Pope OKs beatification for US brother slain in Guatemala war

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has decreed that an American religious brother, James Miller, was killed out of hatred for the Catholic faith during Guatemala’s civil war and can be beatified.

The Vatican said Thursday that Francis approved a decree recognizing that Miller died as a martyr Feb. 13, 1982, in Huehuetenago, Guatemala. The 37-year-old Miller, from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, had been working with indigenous youths as a member of the De La Salle Christian Brothers.

Miller’s fellow brothers reported receiving warnings that Guatemala’s armed forces intelligence unit, the G-2 death squad, was looking for them.

A U.N. truth commission determined that some 245,000 people were killed or disappeared during Guatemala’s 1960-1996 civil war, with the vast majority of the killings attributed to the army or to pro-government paramilitary groups.

No beatification date was set.

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