El Salvador archbishop Romero to be beatified in May

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Salvadorean President Salvador Sanchez Ceren (L) and Vatican official Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia look at a painting of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero during a press conference at the presidential house in San Salvador, on March 11, 2015Controversial Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero, a champion of the poor who was gunned down while celebrating mass in 1980, will be beatified on May 23, taking him one step from sainthood. The beatification ceremony, which conservative Catholics and the Salvadoran right had resisted, will be held by Cardinal Angelo Amato on San Salvador’s central square, said Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, an Italian archbishop who has led the campaign to canonize Romero. Romero remains a divisive figure for his outspoken criticism of social injustice and condemnations of the military during El Salvador’s civil war. Saints “are to unite, never to divide us,” Paglia told a press conference in San Salvador.