May 23, 2015
Oscar Romero, the late Archbishop of San Salvador, will be beatified today. Beatification is the last stage before sainthood. Romero identified with the poor and spoke out against El Salvador’s brutal right-wing military regime. He was assassinated in 1980, shot in the heart while he was saying Mass.
A portion of an article from The Catholic Herald is below. To read the full article, click on the link that follows.
Before an order to kill that a man might give, the law of God must prevail that says: Thou shalt not kill! No soldier is obliged to obey an order against the law of God … in the name of this suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven each day more tumultuous, I beg you, I beseech you, I order you in the name of God, stop the repression.”
These words, carried live on his own radio station to all the nation, are perhaps Archbishop Oscar Romero’s most well known. They were issued from the pulpit of the Sacred Heart Basilica in San Salvador on Sunday March 23, 1980. In effect, they constituted a heartfelt plea to members of the government security forces and their death squads who had been shooting and massacring El Salvador’s poor and dispossessed – men and women whose only crime was to ask that they have a more equitable share of the country’s land and wealth.
Effectively, the sermon was Romero’s death sentence. Within just over 24 hours of uttering these words, he was dead.