero would not be canonized this year, there would be a 2017 announcement. Obviously, that did not happen, but my mistake related to the intentions for the announcement and not to the progress of the cause, which has progressed as I anticipated. Therefore, I update my prediction by estimating that we will have a canonization announcement before the anniversary of Romero's martyrdom (March 24), and that the ceremony will be held during the sixth year of Franciscus Papam (i.e., between March 13, 2018 and the same date in 2019).

[See also: Top 10 Romero news 2017.]
If so, the canonization would occur while this pontificate is in full bloom. It was similarly during his sixth year that Benedict XV (pope between 1914 and 1922) canonized the Maid of Orleans (Joan of Arc), and many other popes have made their most memorable canonizations well into their papacy. For example, Pius XI (pope 1922-1939) canonized Bernadette Soubirous, Saint Thomas More, Don Bosco and Therese of Lisieux, during his second decade on the throne of Saint Peter. Saint John Paul II (1978-2005) canonized Maximilian Kolbe in the fourth year of his papacy, but the canonizations of Edith Stein, Padre Pio, Juan Diego and Josemaria Escriva had to wait. Pope Francis (2013-to date) has already canonized prominent saints such as John Paul II, John XXIII, Junipero Serra and Mother Teresa, but he still needs a saint who represents the grand values ​​of his pontificate.

All this will change in 2018, when Francis will have the opportunity to canonize both Romero and Paul VI, his favorite pope. We can entertain the daring fantasy of Montini and Romero being canonized together! In fact, Romero and Montini will be the first saints to be beatified and also canonized by Francis. How awesome it would be if the Pope of the Second Vatican Council were canonized in the same ceremony as his seminary student, Romero, the Martyr of the Council, who quoted Paul VI more than any other authority to justify his ministry. The encyclical that Romero cited the most was «Evangelii Nuntiandi»—the same that Francis has calledto my mind the greatest pastoral document that has ever been written to this day.” It was also Pontiff Paul who unhesitantly supported Romero when he debuted his preferential option for the poor.

For this reason, it is possible to project that 2018 will be the year of Pope Francis’ defining canonizations, and that the canonization of Archbishop Romero will be principal among them.  In fact, Pope Francis, along with the other popes mentioned above, is already among those who have had the most impact on canonization. Previously, he has reformed the system for financing causes (imposing limits), has promulgated new rules for miracles (making them stricter), and has created a new path to the sainthood (broadening the concept of giving one’s life for the faith).

The importance will be reinforced by other factors in the life of the Church. First of all, 2018 will mark 50 years since the conference of the Latin American bishops in Medellin, Colombia (presided over by Paul VI himself), which defined the “preferential option for the poor.”  Romero put the teachings of Medellin at the center of his ministry and it is impossible to think of a larger proponent of Medellin than Romero in the entire continent. The possibility that Francis will issue a document on the doctrine of the Just War, or that he will make some important pronouncement on nuclear weapons (which we can see a hint of in his New Year’s Eve message publishing a photo of the consequences of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima). Finally, 2018 will be important for its emphasis on youth vocations and the role of the family, due to important gatherings devoted to these issues, for which Romero can become an important saint (the postulator of the Romero cause has been president of the Vatican dicastery on the family and has called Romero a saint for the family).

Undoubtedly, canonizations do not depend on recurring motifs for their reason for being, and I do not mean to suggest that the canonization of Archbishop Romero will need the coincidences related here to become a reality. The canonization of Archbishop Romero will fall by its own weight, but these factors will situate it in its proper place in the history of this pontificate and of the Church. A canonization that may be announced in the first quarter of the year, and is likely to arrive in the following twelve months.