Óscar Romero

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The Most Reverend
Oscar Romero
Archbishop of San Salvador
Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez.jpg
See San Salvador
Installed 23 February 1977
Term ended 24 March 1980
Predecessor Luis Chávez
Successor Arturo Rivera
Other posts Bishop of Santiago de María (1974-1977)
Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador (1970-1974)
Orders
Ordination 4 April 1942
Consecration 21 June 1970
by Girolamo Prigione
Personal details
Birth name Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez
Born (1917-08-15)15 August 1917
Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador
Died 24 March 1980(1980-03-24) (aged 62)
San Salvador
Buried San Salvador Cathedral
Denomination Roman Catholic
Parents Santos Romero & Guadalupe de Jésus Galdámez
Motto Sentire cum Ecclesia (Feel with the Church)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Sainthood
Feast day 24 March (Anglican Communion, Lutheranism)
Venerated in
  • Anglican Communion
  • Lutheranism
Title as Saint Servant of God, Martyr (Roman Catholicism)
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Romero and the second or maternal family name is Galdámez.

Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez (15 August 1917 – 24 March 1980)[1] was a bishop of the Catholic Church in El Salvador. He became the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, succeeding Luis Chávez, and spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture.[2] Romero was assassinated while offering Mass in 1980.

In 1997, Pope John Paul II bestowed upon him the title of Servant of God, and a cause for beatification and canonization was opened for the assassinated bishop. As the canonization process continues, some[who?] consider Romero an unofficial patron saint of the Americas and/or El Salvador; Catholics in El Salvador often refer to him as "San Romero". Even outside of Catholicism, Romero is honored by other Christian denominations, including the Church of England and Anglican Communion through the Calendar in Common Worship, as well as in at least one Lutheran liturgical calendar. Archbishop Romero is one of the ten 20th-century martyrs depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey in London, a testament to the widespread respect of Christians throughout the world.[3] In 2008, Europe-based magazine A Different View included Romero among its 15 Champions of World Democracy.[4]

Early life[edit]

Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez was born on 15 August 1917,[5] to Santos Romero and Guadalupe de Jésus Galdámez in Ciudad Barrios in the San Miguel department of El Salvador.[6] On 11 May 1919, at the age of one, Óscar was baptised into the Catholic Church by Fr. Cecilio Morales.[7] He had 5 brothers and 2 sisters: Gustavo, Zaída, Rómulo, Mamerto, Arnoldo and Gaspar, and Aminta (who died shortly after birth).[8] He lived in a country where 40% of the land was owned by 13 families. The church was being persecuted at this time and many were being killed or assassinated.

He could often be found at one of the town's two churches during his free time. At age seven, Romero came down with an unknown life-threatening illness, from which he eventually recovered.

Romero entered (government funded) public school, which offered only grades one through three. When finished with public school, Romero was privately tutored by Anita Iglesias,[9] until the age of thirteen.[10] Óscar's father, Santos, had been training Romero in carpentry.[11] Romero showed exceptional proficiency as an apprentice. Santos wanted to offer his son the skill of a trade, because in El Salvador studies seldom led to employment.

Priesthood[edit]

He entered the minor seminary in San Miguel at the age of thirteen, was promoted to the national seminary in San Salvador; and completed his studies at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he received a Licentiate in Theology. He was ordained in Rome on 4 April 1942.[12] Unfortunately, his family could not attend his ordination because of WWII travel restrictions.[1] Romero remained in Italy to obtain a doctoral degree in theology which specialized in ascetical theology. Before finishing, in 1943 at the age of 26, he was summoned back home from Fascist Italy by the bishop. He traveled home with his good friend Father Valladares, who was also doing doctoral work in Rome. On the route home they made stops in Spain and Cuba, being detained by Cuban police for having come from Benito Mussolini's Italy and were placed in an internment camp. After several months in prison, Valladares became sick and some priests of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer helped to have the two transferred to a hospital. From the hospital, they were released from Cuban custody and allowed back home, where they sailed for Mexico and then back home to El Salvador.

Romero worked as a parish priest in Anamorós, but then moved to San Miguel where he worked for over 20 years.[12] He promoted various apostolic groups, started an Alcoholics Anonymous group, helped in the construction of San Miguel's cathedral and supported devotion to the Our Lady of Peace. He was later appointed Rector of the inter-diocese seminary in San Salvador. In 1966, he began his public life when chosen to be the Secretary of the Bishops Conference for El Salvador. He also became the director of the archdiocesan newspaper Orientación, which became fairly conservative while he was editor, defending the traditional magisterium of the Catholic Church.

