RELIGION

El Salvador: Vatican mulls possible miracle by slain cleric

FILE - This undated file photo shows Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who was gunned down while giving Mass in a San Salvador church on March 24, 1980. Roman Catholic authorities in El Salvador said on Sunday, March 5, 2017 that the Vatican is studying a possible miracle attributed to Romero that could lead to the once-controversial cleric's canonization. (AP Photo, File)

FILE - This undated file photo shows Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who was gunned down while giving Mass in a San Salvador church on March 24, 1980. Roman Catholic authorities in El Salvador said on Sunday, March 5, 2017 that the Vatican is studying a possible miracle attributed to Romero that could lead to the once-controversial cleric's canonization. (AP Photo, File)  (The Associated Press)

Roman Catholic authorities in El Salvador say the Vatican is studying a possible miracle attributed to slain Archbishop Oscar Romero that could lead to the once-controversial cleric's canonization.

San Salvador Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas tells reporters that church officials in the country are "convinced" of the miracle's authenticity. He cautioned Sunday that it could take a long time for the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to consider the matter.

Romero is known to many as "Saint Romero of the Americas." He was loved by the poor whom he defended and hated by conservatives who saw him as aligned with leftist causes ahead of El Salvador's civil war.

Romero was shot by a sniper in 1980 while celebrating Mass at a hospital chapel. He was beatified in 2015.