Twenty-four days after Archbishop Romero was recognized as a martyr, the Church has not yet set a date for his beatification. This week was a one of motions without movement—closed door meetings, press releases and blaring headlines, all saying nothing not already known.
Detecting the suspense created by the lack of news, the Salvadoran Church officially confirmed some of the details that have already been leaked.
· At the end of last week, the Salvadoran Bishops’ Conference (CEDES for its Spanish acronym) confirmed that the ceremony will be held at the Plaza of the Americas (aka Divine Savior of the World: photo).
· More recently, the Salvadoran press reported the purported confirmation by the Vatican that the ceremony will be presided by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (CCS).
· In the same article, it was reported that the Vatican had reiterated that “the beatification event will be soon.”
All this was already known, and you had read it here.
On Wednesday, the Salvadoran President convoked a meeting of the government-church coordinating commission, and it convened without announcing any specifics. Speaking of commissions, in confirming the location for the ceremony, the Church also reported the formation of three church commissions to coordinate the event from the Church’s standpoint.
This weekend can clear some doubts. First, there will be elections in El Salvador for mayors and legislators Sunday. It is possible that the authorities have wanted to wait until after these to avoid politicization of the issue. Second, the Pope and the Roman Curia (including the Prefect of the CCS and the postulator of the Romero cause) have been on a spiritual retreat all week and they will emerge this weekend.
If the announcement of the beatification date for Archbishop Romero comes after Monday, we will be in the strange situation that the process for fixing the date will have taken longer than it took the cardinals and bishops of the CCS to ratify the theologians’ vote recognizing Romero’s martyrdom.
Super Martyrio will continue to monitor developments and provide an update every Friday regarding plans for the beatification, as well as for commemorations of Romero's anniversary in March—in a little over three weeks!
Read last week’s update here.