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Oscar Romero to be beatified

The iconic Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador is to beatified on Saturday, in one of the steps along the process to sainthood.

Oscar Romero served as the Archbishop of San Salvador in El Salvador from 1977 until his assassination during Mass in 1980 by a far-right group.

He was known for speaking out publically to help the poorest in society.

Joe Ronan is from and Catholic Voices says it highlights the dangers those that speak out for their faith face: "It almost emphasises the fact that bishops are in a position where they invariably, whether it's outright violence or just difficult circumstances of another type - the job of a bishop, the job of a pastor in a diocese, is always a very difficult one."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Catholic Voice's Joe Ronan here:

AUDIO

The Catholic charity CAFOD says he was "one of the greatest heroes of the 20th Century," and his important work must be remembered.

CAFOD's director, Chris Bain said: "Archbishop Romero's words and actions are at the heart of everything that CAFOD does, and we are delighted about his beatification.

"He was an extremely brave man, who was inspired by his faith to fight not just poverty but injustice, to give a voice to the voiceless.

"The reason that CAFOD staff and supporters, like many Catholics around the world, continue to hold him in such high regard is obvious. He didn't simply talk about the need to love your neighbour, but courageously denounced the violence and named the injustices that plagued his country.

"He reminded us that Christ is found in people living in poverty, and that we cannot ignore the suffering of our brothers and sisters in need.

"He may not be a household name for non-Catholics in the UK, but he was one of one of great heroes of the 20th Century. He deserves to be commemorated alongside the likes of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi as a peacemaker who sacrificed his life standing up to injustice.

"I hope that his beatification will give him the wider recognition he so richly deserves."

CAFOD had a rich relationship with the Archbishop and after he died, aid agency staff petitioned Lambeth Council to rename the Brixton street where their office was located 'Romero Close'.

35 years since his passing, Archbishop Romero, will be beatified and celebrations are taking place in his city of San Salvador.


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