|Archbishop Romero after he was shot.|
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) - Pope Francis opened the way Monday to a quick beatification for Oscar Romero, saying there are no more doctrinal problems blocking the process for the slain Salvadoran archbishop who is one of the heroes of the liberation theology movement in Latin America.
Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador, was gunned down in 1980 while celebrating Mass. He had spoken out against repression by the Salvadoran army at the beginning of the country's 1980-1992 civil war between the right-wing government and leftist rebels.
Francis told journalists traveling home from South Korea that Romero's case had previously been "blocked out of prudence" by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith but has now been "unblocked." He said the case had passed to the Vatican's saint-making office. [the Holy Father cleared any speculation that this was all the work of the Rottweiler of God. Remember, he too worked with Cardinal Ratzinger to stomp out liberation theology in Argentina.]
The congregation launched a crackdown on liberation theology under then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, fearing what was deemed as Marxist s excesses. The movement holds the view that Jesus' teachings imbue followers with a duty to fight for social and economic justice. [A little bit of trivia. the originator of liberation theology is a Dominican friar, Gustavo Gutierrez. So much for being too loyal to the teachings of the Church, no?]
Francis said of Romero's case that "it is important to do it quickly," but that the investigation must take its course. [I believe the Holy Father is saying that he will opt to take the usual course of waiting for an approved miracle before he beatifies the slain archbishop.....or........Romero could be declared a martyr so the needed miracle for beatification will be waived.]
He declared that Romero "was a man of God" and suggested that he wanted to expand the church's concept of martyrdom to include a broader field of candidates.
Unlike regular candidates for beatification, martyrs can reach the first step to possible sainthood without a miracle attributed to their intercession. A miracle is needed for canonization, however.
Traditionally, the church has restricted the martyr designation to people who were killed out of hatred for the Catholic faith. Francis said he wanted theologians to study whether those who were killed because of their actions doing God's work could also be considered martyrs.
"What I would like is that they clarify when there's a martyrdom for hatred of the faith - for confessing the faith - as well as for doing the work for the other that Jesus commands," Francis said. [If doing what Jesus commands would constitute confessing the faith, and a person is martyred for doing that, then..............how would that make Gandhi and Martin Luther King? Just asking. Yeah, I know they are not Catholics.]
Questions over that distinction have been at the root of the theological debate over whether Romero was killed by El Salvador's right-wing death squads for professing the faith or because of his political activism in support of the poor.
|The chapel where the archbishop was murdered. At the back it says "At this altar, Mons. Oscar Romero offered his life for God and his country."|
Archbishop Romero was a controversial figure indeed but his defense of the poor who are also like us, children of God cannot be underestimated. But the question whether he was martyred for his Faith, or for acting out the faith and doing his role as a shepherd has to be answered by the competent authorities.
Not by a "Facebook theologian" who can't construct a decent English sentence.
Need my meds now.