James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, said the Romero announcement signals the church is moving away from past conflicts.
"The canonization of Oscar Romero is an immense step forward for the church, and a great wrong finally righted," he tweeted. "Archbishop Romero, gunned down at the altar while saying Mass, after his prophetic defense of God's poor in El Salvador, was clearly, and always, a martyr and a saint."
For Salvadoran churchgoer Josefa Trejos, the news of Romero's pending canonization only confirmed what she had long believed.
"The pope is giving us a blessing with this news, but St. Romero is already on the altars," she told AP. "He is already miraculous and a saint."
(Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times and Wilkinson of the Tribune Washington Bureau reported from Mexico City and Washington, respectively, and special correspondent Kington from Rome.)
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