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Oscar Romero, Archbishop of El Salvador

TRUTH

"Live simply and justly in solidarity with the poor and marginalized and be a good neighbor. Make no war on them, rather, be one with them in spirit, truth, and love...Hear the truth when it is spoken to you ...and speak truth to power..."


In 1977,  Archbishop Oscar Romero challenged a tyrannical government in El Salvador to take seriously the cause of the poor, to be fair and compassionate rulers.  For such outspokenness, Romero was denounced by his fellow bishops, despised by the rich and powerful of El Salvador, and generated such enmity that he would be targeted for assassination – shot while performing the Catholic religious ceremony of Mass --- the first bishop slain at the altar since Thomas Becket in the twelfth century.
[photo and paraphrased text from the Gratefulness.org website that provides resources for living in the gentle power of gratefulness, which restores courage, reconciles relationships, and heals our Earth.]

On March 23, 1980, the day before his death, Archbishop Romero appealed directly to the members of the military, calling on them to refuse illegal orders:

"We are your people. The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear the voice of the man commanding you to kill, remember instead the voice of God. Thou Shall Not Kill….In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people whose cries rise up to heaven, I beseech you, I beg you, I command you, stop the repression."

The novel The Weight of All Things by Sandra Benitez (see link below) tells the story well.  Also, consider listening to the audio presentation by Jean-Luc Ponty (see link below).

Biography 1  |  Biography 2 & Photos  |   Biography 3

     


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