In 1970, he was appointed auxiliary bishop to San Salvador Archbishop Luis Chávez y González. In 1974 he was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Santiago de María, a poor, rural region.[12]

Archbishop[edit]

A bust of Óscar Romero

On 23 February 1977, he was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador. His appointment was met with surprise, dismay, and even incredulity.[citation needed] While this appointment was welcomed by the government, many priests were disappointed, especially those openly aligning with Marxism. The progressive priests feared that his conservative reputation would negatively affect liberation theology's commitment to the poor.

On 12 March 1977, Rutilio Grande, a progressive Jesuit priest and personal friend of Romero who had been creating self-reliance groups among the poor campesinos, was assassinated. His death had a profound impact on Romero, who later stated, "When I looked at Rutilio lying there dead I thought, 'If they have killed him for doing what he did, then I too have to walk the same path'".[13] Romero urged the government to investigate, but they ignored his request. Furthermore, the censored press remained silent.[14]

Tension was noted by the closure of schools and the lack of Catholic priests invited to participate in government. In response to Fr. Rutilio's murder, Romero revealed a radicalism that had not been evident earlier. Traditionally, the church had been seen as complicit in the aims of the state and military to privilege the wealthy and powerful while the majority of the population remained in abject poverty.[citation needed] He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations and torture.[2]

In 1979, the Revolutionary Government Junta came to power amidst a wave of human rights abuses by paramilitary right-wing groups and the government in an escalation of violence that would become the Salvadoran Civil War. Romero criticized the United States for giving military aid to the new government and wrote to President Jimmy Carter in February 1980, warning that increased US military aid would "undoubtedly sharpen the injustice and the political repression inflicted on the organized people, whose struggle has often been for their most basic human rights". Carter, concerned that El Salvador would become "another Nicaragua", ignored Romero's pleas and continued military aid to the Salvadoran government.[citation needed]

As a result of his humanitarian efforts, Romero began to be noticed internationally. In February 1980, he was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Louvain. On his visit to Europe to receive this honor, he met Pope John Paul II and expressed his concerns at what was happening in his country. Romero argued that it was problematic to support the Salvadoran government because it legitimized terror and assassinations.[14]

Statements on persecution of the Church[edit]

Óscar Romero (pastel)

Archbishop Romero denounced the persecution of members of the Catholic Church who had worked on behalf of the poor:[15]

In less than three years, more than fifty priests have been attacked, threatened, calumniated. Six are already martyrs—they were murdered. Some have been tortured and others expelled [from the country]. Nuns have also been persecuted. The archdiocesan radio station and educational institutions that are Catholic or of a Christian inspiration have been attacked, threatened, intimidated, even bombed. Several parish communities have been raided. If all this has happened to persons who are the most evident representatives of the Church, you can guess what has happened to ordinary Christians, to the campesinos, catechists, lay ministers, and to the ecclesial base communities. There have been threats, arrests, tortures, murders, numbering in the hundreds and thousands....

But it is important to note why [the Church] has been persecuted. Not any and every priest has been persecuted, not any and every institution has been attacked. That part of the church has been attacked and persecuted that put itself on the side of the people and went to the people's defense. Here again we find the same key to understanding the persecution of the church: the poor.

—Óscar Romero, Speech at the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, Feb. 2, 1980.

Popular radio sermons[edit]

By the time of his death, Archbishop Romero had built up an enormous following among Salvadorans. He did this largely through broadcasting his weekly sermon across El Salvador.[16] In these sermons, he listed disappearances, tortures, murders and much more each Sunday.[16] This was followed by an hour long speech on radio the following day. On the importance of these broadcasts, one writer noted "The archbishop's Sunday sermon was the main source in El Salvador about what was happening.... It was estimated to have the largest listenership of any programme in the country".[16] Similarly, his diocesan weekly paper Orientacion carried lists of cases of torture and repression every week.[16]

Spiritual life[edit]

Romero noted in his diary on 4 February 1943: "In recent days the Lord has inspired in me a great desire for holiness.... I have been thinking of how far a soul can ascend if it lets itself be possessed entirely by God." Commenting on this passage, James R. Brockman, S.J., Romero's biographer and author of Romero: A Life, said that "All the evidence available indicates that he continued on his quest for holiness until the end of his life. But he also matured in that quest." [17]

