Yesterday, I posted about the Decree recognizing Servant of God Oscar Romero as a martyr. Having been schooled in the official criteria for recognizing a murder as authentic martyrdom and having personally long wondered whether Romero's assassination should just be categorized as a politically rather than religiously motivated act, I concluded yesterday that his assassination while in the act of celebrating Mass created a presumption of a religiously as well as politically motivated hatred on the part of his killers - somewhat analogously with the case of Saint thomas Becket.. So it very much pleased me today to read in Britain's Catholic Herald, that, at Vatican media briefing today, the Postulator for Romero's Cause - Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family - highlighted the special significance of Romero's having been "killed on the altar." That fact, Archbishop Paglia argued, showed that Romero's killers "wanted to attack the Church" and that Romero's death was therefore caused "by hatred for a faith that was not silent in the face of injustice."
"The killing on the altar," Archbishop Paglia declared, "had a symbolism that sounded a terrible warning to anyone who wanted to go on that road. St John Paul II, who knew the two other saints killed on the altar, St Stanislaus of Kraków and Thomas Becket of Canterbury, said: ‘They killed him right in the most sacred moment… It was the murder of a bishop of the Church of God who was carrying out his sanctifying mission by offering the Eucharist.'”
I was especially happy to see the same Becket analogy being invoked!
For the full Catholic Herald article, go to: