Historical Memory, Liberation Theology, romero

Recordando a San Romero: 40 Años de Inspiración y Esperanza

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romero3Oscar Arnulfo Romero nació el 15 de agosto de 1917 en Ciudad Barrios, Departamento de San Miguel. Al terminar sus estudios básicos se dedicó al aprendizaje de carpintería y a la música. En 1930 a los trece años de edad, ingresó al seminario menor en San Miguel y luego, en 1937, se mudó a Roma donde terminó sus estudios teológicos en la Universidad Gregoriana, el día 4 de abril de 1942. Regresó a El Salvador en 1943, y fue asignado a la parroquia de Anamorós, un pueblo cerca de San Miguel. En 1966, es nombrado Secretario de la Conferencia de Obispos en El Salvador, cargo en el cual permaneció por once años. En 1970, es nombrado Obispo y el 3 de febrero de 1977, la Iglesia Católica en el Vaticano bajo el mando del Papa Pablo VI, lo nombró Arzobispo de San Salvador.

Durante los siguientes tres años se desempeñó como Arzobispo de San Salvador, por ese tiempo el país se embarcaba en una guerra civil, de las más sangrientas de América Latina. Uno de los hechos más dolorosos para Monseñor Romero fue el asesinato de su amigo, el sacerdote Rutilio Grande, tras el asesinato del padre Grande, Monseñor Romero se convierte un férreo defensor de los derechos humanos. Su incansable lucha en la defensa de los más pobres lo convirtió en una poderosa voz de denuncia contra la represión que sufría el pueblo, al punto de ser considerado “La Voz de los Sin Voz.”

Sus palabras siguen resonando:

“La persecución es algo necesario en la Iglesia. ¿Saben porqué? Porque la verdad siempre es perseguida.” (Homilía 29 -05-1977)

“Mi voz desaparecerá, pero mi palabra que es Cristo quedará en los
corazones que lo hayan querido acoger.” (Homilía 17-12-78)

“… Les suplico, les ruego, les ordeno en nombre de Dios: ¡cese la represión!” (Homilía 23-03-80)

“Es inconcebible que se diga a alguien cristiano y no tome como Cristo una opción preferencial por los pobres.” (Homilía 9-09-1979)

“Si me matan resucitaré en el pueblo salvadoreño.” (Marzo 1980)

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Su palabra y sus acciones como defensor de los pobres y oprimidos lo convirtieron en enemigo de los sectores más conservadores y de la dictadura militar que gobernaba el país, por lo que el 24 de marzo de 1980, mientras celebraba una misa, es asesinado de un certero disparo al corazón. Desde el momento de su muerte Monseñor Romero se convierte en un símbolo universal de la justicia y la paz. El 14 de octubre de 2018, Monseñor Romero fue Canonizado por el Papa Francisco; sin embargo, este hecho solo fue el reconocimiento formal de la iglesia, al pueblo que lo hizo Santo desde el momento de su asesinato.

Para el Movimiento de Comunidades Eclesiales de Base de El Salvador:
Monseñor Romero es grato a Dios porque desenmascaró la mentira histórica de aquel momento que hacía creer que la pobreza y la miseria de las mayorías era voluntad de Dios. Y confesó valientemente la verdad sobre el Dios que mandó a su Hijo Jesucristo a tomar una preferencia sin ambigüedades por los pobres. Así mismo, es el reconocimiento a la justeza de la lucha del pueblo salvadoreño por definir su propio destino.

Ahora, a 40 años de su asesinato, Monseñor Romero es conocido como “San
Romero de América.”


Remembering San Romero: 40 years of Inspiration and Hope

Oscar Arnulfo Romero was born on August 15, 1917 in Ciudad Barrios, Department of San Miguel. After finishing his basic studies he devoted himself to learning carpentry and music. In 1930 at the age of thirteen, he entered the minor seminary in San Miguel and then, in 1937, he moved to Rome where he finished his theology studies at the Gregorian University on April 4, 1942.

He returned to El Salvador in 1943, and was assigned to the parish of Anamorós, a town near San Miguel. In 1966, he was appointed Secretary of the Conference of Bishops in El Salvador, a position in which he remained for eleven years. In 1970, he was appointed Bishop and on February 3, 1977 the Catholic Church, under the command of Pope Paul VI, appointed him Archbishop of San Salvador.

During the following three years he served as Archbishop of San Salvador, the country was embarking on one of the bloodiest civil wars in Latin America. A defining moment for Monsignor Romero was the tragic murder of his friend, priest Rutilio Grande. After the murder of Father Grande, Monsignor Romero became a strong defender of human rights. His tireless fight in defense of the poor made him a powerful voice against the repression suffered by his people, to the point where he was considered to be “The Voice of the Voiceless.”

His words continue to resonate:

“Persecution is something necessary in the Church. Do you know why? Because the truth is always persecuted.” (Homily 29 -05-1977).

