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Rome Reports

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Gregorio Rosa Chávez: I will be a cardinal on behalf of Romero

On June 28, Gregorio Rosa Chávez will become El Salvador's first cardinal. He says that he still has not been able to comprehend the surprise, and feels overwhelmed.   

Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador
"I know that it means to be close to the Holy Father, to collaborate with him with total fidelity; it is what I ask God, to be able to live up to what he expects of me, and to be at the service of the people, who which I have always served as best as I could."

Gregorio Rosa Chávez is 74 years old and was a close friend of Monsignor Óscar Romero, one of the few he mentions in his personal diary.  

Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador
"I met him at age 14, when he was a priest and I was a seminarian starting my secondary studies. Then I worked with him for a whole year when I finished my philosophy studies. It was there that we became friends. In 1965, we became friends, and we kept this friendship until the end of his life. We lived in difficult times, priests being murdered and things like that, so we walked together all that time. It was a very intense experience, but very beautiful."

Gregorio Rosa Chávez recalls that during those years, Romero suffered many false statements made against him, and that he himself had to write to the Vatican to tell the truth.  

He also says that he feels his appointment as cardinal is both a recognition of an honor reserved for Romero.   

Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador
"I feel that I come in his name, to receive that honor. He deserved it, he was a cardinal in his blood, as Cardinal Martini wrote in a beautiful pastoral letter. I come in his name to receive something that he should have, but God called him too soon and crowned him with martyrdom."

The new cardinal studied Philosophy and Theology in San Salvador, followed by Communications in Leuven. He is a parish priest and has a great interest for media communications.  

He has been one of the great promoters of Monsignor Romero's beatification process, and for that reason he dreams that the pope will canonize him one day in El Salvador.