SAN SALVADOR – The auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, Gregorio Rosa Chavez, who on June 28 will be named a cardinal, told EFE that El Salvador will be near Pope Francis through him.
Although surprised and moved by the announcement made by the pontiff last Sunday, Msgr. Rosa Chavez said in an interview with EFE that “the post carries with it great responsibility, but I accept it in the name of Msgr. Oscar Arnulfo Romero,” who was beatified on May 23, 2015.
“El Salvador will be near the pope through my person and that is really pleasant and very beautiful ... Being together with the pontiff will allow me to develop some things to benefit the country and transmit to the leaders of El Salvador all that the pope wants them to know,” said Rosa Chavez, who will be El Salvador’s first cardinal.
The 74-year-old said that becoming a cardinal is an “opportunity to create important dynamics for the future of the country, since one will have direct access to the pope and will become privy to certain information and concerns.”
The Catholic prelate also said that his appointment shows “the great love that Pope Francis has for this country and the tremendous admiration he has for Msgr. Romero and for the Salvadoran Catholic faithful.”
“I still don’t know what the reasons were that the pope selected me, but what I do know is that he has great love for this country, for the Church and for Msgr. Romero, who was persecuted simply for telling the truth,” Rosa Chavez said.
An auxiliary bishop since 1982, he said that “outside the Salvadoran borders there exists a positive view of the country and the thinking of Msgr. Romero,” and so he feels that the pontiff, by naming him, “wants this vision and thinking to be available to the whole world.”
He went on to say that, at present, he has not been informed what his duties and missions will be, but he said that after his designation as cardinal he will be assigned symbolic duties as parish priest in Rome.
Currently the priest at the San Francisco Church in the capital, Rosa Chavez is one of the key promoters of Romero’s canonization and was one of the Church’s main representatives at the peace talks that ended the 1980-1992 civil war.