“My voice will disappear, but my Word which is Christ will remain in the hearts of those who have chosen to accept him.” (Homily 12-17-78).

“… I beg you, I beseech you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!” (Homily 03-23-80).

“It is inconceivable that some can call themselves Christian without taking, like Christ, a preferential option for the poor.” (Homily 9-09-1979).

“If they kill me, I will rise again in the Salvadoran people” (March-1980).

romero2Needless to say, his word and his actions as a defender of the poor and oppressed made him an enemy of the most conservative sectors and the military dictatorship that governed the country. On March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass, he was assassinated by a sniper’s bullet through the heart. From the moment of his death, Monsignor Romero became a universal symbol of justice and peace.

On October 14, 2018, Monsignor Romero was declared a saint by Pope Francis. However to his people, he became holy at the hour of his death.

For the grassroots Movement of Ecclesial Communities of El Salvador, Monsignor Romero pleased God by unmasking the historical lie that poverty and misery of the people was God’s will. He bravely confessed the truth about the God who sent his Son Jesus Christ to take an unambiguous preference for the poor. Likewise, Romero’s canonization signifies a recognition of the just struggle of the Salvadoran people to define their own destiny.

Now, 40 years after his assassination, Monsignor Romero is known as “Saint Romero of the Americas.”

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Happy 101st Birthday Oscar Romero!

“We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.”
Oscar Romero

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Today we join our Salvadoran family in the commemoration of Oscar Arnulfo Romero’s 101st birthday. May the messages of peace and love that he imparted continue to live on in the hearts and minds of all who love justice.

News Highlights, romero

SAN ROMERO: Ayer, Hoy y Siempre

SAINT ROMERO: Yesterday, Today and Forever

web3-oscar-romero-procession-march-el-salvador-000_was7371671-jose-cabezas-afpOn this date, 38 years ago, the Archbishop of El Salvador was assassinated while giving mass in his own chapel by right wing forces opposed to the people’s revolution of the 1980s. Romero was not a subversive, nor a communist, but one of the greatest examples of a Christian that one can be. READ MORE.

Every year, on and around this date, thousands of Salvadorans and thousands throughout the world commemorate his martyrdom with marches, special masses and prayer ceremonies. Young children are taught about him while the elderly reminisce about his radios sermons that would be transmitted via short and long wave frequencies. His voice and his words helped multitudes during and after the bloody civil war in El Salvador heal and keep moving onward towards the peace that they and he aspired for.

He is, indeed, the World’s Saint and today we commemorate his fierce love amidst times of great hate.

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“Sabemos que todo esfuerzo por mejorar una sociedad, sobre todo cuando está tan metida esa injusticia y el pecado, es un esfuerzo que Dios bendice, que Dios quiere, que Dios nos exige.”
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Celebrating the Life of a Liberation Theologian

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On August 25, Ecclesial Base Communities (CEBES), family members, the Archdiocese of El Salvador and international visitors said their goodbyes to a well-known Liberation Theology priest at the Awakening Center in San Salvador.
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Father Pedro D’ Clercq, though born and raised in Belgium, had spent the past 47 years living and working with the Salvadoran CEBES as one of it’s founders as well as a prolific proponent of Liberation Theology throughout Central America. Although he died peacefully in his sleep after battling lung cancer, he’s already been imprinted in history next to such martyrs as Oscar Romero, Octavia Ortiz, Rutillo Grande and Segundo Montes.

According to the CEB’s he was born in Izegem, Belgium on the 10th of February, 1939.

In June of 1964, Padre Pedro was ordained as a priest by the Roman Catholic Church. He stayed in Belgium as a teacher, until he received the calling to come serve in the Americas, oddly enough, at a soccer game. He began his service in Panama and then came to El Salvador in 1968 where he formed base communities and cooperatives throughout San Salvador, Chalatenango and Usulután.

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In 1977 he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church, due to expressing his critical views on the Salvadoran reality from the pulpit. He moved back to Belgium following the decision and from there formed numerous CEBES, in fact, he had formed CEBES in Panama and Nicaragua as well.

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smallerIMG_8628 smallIMG_8661In 1992, he came back for good, settled in the Bajo Lempa region of Usulután and formed base communities, supported cooperatives, wrote publications, facilitated workshops, and even started a blood bank among many other projects. His writing, “Walking with Jesus and Monsignor Romero,” inspired the faith formation pre-school model of Community Segundo Montes, in Morazán. Padre Pedro, up until the end, tirelessly continued to travel throughout the country visiting and working for the people.

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He often said, “Who would I be without Romero? Who would I be without Rutillo? Who would I be without all the Martyrs? Who would I be without the ecclesial base communities?”

It was apparent, as hundreds came to pay homage to the beloved priest, that he had touched so many lives and hearts and will remain fixed as a man who genuinely loved the Salvadoran people.

(closed captioning in Youtube)