According to Brockman, Romero's spiritual journey had some of these characteristics:

  1. love for the Church of Rome, shown by his episcopal motto, "to be of one mind with the Church," a phrase he took from St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises;
  2. a tendency to make a very deep examination of conscience;
  3. an emphasis on sincere piety;
  4. mortification and penance through his duties;
  5. providing protection for his chastity;
  6. spiritual direction (Romero said he "entrusted with great satisfaction the spiritual direction of my life and that of other priests" to priests of Opus Dei);
  7. "being one with the Church incarnated in this people which stands in need of liberation";
  8. eagerness for contemplative prayer and finding God in others;
  9. fidelity to the will of God;
  10. self-offering to Jesus Christ.

Assassination[edit]

Photo that appeared in El País on 7 November 2009 with the information that the state of El Salvador recognized its responsibility in the crime[18]

Romero was shot on 24 March 1980 while celebrating Mass,[19][20] at a small chapel located in a hospital called "La Divina Providencia",[21] one day after a sermon in which he had called on Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to obey God's higher order and to stop carrying out the government's repression and violations of basic human rights. As soon as he finished his sermon, Romero proceeded to the middle of the altar and at that moment he was shot.[22][citation needed]

Funeral[edit]

Romero was buried in the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador (Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador). The funeral mass (rite of visitation and requiem) on 30 March 1980, in San Salvador was attended by more than 250,000 mourners from all over the world. Viewing this attendance as a protest, Jesuit priest John Dear has said, "Romero’s funeral was the largest demonstration in Salvadoran history, some say in the history of Latin America."

At the funeral, Cardinal Corripio Ahumada, speaking as the personal delegate of Pope John Paul II, eulogized Romero as a "beloved, peacemaking man of God", and stated that "his blood will give fruit to brotherhood, love and peace."[23]

During the ceremony, smoke bombs exploded on the streets near the cathedral and subsequently there were rifle-fire shots that came from surrounding buildings, including the National Palace. Many people were killed by gunfire and in the stampede of people running away from the explosions and gunfire; official sources talk of 31 overall casualties, while journalists indicated between 30 and 50 died.[24] Some witnesses claimed it was government security forces that threw bombs into the crowd, and army sharpshooters, dressed as civilians, that fired into the chaos from the balcony or roof of the National Palace. However, there are contradictory accounts as to the course of the events and "probably, one will never know the truth about the interrupted funeral."[24]

Twenty-five years later, the BBC recalled the scene:

Tens of thousands of mourners who had gathered for Romero's funeral Mass in front of the cathedral in San Salvador were filmed fleeing in terror as army gunners on the rooftops around the square opened fire.... One person who was there told us that piles of shoes were left behind by those who escaped with their lives.

As the gunfire continued, Romero's body was buried in a crypt beneath the sanctuary. Even after the burial, people continued to line up to pay homage to their martyred prelate.[1][25][26][27][28]

International reaction[edit]

Archbishop Romero's assassination received considerable attention across the world.

Ireland[edit]

All sections of Irish political and religious life condemned his assassination, with the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Lenihan 'expressing shock and revulsion at the murder of Dr Romero',[29] while the leader of the Trócaire charity, Eamon Casey, revealing that he had received a letter from Romero that very day.[30] The previous October parliamentarians had given their support to the nomination that Archbishop Romero receive the Nobel Prize for Peace.[30] In March each year since the 1980s, the Irish-El Salvador Support Committee holds a mass in honour of Archbishop Romero.[31]

United Kingdom[edit]

In October 1978 119 British parliamentarians had nominated Romero for the Nobel Prize for Peace. In this they were supported by 26 members of the United States Congress.[16] When news of his assassination was reported, the new head of the Church of England, Robert Runcie, was about to be enthroned in Canterbury Cathedral. On hearing of Romero's death, one writer observed that Runcie "departed from the ancient traditions to decry the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador".[32]

Investigations into the assassination[edit]

No persons were ever prosecuted for the assassination. No persons or organizations ever confessed to it or took credit for it, and no one ever came forward with a claim to have any inside knowledge of the event.

