ANALYSIS: John Paul II, Oscar Romero and the politics of making saints

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oscar romero

An icon shows the late Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, who was assassinated 25 years ago. RNS file photo

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(RNS) Reports this week that the late John Paul II may be on the verge on canonization isn't a huge surprise, but Pope Francis' decision to take a second look at martyred Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero shows that the process of making saints is as much about politics as anything else.

  • Gary Novak

    It’s disgusting how conservatives such as the previous 2 popes belittle the price southern hemisphere Christians pay for their religion refering to it as liberalism.

  • Humphrey

    ‘“Sainthood is often as much about politics and image as anything else,” said the Rev. Harvey Egan, a Jesuit priest and professor emeritus of theology at Boston College.’
    In this instance that is what it is all about. I distinctly remember JPII publicly berating priests who espoused Liberation Theology. Francis I is trying to counter the bad aftertaste of the hierarchy’s collusion with a dictatorship which ‘disappeared’ thousands.

  • Deacon Jim Stagg

    “……hopes soared among Romero’s many supporters that the Argentine pope’s dedication to the poor would make him a believer in Romero’s sainthood.” The future tense is out of place here. Before he became pope, Francis believed Romero was a saint.

  • Carlos Colón

    To call Romero “the patron saint of Liberation Theology” is out of line.
    Romero’s stance with the poor came from biblical conviction, not Marxist ideology.

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  • Carmel Sheehan

    Yes proceed with the process for John XXIII and Romero but stop immediately the process for Pius XII and John Paul II. Make the latter wait the same time as Romero has waited. There are too many important issues with them. The Holocaust and the so called “Hitler’s Pope issues for one and the Child abuse and money laundering for the other.

  • Mod Fran

    Same here, I support the canonization of Pope John XXIII and Oscar Romero as saints. Their particular cases have waited long enough. On Pope John XXIII, there was also an overwhelming clamor for his sainthood declaration upon his death in 1962 among the majority of clergy and laity of the time. But instead of being heeded and fastracked into sainthood, the dear good Pope John’s memory was denigrated, and his sainthood cause ignored, which remains so for so long (almost into oblivion by the succeeding popes after him). Beloved John XXIII deserves more to be a saint now than JPII whose harshness towards thinkers unlike his own was often unjust and severely lacked compassion;, not to mention his turning a blind eye towards the corruptions, pedophilia that became rampant during his more than two-decades authoritarian reign of the Catholic Church. Having said these, I dont deny JPII’s piety and goodness, but not as a saint to be given a fastracked canonization. There are others who deserve this honor much sooner. He’s been dead for only 8 years anyway. There should be more time given to the analysis of his life and pontificate – and see the advantages or disavantages these have given to the Church and its members.