Sunday Tribune - - WORLD - AP African News Agency (ANA)

POPE Fran­cis will canon­ise two of the most im­por­tant and con­tested fig­ures of the 20th-cen­tury Catholic Church, declar­ing Pope Paul VI and the mar­tyred Sal­vado­ran Arch­bishop Os­car Romero mod­els of saint­li­ness for the faith­ful to­day.

The cer­e­mony is likely to be emo­tional for Fran­cis, since he was greatly in­flu­enced by both men and pri­vately told con­fi­dantes he wanted them made saints dur­ing his pa­pacy.

The two rep­re­sent the epit­ome of the out­ward-look­ing church that Fran­cis has cham­pi­oned, one that is close to the poor and fights in­jus­tice.

Paul VI and Romero also en­dured strong op­po­si­tion from within the church in life and af­ter death – a fate Fran­cis is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing now amid the church’s bur­geon­ing sex abuse and cover-up scan­dal.

These two tow­er­ing fig­ures will be canon­ised along with five oth­ers in a cer­e­mony de­signed to show that ho­li­ness can be at­tained in all walks of life. |

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