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Mexico, March, 14th, 2018 (Luis García Orso, S.J.). A decree signed by Pope Francis on March 6, 2018, authorizes the canonization of the Salvadoran martyr, Blessed Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero, murdered on March 24, 1980, in the chapel of the hospital of La Divina Providencia, in San Salvador.
Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, postulator of the cause for his canonization, hopes that the saint's intercession will help Latin America to move more decisively towards social justice, and help the whole world to see that achieving peace requires giving one's life for others. The Cardinal of El Salvador, Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chávez, said that the canonization of Archbishop Romero is "…a gift for the country that is going through so much violence. It offers hope and an opportunity for the people to unite".
For the members of SIGNIS, the saint's intercession means enormous spiritual support for our mission to communicate truth and hope everywhere in our world. The future saint, Blessed Óscar Romero, was already named patron of SIGNIS in May, 2015.
Thirty-eight years after his murder, the voice of Óscar Romero continues to be heard today thanks to the radio, a means of communication for which the Archbishop felt a special affinity. He used it as an instrument of evangelization and of dialogue with the people in order to achieve reconciliation and the peace. He was the "voice of the voiceless", the prophet sent by the Lord, the voice of God speaking out in favor of the poor even at the cost of his own life.
Archbishop Romero, before being killed, synthesized in one phrase what he considered to be the mission of Social Media: to be instruments at the service of the people for the transformation of society. For him, as for the Church, social communications media must liberate the truth from all the interests that try to subjugate it, be they economic or political or ideological interests, so that communication truly takes the side of the Reign of God, of its concerns, of the life of dignity that God wants for all his sons and daughters. Communicating the truth is about not accepting lies and falsehood, nor the covering up of reality, nor the manipulation of information. To communicate the truth is to give to the poor their turn to speak--to them and to all those who have no voice in society. It is to defend them as God defends them. To communicate the truth is to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which proclaims life for all, a message of hope to encourage us in our daily work, a call for true justice and dignity.
Archbishop Romero is a role model for all communicators and for SIGNIS in our mission to be at the service of the truth. We entrust our work to him. Saint Romero of America is today a saint for the whole Church.