It is widely believed that the assassins were members of a death squad led by former Major Roberto D'Aubuisson. This view was supported by ex-US ambassador Robert White, who in 1986 reported to the United States Congress that "there was sufficient evidence" to convict D'Aubuisson of planning and ordering Archbishop Romero's assassination.[33] It was also supported in 1993 by an official U.N. report, which identified D'Aubuisson as the man who ordered the killing.[24] It is believed that D'aubisson had strong connections to the Nicaraguan National Guard and to its offshoot the Fifteenth of September Legion[34] and had also planned to overthrow the government in a coup. Later he founded the political party Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), and organized death squads that systematically carried out politically motivated assassinations and other human rights abuses in El Salvador. Álvaro Rafael Saravia, a former captain in the Salvadoran Air Force, was chief of security for Roberto D'Aubuisson and an active member of these death squads. In 2003, a U.S. human rights organization, the Center for Justice and Accountability, filed a civil action against Saravia. In 2004, he was found liable by a US District Court under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) (28 U.S.C. § 1350) for aiding, conspiring, and participating in the assassination of Archbishop Romero. Saravia was ordered to pay 10 million dollars for extrajudicial killing and crimes against humanity pursuant to the ATCA.[35] On 24 March 2010—the thirtieth anniversary of Romero's death—Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes offered an official state apology for Romero's assassination. Speaking before Romero's family, representatives of the Catholic Church, diplomats, and government officials, Funes said those involved in the assassination "…unfortunately acted with the protection, collaboration or participation of state agents". [36]

Legacy[edit]

International recognition[edit]

During his first visit to El Salvador in 1983, Pope John Paul II entered the cathedral in San Salvador and prayed at Romero's tomb, despite opposition from the government and from within the Church. Afterwards, the Pope praised Archbishop Romero as "a zealous and venerated pastor who tried to stop violence. I ask that his memory be always respected, and let no ideological interest try to distort his sacrifice as a pastor given over to his flock." John Paul II also asked for dialogue between the government and opposition to end El Salvador's civil war.[37]

On May 7, 2000, in Rome's Colosseum during the Jubilee Year celebrations Pope John Paul II commemorated twentieth-century martyrs. Of the several categories of martyrs, the seventh consisted of Christians who were killed for defending their brethren in the Americas. Despite the opposition of some within the Church, John Paul II insisted that Archbishop Romero be included. He asked the organizers of the event to proclaim Romero "that great witness of the Gospel."[38]

On 21 December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 March as the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims which recognizes, in particular, the important work and values of Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero.[citation needed]

On 22 March 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama visited Romero's tomb during an official visit to El Salvador (his last stop on a Latin American tour).[39]

President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins visited the Cathedral and Tomb of Archbishop Romero on 25 October 2013 during a state visit to El Salvador.[40][41]

Canonization proposal[edit]

In 1990, on the tenth anniversary of the assassination, the sitting prelate archbishop of San Salvador, Msgr. Arturo Rivera, appointed a postulator to prepare documentation for a cause of beatification and canonization of Romero. The documents were formally accepted by Pope John Paul II and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 1997, and Romero was given the title of "Servant of God". The process continues today with further investigation of the heroism and martyrdom of Romero. Upon the declaration of heroism and martyrdom, it is expected that Romero will achieve the title of "Venerable." If the decree finds that Romero was a martyr, there would be no further obstacles to his beatification. A declaration of only heroic virtue, however, would require that a miracle must be attributed to Romero in order for him to be declared Blessed.[42]

Three decades after Romero's assassination, the canonization cause is still pending. In March 2005, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, the Vatican official in charge of the drive, announced that Romero's cause had cleared a theological audit by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at the time headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later elected Pope Benedict XVI) and that beatification could follow within six months.[43] Pope John Paul II died within weeks of those remarks. Predictably, the transition of the new Pontiff slowed down the work of canonizations and beatifications. Pope Benedict XVI additionally instituted liturgical changes that had the overall effect of reining in the Vatican's so-called "factory of saints."[44] Later that year, an October 2005 interview by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, was asked if Msgr. Paglia's predictions checked out. Cardinal Saraiva responded, "Not as far as I know today."[45] In November 2005, a Jesuit magazine signaled that Romero's beatification was still "years away."[46]

Many[who?] suspect that the delay in the declaration of heroism and martyrdom is due to the fact that Romero is closely tied to, but not directly involved with, the liberation theology movement espoused especially by the Jesuits of Latin America.[citation needed] The charge has been dismissed by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints which has pointed out that Romero has not yet met certain criteria to move on to the next levels of the inquests, processes which have historically taken decades to roll into motion.[citation needed]

In 2013, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has stated that the Vatican doctrinal office has been "given the greenlight" to pursue sainthood for Romero.[47]

In 2014, Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, said that the canonization process is in its final stages.[48]

