VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has cleared the way for Archbishop Oscar Romero to be made a saint, declaring that the cleric murdered by El Salvador’s right-wing death squads for standing up for the poor and oppressed should be a model for today’s church.
Francis signed a decree confirming a miracle attributed to Romero’s intercession on Tuesday, the same day he approved a miracle for another important figure for the 20th century Catholic Church, Pope Paul VI, the Vatican said Wednesday.
No date was set for either canonization. Vatican officials have previously said Paul VI would probably be canonized in October, during a Vatican meeting of bishops.
The Vatican official who spearheaded Romero’s sainthood cause, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, said he hoped the two would be declared saints together in October, saying a joint canonization would give Catholics a ‘burst of energy and example of the need to live one’s life for others.
‘‘I’m in a hurry because there’s an urgent need to change the world,’’ Paglia told The Associated Press.
Another option would be to canonize Romero closer to home, such as when Francis travels to Panama in January for World Youth Day.