Oscar Romero sainthood? Pope declares Salvadoran archbishop a martyr.

Pope Pushes Sainthood Process Forward for Radical Salvadoran Archbishop

Pope Pushes Sainthood Process Forward for Radical Salvadoran Archbishop

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Feb. 3 2015 10:10 AM

Pope Pushes Sainthood Process Forward for Radical Salvadoran Archbishop

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Romero in 1979.

AFP/Getty

Pope Francis has declared Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador a martyr, creating a path to sainthood for the murdered figure whose beatification had been held up by his association with leftist “liberation theology.” Romero was shot while celebrating Mass in 1980; martyrdom requires that an individual be killed in odium fidei or in hatred for their Catholic faith. Says the New York Times: “One of the reasons Romero’s case had lagged was over questions about whether he was killed for his politics in support of the poor or for his faith.”

The National Catholic Reporter says Romero’s beatification (which is the last step before canonization or sainthood) “is expected within months.” The archbishop was killed a day after advocating in a sermon that soldiers refuse to enforce the Salvadoran government’s oppressive policies.