VATICAN CITY (CBSMiami/AP) — Pope Francis is putting an American priest on the path to possible sainthood by declaring him a martyr.READ MORE: At Least One Dead In Miami Gardens 'Domestic Homicide'
Francis signed a martyrdom decree Thursday for the Rev. Stanley Rother of Oklahoma. He was killed in 1981, one of several priests slain during Guatemala’s 1960-1996 civil war. Rother had been in Guatemala translating the New Testament into an Indian dialect.READ MORE: Tropical Storm Bill Expected To Be Short Lived
The martyrdom declaration paves the way for Rother’s beatification. Unlike regular candidates, martyrs don’t need a Vatican-certified miracle attributed to their intercession to be beatified. A miracle, however, is necessary to be declared a saint.
Francis, history’s first Latin American pope, has made clear that he believes priests killed during Latin America’s right-wing dictatorships died out of hatred for the faith, including Salvador Archbishop Oscar Romero.MORE NEWS: Farm Share To Hold Drive-Thru Only Food Distributions Around Miami
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