W. Alejandro Sanchez writes on Pope pushes for beatification of Archbishop Romero. I still support Romero's canonization but I doubt that it will impact the violence and it might even make politics more divisive in El Salvador. I can't find the link but an opinion poll from a few years ago indicated that a majority of Salvadorans were unfamiliar with Romero.
Tim has a Pastoral initiative for peace coming from Christian and Catholic religious leaders looking to reduce gang-violence.
The Anglican-Episcopal Church in El Salvador has a new bishop, Juan David Alvarado.
The Guardian takes a stab at Pope Francis and liberation theology in a recent editorial. Here's what I wrote about possible changes in the Church should the Cardinals elect someone from Latin America.
Electing the next Pope from Latin America, or anywhere in the global south, would be symbolically important. Africa counts the fastest growing Catholic population, but Latin America is still home to the world's largest concentration of Catholics. While most Catholics today voluntarily profess their religion, Catholicism was violently imposed on the indigenous population that originally inhabited what we today call Latin America over five hundred years ago. And, it was only fifty years ago that Latin American bishops first travelled to Rome to participate in the Second Vatican Council after having been seen as second class for centuries. Given the large number of Catholics residing in Latin America and the global south, a successor from the south would be tremendously symbolic even if he were cut from the same conservative mold as his two most recent predecessors.
However, it is not all about symbolism. The selection of a Latin American pope might help to rejuvenate a Church that has lost ground in recent decades to Protestant and evangelical churches. It might help to heal the rift that occurred between those who supported a theology of liberation and those who preferred that the Church remain more traditional, some might say apolitical. Finally, the selection of a Latin American Pope might give added hope for the canonisation of the murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador.
However, in some ways, what might also change with the selection of a Latin American, African or Asian pope, is how the media, Catholics and non-Catholics listen to the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, as well as their predecessors, have spoken very strongly not only on social issues, which get the most attention, but on issues such as the damaging effects of capitalism, poverty, inequality, climate change, the environment, migration, and war. Their stances on these important issues does not excuse them for the areas in which they have failed. But perhaps the selection of a pope from outside of continental Europe will force many to listen, not blindly of course, to what the Church has to say on many other important issues of the day.In Guatemala, Elizabeth Bell writes about Francisco Marroquín: Guatemala’s first bishop and linguist. He has a park or two named after him in Antigua and a university in Guatemala City although I'm not sure what his connection to the individualistic thought of the university is. The community feeling at the Landivar and the UCA are just so much more appealing for my tastes.