On Monday, May 19, 2014, an online news story article appearing on the Catholic News Service (CNS) website homepage stated that the incumbent Archbishop of San Salvador, Jose Escobar Alas, and three other Salvadoran Catholic bishops, meeting with Pope Francis, urged him to come to San Salvador to personally beatify Archbishop Romero if and when he is beatified. To be beatified, a posthumous, usually an unexplainable medical, miracle (verified by the prelate members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints after an archdiocesan and Vatican-based medical and theological investigation, and signed by the Pope) would need to be attributed to an intercession to him, or alternatively, he could be declared a martyr or the Pope could, extremely rarely, use his right to waive both of these requirements for beatification, which somewhat like canonization, is meant to be a definitive statement about his sanctity. The controversy, beyond any concerns about the pace of his beatification and credentials being met, alluded to in the article and in the preceding paragraphs, is whether his assassination was solely out of hatred for the faith (the requirement for martyrdom), or was influenced by politics, liberation theology, or by his vocal criticisms of the regime at the time during the civil war.[49]

On August 18, 2014 Pope Francis said that "The process [of beatification of Romero] was at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, blocked “for prudential reasons”, so they said. Now it is unblocked." Pope Francis stated that "There are no doctrinal problems and it is very important that [the beatification] is done quickly".[50][51][52]

In popular culture[edit]

Institutions[edit]

  • The Romero Institute is named after Archbishop Romero in remembrance of his long battle for justice and dignity for the oppressed. Based in Santa Cruz, California, the Romero Institute is a nonprofit law and public policy center focused on strategic litigation, public education, and legal counseling to identify and combat structural sources of injustice and inequality. The institute is headed by Chief Counsel Daniel Sheehan and Executive Director Sara Nelson, and is a successor of their older social justice project, the Christic Institute.
  • The Romero Centre in Dublin is today an important centre that 'promotes Development Education, Arts, Crafts and Awareness about El Salvador.'[53]
  • The Christian Initiative Romero is a non-profit organisation in Germany working in support of industrial law and human rights in Central American countries.[54]
  • Edmonton Catholic School System named in 2004 a High School in west Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Archbishop Oscar Romero High School.
  • A secondary school in the town of Hoorn, The Netherlands, is named after Archbishop Oscar Romero.

Television and film[edit]

  • The film Romero (1989) was based on the Archbishop's life story. It was directed by John Duigan and starred Raúl Juliá and was produced by Paulist Productions (a film company run by the Paulist Fathers, a Roman Catholic society of priests). Timed for release ten years after Romero's death, it was the first Hollywood feature film ever to be financed by the order. The film received respectful, if less than enthusiastic, reviews. Roger Ebert typified the critics who acknowledged that "The film has a good heart, and the Juliá performance is an interesting one, restrained and considered.... The film's weakness is a certain implacable predictability."[55]
  • Oliver Stone's 1986 film, Salvador, contains a dramatisation of the assassination of Archbishop Romero (played in the movie by José Carlos Ruiz). The film tells the story of photojournalist Richard Boyle (James Woods), who undergoes a spiritual conversion while covering the death squad killings in El Salvador during the Civil War.
  • Romero was also featured in the made-for-TV movie Choices of the Heart (NBC, 1983, René Enríquez as Romero) about the murder of four U.S. churchwomen in El Salvador.
  • Romero was depicted in two biopics about Pope John Paul II, the U.S. television biopic Have No Fear: The Life of Pope John Paul II (ABC, 2005, Joaquim de Almeida as Romero), and the Italian biopic Karol, una papa rimasto uomo (English translation for Canadian TV Karol: The Pope, The Man) 2006, Carlos Kaniowsky as Romero).
  • In 2005, while at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Daniel Freed,[56] an independent documentary filmmaker, and frequent contributor to PBS and CNBC, made a 30-minute film entitled The Murder of Monseñor[57] which not only documented Romero's assassination; but also told the story of how Álvaro Rafael Saravia — whom a US District court found, in 2004, had personally organized the assassination — moved to the United States and lived for 25 years as a used car sales­man in Modesto, California until he became aware of the pending legal action against him in 2003 and disappeared, leaving behind his drivers license and social security card, as well as his credit cards, and his dog.
  • The Daily Show episode on 17 March 2010 showed clips from the Texas State Board of Education in which "a panel of experts" recommended including Romero in the state's history books [2], but an amendment proposed by Patricia Hardy [3] to exclude Romero was passed on 10 March 2010. The clip of Ms. Hardy shows her arguing against including Romero because "I guarantee you most of you did not know who Oscar Romero was" and "I just happen to think it's not [important]". Romero has also had a house at Cardijn College named after him.
  • A film about the Archbishop, Monseñor, the Last Journey of Óscar Romero, had its U.S. premiere in 2010. It was sponsored by ecclesial and human rights groups from Latin America and from North America.[58] In her essay in The New York Review of Books, the film is described by Alma Guillermoprieto as a "hagiography," and as "an astonishing compilation of footage" of the final three years of his life.[59]

