The Latest: Romero, Paul VI, could be canonized together

The Latest on the route to sainthood for Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The archbishop who spearheaded the sainthood case of slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero is hoping both Romero and Pope Paul VI will be canonized together in October during a big Vatican meeting to give Catholics a new "burst" of energy and example of the need to give their lives for others.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the postulator for Romero's cause, told The Associated Press he was thrilled that Pope Francis had approved decrees clearing the way for both Romero and his "good friend" Paul VI to be made saints. Paul is best remembered for having presided over the close of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 church meetings that reformed the church.

Paglia said: "Romero loved to say that the Second Vatican Council asked all Christians to be martyrs today, that is, to live giving your life for others, not for yourself."


11:30 a.m.

Pope Francis has cleared the way for slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero to be made a saint, approving a miracle attributed to his intercession.

The Vatican announced Wednesday that Francis had approved a decree the previous day during a meeting with the head of the Vatican's saint-making office. Also approved was the miracle attributed to Pope Paul VI, paving the way for his canonization.

Romero was gunned down by right-wing death squads on March 24, 1980, as he celebrated Mass. El Salvador's military dictatorship had vehemently opposed his preaching against the repression of the poor by the army at the start of the country's 1980-1992 civil war.

Francis unblocked Romero's long-stalled sainthood case at the start of his pontificate and declared him a martyr in 2015.