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March 2005
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Oscar Romero: Twenty five years after his death

BBC NEWS Programmes File on 4 Requiem for RomeroTwenty-five years ago today, Archbishop Oscar Romero was shot dead while saying Mass in a small chapel at a cancer hospice in San Salvador, El Salvador. … Oscar Arnulfo Romero’s assassination focused the attention of the world on the scale of repression in the small Central American republic. And at his funeral a few days later, people around the globe saw on their own television screens the kind of political terror that had been unleashed to stop growing demands for change in one of the most unequal societies in Latin America. 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. Forty people were killed. One person who was there told us he remembered the piles of shoes left behind by those who escaped with their lives.

It is rather against the current to have heroes today, but Romero has long been one of mine. I’ve written about him before, so I’m not going to elaborate further here. Read more at the BBC site. I learned about Romero and Liberation Theology, which has become something of a passion for me, at the same time, and it’s difficult to separate the two. A theology that is all about justice and social change? Ending the oppression of the poor? Sound good to you? It does to me.

To tie this in with my post from earlier, Romero wrote to then-president Jimmy Carter not long before he (Romero) was assassinated, asking him to stop providing guns to the El Salvadoran government because they were only being used to kill the people of El Salvador. Guts. Relevance. I like him.