Visual arts[edit]

From the Gallery of 20th-century martyrs at Westminster Abbey- Mother Elizabeth of Russia, Rev. Martin Luther King, Archbishop Óscar Romero and Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • A statue of Óscar Romero sculpted by John Roberts fills a prominent niche on the western facade of Westminster Abbey in London. The statue was unveiled in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II in 1998. Barry Woods Johnston sculpted the statue of Óscar Romero displayed in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Italian sculptor Paolo Borghi crafted the catafalque that covers Romero's tomb in the crypt of the San Salvador cathedral and shows Romero "sleeping the sleep of the just" as four Evangelists stand guard.
  • Br. Robert Lentz, OFM, painted a now-famous "icon" of Archbishop Romero based on traditional Church iconography but with updated conventional elements. For example, traditional angels are replaced with military helicopters over red tiled roofs. Frank Diaz Escalet executed a series of "outsider art" paintings of Archbishop Romero, now exhibited in the permanent collection of the Organization of American States Museum, in Washington, D.C.; the permanent collection of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, Texas; the Ella Noel Museum of Odessa, Texas; and the Maryknoll galleries in New York.

Poetry and song[edit]

  • The most famous reference to Romero's death in Spanish-language songs is "El Padre Antonio y su Monaguillo Andrés" ("Father Anthony and Acolyte Andrew"), written and sung by Panamanian Rubén Blades. This song describes the arrival in a Latin American country of an idealistic Spanish priest (a fictional representation of Archbishop Romero), his sermons condemning violence there, his talks about love and justice, and, finally, the murders of the priest and acolyte during a mass. Blades has said he wrote this song so that "the death of Romero is not forgotten."[citation needed]
  • In 1981, Brazilian classical composer Jorge Antunes wrote a choral-symphonic work entitled "Elegia Violeta para Monsenhor Romero" ("Violet Elegy for Monsignor Romero") using texts from Che Guevara, Vassili Vassilikos, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Psalms, and Archbishop Romero himself as lyrics. The work finishes with the children's choir repeating, each time more strongly, "¡No se mata la justicia!" ("Justice cannot be killed!": the very words in which Archbishop Romero replied to a Brazilian reporter's question whether the archbishop were afraid he'd be killed because of his defense of the poor and his protest against the murders of priests) – until their voices are muted by seemingly panicked, syncopated instrumental sounds.
  • Brazilian Bishop Dom Pedro Casaldáliga immortalized Romero as "San Romero de América" ("Saint Romero of the Americas") in a famous poem by that name written shortly after the archbishop's assassination. The poem, a variation on the Angelus, popularized the use of the phrase "San Romero" (instead of "Saint Oscar") throughout Latin America (and, for example, in Escalet's "San Romero" paintings or in the "San Romero de América" UCC Church in New York City).
  • Welsh singer-songwriter Dafydd Iwan wrote about Romero's assassination in the song "Oscar Romero".[60]
  • "Eulogy For Oscar Romero" is an instrumental piece composed and performed by Jean-Luc Ponty.
  • "The Marching Song of the Covert Battalions," the third track on Billy Bragg's 1990 album The Internationale, pays homage to Romero.
  • Romero is mentioned in the song "Same Thing" by the American alternative hip hop band Flobots.
  • The British songwriter/preacher Garth Hewitt recorded a song about Oscar Romero on his 1985 Alien Brain album.
  • The 2012 special event album "Martyrs Prayers" by The Project contains a track called "Romero" with lyrics consisting entirely of Óscar Romero's documented prayers. The accompaniment short film for the song uses footage issued by The University Of Notre Dame, stewards of the documentary footage for Monseñor: The Last Journey Of Óscar Romero.[61]
  • Christy Moore mentions Archbishop Romero in his song 'Casey'.

