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Bishops ask Pope to beatify Archbishop Romero in El Salvador

A flag with an image of Romero carried in a march in San Salvador on the anniversary of his death (Photo: CNS)

Pope Francis has assured the bishops of El Salvador that the Cause of murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero is proceeding well.

The bishops, meanwhile, asked him to come to El Salvador to preside personally over the archbishop’s hoped-for beatification.

Archbishop Jose Escobar Alas told reporters that he and three other Salvadoran bishops met the Pope at the Vatican this month to discuss the Cause of Archbishop Romero, who was shot and killed on March 24, 1980, as he celebrated Mass in a hospital in San Salvador.

“We ask the Lord for the speedy beatification of Archbishop Romero and that the Pope come here” to celebrate the ceremony, Archbishop Escobar said.

The Pope told the Salvadoran bishops that he was pleased the process was moving ahead, but he gave no indication of when it would be completed, the archbishop told reporters.

Archbishop Romero’s Cause was opened at the Vatican in 1993, but was delayed for years as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith studied his writings, amid wider debate over whether he had been killed for his faith or for political reasons.

In 2013, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and official promoter of Archbishop Romero’s Cause, said the process had been “unblocked”, but gave no further details.

Before the archbishop can be beatified, Pope Francis must either sign a decree recognising him as a martyr or recognising a miracle received through his intercession.