Murdered Salvadoran priest Óscar Romero to be made a saint


Pope Francis has cleared the way for Óscar Romero, the Salvadoran priest who championed the struggles of poor and dispossessed people and was murdered by a rightwing death squad, to be made a saint. The Vatican announced on Wednesday that Francis had approved a miracle attributed to Romero, meaning the former archbishop of San Salvador could be canonised early next year. The move follows longstanding efforts to block Romero’s canonisation from conservatives within the church who opposed his association with liberation theology.

Francis began the process of declaring Romero a saint soon after becoming pope. About 250,000 people attended Romero’s beatification ceremony in San Salvador in May 2015. Romero was shot through the heart by a sniper while celebrating mass in a hospital chapel on 24 March 1980, a day after he called on the military to stop killing innocent civilians in El Salvador’s dirty war. Numerous death threats had been made against him. In his final sermon, he said: “In the name of God and this suffering population, whose cries reach to the heavens more tumultuous each day, I beg you, I beseech you, I order you, in the name of God, cease the repression.” In his diaries, he wrote: “Between the powerful and the wealthy, and the poor and vulnerable, who should a pastor side with? I have no doubts. A pastor should stay with his people.”(theguardian)…[+]