See also[edit]

Catholic priests assassinated in El Salvador during and after Óscar Romero's time as archbishop (1977–1980):

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Romero biography". Kellogg Institute, Notre Dame University. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  2. ^ a b Eaton, Helen-May (1991). The impact of the Archbishop Oscar Romero's alliance with the struggle for liberation of the Salvadoran people: A discussion of church-state relations (El Salvador) (M.A. thesis) Wilfrid Laurier University
  3. ^ "Westminster Abbey: Oscar Romero". Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  4. ^ A Different View, Issue 19, January 2008.
  5. ^ Edward S. Mihalkanin, Robert F. Gorman; Scarecrow Press (2009). The A to Z of Human Rights and Humanitarian Organizations. books.google.com. p. 220. ISBN 978-0810868748. 
  6. ^ Mario Bencastro; Arte Público Press (1996). A Shot in the Cathedral. books.google.com. p. 182. ISBN 978-1558851641. 
  7. ^ James R. Brockman (1989). Romero: A Life. Orbis Books. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-88344-652-2. The child was almost two years old before he was baptized in the church across the square by Father Cecilio Morales on May ... 
  8. ^ James R. Brockman (2005). Romero: A Life. Orbis Books. p. Gustavo, Oscar Arnulfo her second. Then followed Zaida, Romulo (who died in 1939, while Oscar was studying in Rome), Mamerto, Arnoldo, and Gaspar. A daughter, Aminta, died at birth. Their father also had at least one illegitimate child,. ISBN 978-1-57075-599-6. 
  9. ^ James R. Brockman (1982). The Word Remains: A Life of Oscar Romero. Orbis Books. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-88344-364-4. 
  10. ^ James R. Brockman (2005). Romero: A Life. Orbis Books. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-57075-599-6. The office was in the Romero home on the plaza, and the Romero children delivered letters and telegrams in the town. ... After that his parents sent him to study under a teacher named Anita Iglesias until he was twelve or thirteen.7 The boy's... 
  11. ^ Robert Royal (2000). The Catholic martyrs of the twentieth century: a comprehensive world history. Crossroad Pub. p. 279. ISBN 978-0-8245-1846-2. 
  12. ^ a b c "Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero", International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims
  13. ^ Michael A. Hayes (Chaplain); Tombs, David (April 2001). "Truth and memory: the Church and human rights in El Salvador and Guatemala". Gracewing Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85244-524-2. .
  14. ^ a b http://www.infed.org/thinkers/oscar_romero.htm
  15. ^ Oscar Romero, Voice of the Voiceless: The Four Pastoral Letters and Other Statements (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1985), pp. 177-187.
  16. ^ a b c d e Peadar Kirby, 'A Thoroughgoing Reformer', 26 March 1980, The Irish Times
  17. ^ James Brockman, S.J. "The Spiritual Journey of Oscar Romero". Spirituality Today. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  18. ^ Spanish newspaper El País http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/Salvador/hace/responsable/crimen/arzobispo/Romero/elpepuint/20091107elpepuint_8/Tes retrieved on 7 November 2009
  19. ^ Mayra Gómez (2 October 2003). Human Rights in Cuba, El Salvador, and Nicaragua: A Sociological Perspective on Human Rights Abuse. Taylor & Francis. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-415-94649-0. The following day, Archbishop Oscar Romero was shot dead in front of a full congregation as he was delivering mass (AI ... 
  20. ^ Henry Settimba (1 March 2009). Testing Times: Globalisation and Investing Theology in East Africa. AuthorHouse. p. 223. ISBN 978-1-4678-9899-7. 
  21. ^ 13°42′40″N 89°13′25″W / 13.7111°N 89.2237°W / 13.7111; -89.2237
  22. ^ Julian Miglierini (24 March 2010). "El Salvador marks Archbishop Oscar Romero's murder". BBC News. 
  23. ^ "El Salvador: Something Vile in This Land". Time Magazine. April 14, 1980. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c Morozzo p. 351-2, 354, 364
  25. ^ "Chronology". Chronology of the Salvadoran Civil War, Kellogg Institute, University of Notre Dame. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  26. ^ Walsh, Maurice (March 23, 2005). "Requiem for Romero". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  27. ^ John Dear. "Oscar Romero, Presente!". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  28. ^ Christopher Dickey. "40 Killed in San Salvador: 40 Killed at Rites For Slain Prelate; Bombs, Bullets Disrupt Archbishop's Funeral". Washington Post Foreign Service. pp. A1. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  29. ^ 'Three ministers flee El Salvador, 29 March 1980
