Photo: Casa Presidencial
Today the President of El Salvador, Carlos Mauricio Cartagena was granted an audience with Pope Francis I at the Vatican were both spoke of assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero.
The two leaders spoke of the country’s struggles trying to eradicate poverty and organized crime. Cartagena was paying a courtesy visit to the first pontiff from Latin America but also to encourage the beatification of assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero.
The priest was gunned down by a military death squad as he was celebrating mass in 1980. Romero was an outspoken critic of the powerful military regime and a human rights advocate for the poor. Prior to his death on March 24, 1980 Archbishop Romero fought against El Salvador’s 12-year civil war (1980-1992). Cartagena presented Pope Francis with a piece of the Archbishop’s stained vestments in honor of his death.
El Salvador opened its first diplomatic office in the Vatican in 2010. The Vatican has been considering Romero for sainthood since 1997 and many El Salvadorans hope today’s visit will speed along the beatification process for Romero.