Pope Francis delivered his Christmas present to the Church a little late, but still well within the liturgical Christmas season.
On January 4, while leading the Angelus, Pope Francis announced the names of the 15 men under 80 he wants to elevate to the rank of cardinal. Among them are Latin Americans, Africans, Asians, and a select few Europeans from unexpected places. They are:
Abp.Dominique Mamberti -
Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Segnatura
Abp. Manuel José Macário do Nascimento Clemente -
Patriarch of Lisbon
Abp. Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel,
C.M., Archbishop of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
Abp. John Atcherley Dew
, Archbishop of Wellington, New Zealand
Abp. Edoardo Menichelli
, Arcbishop of Ancona-Osimo. Italy.
Abp. Pierre Nguyên V?n Nhon
, Archbishop ofHà Nôi, Viêt Nam
Abp. Alberto Suárez Inda
, Archbishop of Morelia, Mexico
Abp.. Charles Maung Bo,
S.D.B., Arcbishop of Yangon, Myanmar
Abp. Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij
, Arcbishop of Bangkok, Thailandia
Abp. Francesco Montenegro
, Archbishop of Agrigento, Italy
Abp. Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet,
S.D.B., Archbishop of Montevideo, Uruguay
Abp. Ricardo Blázquez Pérez
, Archbishop of Valladolid, Spain
Bp. José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuán
, O.A.R., Bishop of David, Panamá
Bp. Arlindo Gomes Furtado
, Bishop of Santiago of Cape Verde
Bp. Soane Patita Paini Mafi
, Vescovo di Tonga, Isole di Tonga
There is much rejoicing among devotees of El Salvadorian Archbishop Oscar Romero. The official newspaper of the Italian Bishops' Conference reported on Friday that a panel of theologians at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints had voted unanimously to recognize the slain archbishop's death as that of a martyr.
The Vatican did not confirm the report.
In order to be beatified the cardinals and bishops who make up the Congregation for Saints causes would need to ratify the theological commission's vote. Finally, Pope Francis would have to give his approval.
Getting papal approval to recognize Romero's sanctity should not be difficult. In August 2014 Pope Francis told reporters "for me, Romero is a man of God." In 2013 he reportedly told El Salvador's Ambassador to the Holy See "I hope that under this pontificate we can beatify (Archbishop Romero)."
Earlier in the week Pope Francis read an excerpt from one of Archbishop Romero's 1977 homilies during his catechesis talk at the weekly General Audience.
Archbishop Romero was killed on March 24 1980, while celebrating Mass in a hospital in San Salvador. One day earlier he had given a homily in which he called on soldiers in the country to stop enforcing the government's policies of oppression and human rights violations.