Salvadoran prelate: new statements by former military commander could shed new light on Archbishop Romero assassination

.- Archbishop Fernando Saenz Lacalle of San Salvador expressed his hope this week that statements by former military captain Alvaro Saravia would shed new light on the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

Speaking to reporters, Archbishop Lacalle said, “History has its rights and sooner or later all of the events and details are going to be made known.  Perhaps these statements by Captain Saravia can shed light and provide interesting information.”

Saravia, who was ordered to pay $10 million in reparation to the family members of the slain archbishop, said recently he would ask the Church for forgiveness for the assassination and that he would reveal the names of other individuals who were involved in the killing.

At the same time, Archbishop Lacalle said the person of Archbishop Romero should not be politicized because that would affect his cause for canonization.  “All of us have the opportunity to contribute positively to advancing” the cause, he added, noting that it falls to the Holy See to determine if Archbishop Romero is a martyr.  

“It is a delicate matter,” he continued, “because martyrdom means being killed out of hatred for the faith or the Church and not for political reasons.”

Archbishop Lacalle noted that a “fundamental fact” in Romero’s cause is that “he died as a priest celebrating Mass,” which he called a special favor from God, and he underscored that the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints has examined his writings and has declared them to be faithful to the teachings of the Church.  

Archbishop Oscar Romero was killed on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass at a hospital chapel.

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