The Archbishop’s cause was opened in 1993, but it has long been stalled as Church experts studied his writings and debated whether he was murdered for the faith or for political reasons.
Archbishop Romero enjoyed the admiration of the last three popes, not just Pope Francis. Pope St. John Paul the Great prayed at his tomb on two different visits to El Salvador, and Pope Benedict XVI told reporters on a plane in 2007 that the Archbishop “merits beatification, I do not doubt.”
In fact, according to the postulator of the cause, it was Pope Benedict, not Pope Francis, who unblocked Archbishop Romero’s process — which may surprise those who try to read the Church – and the actions of popes– through the lens of contemporary American politics.
Want your Right/Left categories further shattered? Consider that the late Archbishop, often considered – many would say “co-opted”– as a man of the Left, was an admirer of Opus Dei, and may even have had a priest of the prelature as his spiritual director, if a letter he wrote is any indication.
As Fr. Ray Blake reported several years ago at his blog, Archbishop Romero once penned a letter to the Pope requesting the canonization of Opus Dei’s founder. It read in part:
“I had the good fortune of knowing Monsignor Escriva de Balaguer personally and of receiving from him support and fortitude to be faithful to the inalterable doctrine of Christ and to serve with apostolic zeal the Holy Roman Church and this land of Santiago de Maria, which Your Holiness has entrusted to me.
“I have known, for several years now, the work of Opus Dei here in El Salvador, and I can testify to the supernatural sense that animates it and to the fidelity to the ecclesiastical magisterium that characterizes the work.
“Personally, I owe deep gratitude to the priests involved with the work, to whom I have trusted with much satisfaction the spiritual direction of my life and that of other priests.”
Head over to Fr. Blake’s post to read the letter in its entirety.
I love the first comment on the post, which makes precisely the point that needs to be made:
“I thought he [Archbishop Romero] was trendy lefty. Then I thought Escriva was a rabid righty. Maybe I need to read up on both.”
Exactly. Maybe we all do.