Salve Regina professor meets pope

MIGUEL ROMERO, assistant professor of religious and theological studies at Salve Regina University in Newport, meets Pope Francis during a visit to Vatican City to present research. / COURTESY SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY
MIGUEL ROMERO, assistant professor of religious and theological studies at Salve Regina University in Newport, meets Pope Francis during a visit to Vatican City to present research. / COURTESY SALVE REGINA UNIVERSITY

NEWPORT – Miguel Romero, Salve Regina University assistant professor of religious and theological studies, was invited to Vatican City by Archbishop Reno Fisichella in October to present research and while there met Pope Francis.

Romero, along with a dozen other religious scholars, was invited to Vatican City to present research on varying subjects as it related to the overall conference theme, “Catechesis and Disability.”

The Salve Regina professor’s work, which is inspired by his brother Vicente, who suffers from a “profound cognitive impairment,” focuses on the church’s service and support of the disabled community, he explained in a university statement, particularly the denial of the eucharist and the sacraments to such individuals.

“Everything I write, I thank my brother. I am particularly indebted to Vicente Romero, to his kindness and support,” said Romero in the statement.

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In the release, Romero, who serves on the board of directors for the National Catholic Partnership on Disability, explained that while his brother was baptized Catholic and has received the holy eucharist, he has been “denied” the sacraments.

“Part of what my journey has been as a Christian and also a theologian is not to argue for [Vicente’s] place,” Romero said in the statement, “but rather to help understand that those who are oppressed, who are weakest and most vulnerable, have a place of privilege and honor within Christianity. And if they don’t, then we are confused about what it means to be a Christian.”

Romero’s scholarly publications include “The Happiness of Those Who Lack the Use of Reason,” published in the January 2016 issue of The Thomist and “The Goodness and Beauty of Our Fragile Flesh: Moral Theologians and Our Engagement with Disability,” published in a 2017 special issue that he edited on the topic in the Journal of Moral Theology.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.