Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 5th 2015 Contents A37
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Pope Francis has ruled that Salvadorean Arch-
bishop Oscar Romero died as a martyr, paving the
way for his beatification.
Beatification is the step before sainthood in the
Roman Catholic Church.
An outspoken critic of the military regime at the
outset of El Salvador s civil war, Archbishop Romero
was shot dead while celebrating Mass in 1980.
For years, the Church blocked the process because
of concerns that he had Marxist ideas.
The bishop was one of the main proponents of
Liberation Theology---an interpretation of Christian
faith through the perspective of the poor.
Unlike other candidates for beatification, martyrs
can move to the beatification stage without a miracle
attributed to them. A miracle is needed for canon-
Archbishop Romero denounced the right-wing
death squads that operated in El Salvador, and the
oppression of the poor, calling for an end to all political
Archbishop Romero s death is commemorated by
large crowds every year.
After his election in 2013, Pope Francis, the first
Latin American pontiff, unblocked Archbishop
Romero s sainthood process.
The Church restricts the martyr designation to
people who were killed out of hatred for the Catholic
faith. Doubt over whether Archbishop Romero was
killed for his politics in support of the poor or for
his faith was one of the reasons his case was stalled.
No date for the beatification has been set.
Pope Francis, who has advocated that the Church
focus more on poverty, is considered to be more in
line with Archbishop Romero s approach to social
justice than previous pontiffs.
In August, Pope Francis hoped for a quick path to
beatification, calling the archbishop a "man of God."
It was a murder which shocked Catholics around
But one question which has haunted them ever
since that fateful day in 1980 is: If he was killed for
his faith, why was Oscar Romero not made a saint
by any subsequent Pope?
The answer goes to the heart of one of the Vatican s
His concern for the poor led some to equate Arch-
bishop Romero with Liberation Theology, a movement
that encouraged Catholics to view material oppression
as an affront to God which demanded radical action,
not just prayer.
Yet Liberation Theology was deeply unpopular in
the Vatican, not least because it criticised hierarchical
structures---including those of the Church.
Pope Francis was once deeply sceptical as well,
but appears to have changed his thinking.
Time and again, he has condemned poverty, calling
for everyone to be able to share in the fruits of pros-
His declaration of martyrdom is another sign that
Pope Francis considers economic injustice to be a
terrible stain on the world, which Christians must
"It is a true pit bull head on a dachshund
body," said Dawn Blanton of the Moultrie-
Colquitt County Humane Society in south
Georgia. A man found the dog, now named
Rami, wandering in his backyard. He called
the shelter and described him as a "pit bull
with short legs," Blanton told CNN. Local
animal control officials confirmed that Rami
is a dachshund/pit bull mix. Humane society
workers are taking their time to pick his new
owner because they don't want him to
become a freak show. Rami, who is fully
grown at 25 pounds, is neutered and he is
expected to be adopted by next week. CNN
SHORT-LEGGED PIT BULL
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