By Joshua McElwee, NCR

romeroVATICAN CITY–Pope Francis formally declared Tuesday that Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated as a martyr for the Catholic faith, and the beatification of the prelate who was shot dead after radically calling on the church to stand with the poor is expected within months.

While the Vatican has not announced the date for the beatification — the last step before sainthood for the Salvadoran archbishop — it did say Tuesday that there would be a press briefing on the matter Wednesday with Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, a Vatican official who is leading Romero’s sainthood cause.Francis’ declaration of martyrdom, announced in a separate note from the Vatican Tuesday, affirms earlier reports last month that a commission of Vatican theologians had formally declared Romero a martyr, stating that the archbishop was killed in odium fidei, Latin for “in hatred of the faith.”

The note from the Vatican on the matter was typically brief, saying Francis had authorized the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to promulgate a decree of: “The martyrdom of Servant of God Oscar Arnolfo Romero Galdámez, Archbishop of San Salvador … killed, in hatred of the faith, March 24, 1980, in San Salvador.”

Francis’ declaration Tuesday essentially clears the way for Romero’s beatification. While such recognition normally requires that a miracle be proven to have been caused by the deceased person, martyrs of the faith do not have to meet that requirement…

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Click here for information on a March delegation to El Salvador to honor Romero.

2 thoughts on “NEWS: Pope Francis recognizes Romero as martyr; beatification expected

  1. I don’t think I need a declaration from any Vatican bureaucrat to call my brother Oscar Romero Saint Oscar Romero defender of the Body of Christ!

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