  30. ^ a b 'Romero letter received on day of killing;, 26 March 1980, The Irish Times
  31. ^ 'Permission given for Romero mass', 30 March 2007, The Irish Times
  32. ^ 'Runcie urges charity', 26 March 1980, The Irish Times
  33. ^ Nordland, Rod (March 23, 1984), "How 2 rose to vie for El Salvador's presidency", Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA): A1 
  34. ^ Webb, Gary (1999). Dark Alliance. Seven Stories Press. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-888363-93-7. 
  35. ^ Doe v. Rafael Saravia, 348 F. Supp. 2d 1112 (E.D. Cal. 2004). The documentation from this case provides an excellent account of the events leading up, and subsequent, to Archbishop Romero's death.
  36. ^ "Official El Salvador apology for Oscar Romero's murder". BBC News. 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2010-03-25. The archbishop, he said, was a victim of right-wing death squads "who unfortunately acted with the protection, collaboration or participation of state agents". 
  37. ^ Paul D. Newpower, M.M., and Stephen T. DeMott, M.M. (June 1983). ":"Pope John Paul II in Central America: What Did His Trip Accomplish?"". St. Anthony Messenger. United States. Retrieved 2013-01-01. The pontiff went on to proclaim Archbishop Romero as "a zealous and venerated pastor who tried to stop violence. I ask that his memory be always respected, and let no ideological interest try to distort his sacrifice as a pastor given over to his flock." The right-wing groups did not want to hear that. They portray Romero as one who stirred the poor to violence. The other papal gesture that drew diverse reactions in El Salvador and rankled the Reagan administration was the pope's use of the word dialogue in talking about steps toward ending the civil war. A month before John Paul II journeyed to Central America, U.S. government representatives visited the Vatican and El Salvador to persuade Church officials to have the pope mention elections rather than dialogue. 
  38. ^ Dziwisz, Stanislaw Life with Karol: My Forty-Year Friendship with the Man Who Became Pope , p. 217-218, Doubleday Religion, 2008 ISBN 0385523742
  39. ^ "Obama en El Salvador: una visita cargada de simbolismo". BBC MUNDO. 2011-03-22. Retrieved 2011-03-22. El Salvador fue la etapa más llena de simbolismo de la gira por América Latina del presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama. 
  40. ^ Coinní Poiblí ag an Uachtarán Mícheál D. Ó hUigínn don tseachtain dar tús 21 Deireadh Fómhair, 2013 Áras an Uachtaráin, 2013-10-21.
  41. ^ President Higgins visits Archbishop Romero's tomb in El Salvador RTÉ News, 2013-10-26.
  42. ^ "The Making of a Saint: A Interview with Msgr. Robert Sarno". Lay Witness. Nov–Dec 2004. 
  43. ^ "Catholic World News : Beatification cause advanced for Archbishop Romero". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  44. ^ "Will the Pope ever make fewer saints?". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  45. ^ "30Days - Blessed among their people, Interview with Cardinal José Saraiva Martins". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  46. ^ "CNS STORY: Magazine says Archbishop Romero was killed for actions of faith". Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  47. ^ Hafiz, Yasmine (10 September 2013). "Welcome Back Liberation Theology". Huffington Post. 
  48. ^ http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2671981&Itemid=1
  49. ^ http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1402035.htm
  50. ^ Pope lifts beatification ban on Salvadoran Oscar Romero
  51. ^ Romero’s beatification cause was “unblocked” by two Popes
  52. ^ IN-FLIGHT PRESS CONFERENCE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FROM KOREA TO ROME
  53. ^ The United Nations Honours Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador
  54. ^ "About us". Christliche Initiative Romero e.V. Retrieved 5 April 2013. 
  55. ^ Romero by Roger Ebert 2008-04-14
  56. ^ Freed, Daniel. "About Daniel Freed". The "About" page. The Daniel Freed website. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  57. ^ Freed, Daniel. "The Murder of Monseñor". A 30-minute documentary film (2005). The Daniel Freed Website. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  58. ^ "Romero Days 24–29 March 2010". Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  59. ^ Guillermoprieto, Alma (27 May 2010). "Death Comes for the Archbishop". The New York Review of Books LVII (9): 41–2. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  60. ^ James, E. Wyn (2005). "Painting the World Green: Dafydd Iwan and the Welsh Protest Ballad". Folk Music Journal 8 (5): 594–618. 
  61. ^ [1] The Official Website Of The Project

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Luis Chávez
Archbishop of San Salvador
1977–1980
Succeeded by
Arturo Rivera