Breaking news from the Catholic News Service:
A panel of theologians advising the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes voted unanimously to recognize the late Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero as a martyr, according to the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.
The panel declared Jan. 8 that the archbishop had been killed “in hatred for the faith,” Avvenire reported Jan. 9. The decision is a key step in the archbishop’s cause, following an extended debate over whether he was killed for political reasons or for his faith.
The next step in the process lies with the cardinals and bishops who sit on the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, who will vote on whether to advise the pope to issue a decree of beatification. A miracle is not needed for beatification of a martyr, though a miracle is ordinarily needed for his or her canonization as saint.
Like holy men and women of God, Oscar Romero was a complicated person, but I am very glad, and the Church is blessed, to have him recognized as a martyr for Christ and his Church.