CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 19 May 2018

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Proposal to canonise Romero in El Salvador

WASHINGTON (CNS): A recent editorial in the April 22 issue of Orientacion, the weekly publication of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, proposed that the canonisation of Blessed Oscar Romero should be held in El Salvador around World Youth Day, which will take place in January 2019 in nearby Panama.
 
The editorial said that since Pope Francis would already be in Panama for World Youth Day, it makes sense that he “also come to our country and realise the long-awaited pontifical visit to (celebrate) the solemn ceremony of the canonisation of Blessed Oscar Romero.” 
 
It went on to say, “It would mark a great spiritual moment in the history of the country and would recall that ‘a great shepherd lived among us.’” 
 
Though the date and location of the canonisation will not be announced until May 19, the editorial seemed to be another lobbying effort by the archdiocese to celebrate the canonisation of El Salvador’s first saint in the country. 
 
During a visit to Washington in April, Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas of San Salvador said the Church in El Salvador had sent the pope a letter saying that many of the country’s poor would not be able to attend the ceremony if it’s held in Rome, while almost in the same breath saying that it looked as if “probably” was going to be held in Rome in October.
 
However, the Orientacion editorial went on to say that if the canonisation were held in Rome in October, it would be historic and in the city that left a lasting spiritual mark on Blessed Romero, who lived in Rome from 1937 until 1943 and studied theology at the Gregorian University. He was ordained in the city the following year.
 
The editorial pointed out an undated diary entry by Blessed Romero that read: “Rome means to me a return to the cradle, home... I’ve asked the Lord to preserve in me this faith and this attachment to Rome that Christ has chosen as the seat of the universal shepherd, the pope. I felt special emotion while praying next to the tomb of Paul VI, whose conversations with me I greatly remembered.”
 
The two were friends and some would argue they were mentor and mentee. There is speculation that the two will be canonised together in Rome.
 
If that happens, it will be a chance to show him to the world as a “man of our time, who knew how to put into action the Second Vatican Council” and other important Church documents in Latin America, the editorial said.
 
“And if the canonisation takes place in Rome along with (that of) Paul VI, the Church would show us two valiant witnesses of the faith, the truth, love for the Church, of an evangelisation without compromises and respect for life,” the editorial said.

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