The monsignor who spearheaded the saint-making process for El Salvador's slain Archbishop Oscar Romero says it was Pope Benedict XVI — not Pope Francis — who removed the final hurdle in the tortured, 35-year process.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia told reporters Wednesday that it was Benedict who "gave the green light." Many had assumed that Francis, the first Latin American pope, had done so.

Speaking a day after Francis declared that Romero died in 1980 as a martyr for the faith, Paglia said the beatification would likely be within a few months in San Salvador.

Paglia says Benedict told him Dec. 20, 2012 that the case had passed from the Vatican's doctrine office, where it had been held up for years over concerns about Romero's orthodoxy, to the saint-making office.