Archbishop Oscar Romero one step closer to being named a saint

Archbishop Oscar Romero
Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador

Archbishop Oscar Romero is a folk hero for the people of El Salvador because of his solidarity with the poor and his opposition to human rights abuses.

Father Romero was shot to death while saying Mass in 1980, and a decade later a church in El Salvador formally opened the procedure to have him declared a saint.

Yet that process has stalled out, despite papal proclamations that Romero was a martyr for the faith. Some say his links to the controversial liberation theology movement may disqualify him.

Now, newly-elected Pope Francis may be the key to Romero’s beatification.

Joining KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis with more from Rome is John Allen, senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.