Vandals have damaged a prominent statue of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero, recently declared a martyr.
The right hand, which had been holding a cross, was cut off the nearly 10-foot monument, located near Plaza El Divino Salvador del Mundo.
Romero "is very much loved by a vast majority of Salvadorans, but he is also one of the most hated by a small minority," Marisa Martinez of the Archbishop Romero Foundation told Catholic News Service.
A Salvadoran judge ruled that Spanish Passionist Fr. Antonio Rodriguez, known for his work in rehabilitating gang members, should remain in jail, accused of various crimes regarding gang activities.
"This trip is an opportunity to deeply understand the history of El Salvador, the history of the martyrs and what their legacy was."
Salvadoran clergy are hopeful that the canonization of Archbishop Oscar Romero, killed while celebrating Mass on March 24, 1980, during El Salvador's civil war, will move forward under the church's first Latin American pope.
"We are in the best of circumstances. The time is ripe for a final verdict," Auxiliary Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez of San Salvador told Catholic News Service, referring to Pope Francis, who as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, until he was elected pope March 13.