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Archbishop Romero died for faith, theologians find

January 09, 2015

A Vatican-appointed panel of theologians has certified that Archbishop Oscar Romero was killed "in hatred of the faith," the Italian daily Avvenire has reported.

That decision would move Archbishop Romero closer to beatification. Assuming that the Avvenire report is accurate, the theologians, appointed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, have essentially stated that the Salvadoran archbishop died as a martyr. If the Congregation ratifies that finding, Archbishop Romero would be eligible for beatification.

Last August, when questioned about the prospects for Archbishop Romero's beatification, Pope Francis told reporters that he was waiting for the results of a rigorous inquiry into the question of whether Romero was killed in odium fidei-- the question that the theological panel has now apparently answered.

Archbishop Romero's cause had faced opposition from some critics who said that the archbishop had been killed because of his political involvement, not his faith. Pope Benedict XVI reportedly "unblocked" the cause in 2013, and stated that the Salvadoran prelate "merits beatification, I do not doubt."

Archbishop Romero was gunned down while celebrating Mass in March 1980, at the height of the civil war in El Salvador. He had become a central figure in the country's conflict because of his outspoken denunciation of human-rights abuses.

 


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