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Archbishop Romero, Salvadoran martyr, to be beatified May 23

Catholic News Agency -- May 23 will be the beatification date for El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Romero, an outspoken advocate for the poor and repressed who was martyred in 1980 while celebrating Mass.
Pope Francis approved the beatification after a Feb. 3 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The congregation’s theologians on Jan. 8 unanimously recognized the El Salvadoran’s assassination as an act of hatred for the faith, a characteristic of martyrdom.
Oscar Romero y Galdamez was Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 until March 24, 1980, when he was shot while saying Mass at a San Salvador hospital.
He was a vocal critic of the human rights abuses of the repressive Salvadoran government. He spoke out on behalf of the poor and the victims of repression.
El Salvador in the 1970s was marked by extreme economic inequality, resulting in an increase in protests and rebellions. These were met by government repression through death squads and forced disappearances. A civil war between military-led governments and left-wing guerilla groups began in 1979 and lasted until 1992.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the postulator of Archbishop Romero’s cause, said Archbishop Romero was “a pastor who gave his life for his people.” He dedicated his life to “helping, relieving and defending those who are poorest and who are weakest.”
“Romero’s witness of martyrdom starting from Latin America, through Pope Francis, can help the whole of America, the whole of Europe,” Archbishop Paglia told CNA.
He said the Salvadoran archbishop was killed due to “hatred for a faith that, combined with charity, would not stay silent when faced with the injustices that implacably and cruelly afflicted the poor and their defenders.”
Before the archbishop’s murder, 30 priests in his archdiocese were lost to murder or expulsion. The death squads also killed many catechists and abducted many lay faithful.
No one has been prosecuted for Archbishop Romero’s assassination, but right-wing death squads are suspected.
Archbishop Romero’s cause for canonization was officially opened in 1993, but investigations in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith delayed the progress of the cause from 2000 to 2005. His beatification cause was complicated by political factors and false reports.
Both Pope Francis and Benedict XVI have held Archbishop Romero in high regard.

Mons. Romero será beatificado el próximo 23 de mayo en El Salvador

ROMA (ACI) - El Arzobispo italiano Vincenzo Paglia, Presidente del Pontificio Consejo para la Familia y postulador de la causa de canonización de Mons. Óscar Arnulfo Romero anunció que la fecha de beatificación del que fuera Arzobispo de San Salvador ha sido fijada para el próximo 23 de mayo.
Así lo indica el diario Avvenire de la Conferencia Episcopal Italiana que señala que la celebración será presidida en San Salvador (El Salvador) por el Prefecto de la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos, Cardenal Angelo Amato. Para preparar el evento, Mons. Paglia está en estos días en el país centroamericano.
El Prelado italiano ofrece hoy una conferencia de prensa en la que dará a conocer los detalles de la beatificación, luego que el Papa autorizara el 3 de febrero la promulgación del decreto que reconoce el martirio de Mons. Romero.
Aunque algunos relacionaron la muerte de Mons. Oscar Romero a una supuesta simpatía por la teología de la liberación, el secretario del futuro beato, Mons. Jesús Delgado, afirmó que el mártir nunca se interesó por esta corriente contraria a la doctrina de la Iglesia.
El secretario personal de Mons. Romero aseguró en una reciente entrevista con ACI Prensa que los teólogos de la liberación visitaban al Arzobispo y le dejaban sus libros, pero la realidad es que nunca los abrió: “cuando escribí su vida fui a revisar su biblioteca. Evidentemente, los teólogos de la liberación siempre que lo visitaban le dejaban un libro, sus libros”.
“Los vi, estaban puros e inmaculados, nunca los abrió, nunca jamás, ni los leyó, ni los consultó nunca. En cambio todos los libros de los padres de la Iglesia estaban manoseados por aquí y por allá, eran la fuente de su inspiración”, afirmó Mons. Delgado.
En ese sentido, aseguró que Mons. Romero “de la Teología de la Liberación no supo nada, no quiso informarse de eso, él estaba adherido fielmente a la Iglesia Católica y sobre todo a la doctrina de los Papas”.
“Se fue abriendo el camino con el Evangelio a una teología de Dios presente en los pobres, que podíamos llamarlo así: ‘Dios presente viviendo con los pobres y caminando con los pobres”, aseguró.

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