Archbishop Oscar Romero

Archbishop Oscar Romero

April 29, 2013

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and the official promoter of the sainthood cause of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, said the process to beatify and eventually canonize the slain Salvadoran archbishop has been unblocked.

Paglia, who has been the postulator of Romero’s cause for years, made the announcement in a homily April 20, just a few hours after meeting with Pope Francis.

The Italian archbishop gave no more details, and his office said April 22 that no more would be said until there is something “concrete” to report.

Romero was shot March 24, 1980, as he celebrated Mass. The Congregation for Saints’ Causes authorized the opening of his cause in 1993.

Often the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is asked to review the writings of sainthood candidates to ensure they are free of doctrinal error; many people working for Romero’s cause described the review as “blocked” in the congregation from 2000 to 2005.

The next step in the process is a formal papal declaration that Archbishop Romero died a martyr – that he was killed because of his faith. Opponents of his cause have claimed his assassination was politically motivated.

A miracle is not needed for the beatification of a martyr.