Remembering Archbishop Oscar Romero (August 15, 1917 — Assassinated March 24, 1980) UPDATE 2: Canonisation on October 14 2018

“Let my blood be a seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be reality.”

“Between the powerful and the wealthy, and the poor and vulnerable, who should a pastor side with? I have no doubts. A pastor should stay with his people.”

Archbishop Oscar Romero

“His ministry was distinguished by his particular attention to the most poor and marginalized.”

Pope Francis

“There are clear [evidential] threads on who gave the original order and who paid for the murder that any concerted investigation in El Salvador would absolutely be able to gather enough evidence to prosecute those involved.”

Matt Eisenbrandt — Assassination of a Saint

March 24 2018 — Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez was a prelate of the Catholic Church who served as the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture. Romero was assassinated while offering Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence. No one was ever convicted for the crime. UPDATE (October 11 2018): Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador will be proclaimed Saint on October 14. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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UPDATE II  (October 14 2018) — Pope Francis has conferred sainthood on murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero at a ceremony in the Vatican. The Pope also canonised Pope Paul VI, known for making reforms to the Catholic Church in the 1960s.

“We declare and define Paul VI and Óscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez… to be saints and we enrol them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church,” he told a crowd of 60,000 people, including multiple heads of state.

The pope wore the blood-stained rope belt worn by Archbishop Romero when he was murdered and used the chalice and pastoral staff of Pope Paul VI.

Romero criticised both sides of the El Salvadoran conflict, which started in 1980, for any actions that affected civilians.

When the US-backed Salvadoran army was using death squads and torture to stop leftist revolutionaries from seizing power, he used what would become his last homily to speak out against it.

“The law of God which says thou shalt not kill must come before any human order to kill. It is high time you recovered your conscience,” he said, calling on the National Guard and police to stop the violence.

“I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression.”

The next day, on 24 March 1980, Archbishop Romero was shot dead as he celebrated Mass in a hospital chapel.

His death horrified the world and escalated the violence in El Salvador that spiralled into a 12-year civil war that claimed 75,000 lives.

Many Salvadorans are still angry that 38 years later, Archbishop Romero’s killers have never faced justice because of a 1992 amnesty law. (BBC)

END of UPDATE

The assassination of the archbishop Óscar Romero as he celebrated mass in March 1980 remains one of the most notorious political murders of the 20th century.

“The murder plunged El Salvador into a full-blown civil war which eventually left 80,000 dead and 8,000 disappeared.”  [Guardian — January 2017]

Investigations by the UN-created Truth Commission for El Salvador concluded that extreme-right wing politician and death squad leader Roberto D’Aubuisson had given the order.

In May 1987, the CIA wrote a cable listing the various suspects of this crime. The cable states that, although there is no hard evidence, the allegations against D’Aubuisson are credible.

Chomsky on Oscar Romero

Cold War – Nicaragua, El Salvador, Archbishop Romero

UPDATE (October 11 2018) : Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador will be proclaimed Saint on October 14 2018.

The canonisation of the assassinated archbishop will take place on Sunday in Rome.

For years, conservatives within the church sought to block Romero’s canonisation because of his association with liberation theology, a movement whose followers argued that it was not enough for the church to empathise with and care for the poor. Instead, they said, the church needed to push for political and structural changes to eradicate poverty, even – some believed – if this meant supporting armed struggle against oppressors. (Guardian)

“Oscar Romero is revered in his native El Salvador. He ranks alongside the likes of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi as one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century. His canonisation will give Romero the wider recognition he so richly deserves. He denounced the violence which was tearing his country apart, he spoke out against oppression, and stood against injustice alongside people living in poverty.”

Clare Dixon — Head of the Catholic aid agency Cafod’s Latin America region

REFERENCES

Óscar Romero — Wikipedia

Details of plot to murder archbishop Óscar Romero revealed in new book — Guardian

Update

Salvadoran priest Oscar Romero to be declared saint by Pope Francis — Guardian (October 11 2018)

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Remembering Archbishop Oscar Romero (August 15, 1917 — Assassinated March 24, 1980)

Remembering Archbishop Oscar Romero (August 15, 1917 — Assassinated March 24, 1980) UPDATE : Canonisation on October 14 2018

Remembering Archbishop Oscar Romero (August 15, 1917 — Assassinated March 24, 1980) UPDATE 2: Canonisation on October 14 2018

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