ARCC Life  

ARCC Board
President's Messages
Join
Identity
Constitution
Espagnol
Activities
Online News
ARCC News 2012 ARCC News 2013 ARCC News 2014 ARCC News 2015 ARCC News 2016 ARCC News 2017
25 January 2017 Changing the Conversation (170509) Celebrating More Than 50 Years (170509) Conscience-Based Moral Judgments (170509) Dignitaries Humanae (170509) False Views on Jesus' Views on Divorce (170509) Mission and Human Rights (170509) Jesus and the Ordination of Women (170516) 29 May 2017 How much of Church Doctrine do we really believe? (170602) Trump Pulls Out of Paris Agreement (170602) 05 June 2017 Thoughts on Religious Vocations: An Open Letter to Pope Francis (170605) I can't get the institutional church out of my system (170618) 25 June 2017 Just War? Enough Already (170703) What would Teilhard say? Evolve or be annihilated (170710) Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (170719) Religion's Wax Nose (170726) American Civil Religion (170731) A Heresy of the Times (170807) Cardinal Calls for Global Church (170818) The Price of Being a Prophet (170821) The Implosion of the Roman Catholic Church (170902) Reflection on Racism in America (170913) Who am I? Where am I going? (170918) One Priest's Hopes for the Mass Translation (170925) The Edge of the Inside (171002) Selective Christianity (171016) Theology at the Cutting Edge: Healing the Political and Social Divide in America (171016) Resisting Islamophobia Is The Catholic Thing To Do. (171023) It Started With a Letter to the Archbishop (171030) Why Do We Still Tolerate Mass Stipends? (171106) Their Cross to Bear: Catholic Women Told to Forgive (171113) Papal loyalists become dissidents (171120) Echoes of Theocracy (171127) Will Pope Francis Remove the 'Warning'? (171204) Gumbleton on Nuclear Deterrence (171211) The Scandal of the 2011 Missal (171218)
ARCC News 2018
Prophets of a Future Not Our Own (20180101) 2018: Time to Become Ultra-Human? (20180118) Time for a Bonfire of Their Vanities? (20180122) Until All Are Welcome My House, My Rules: 3 Women "Rejected" (20180208) Policing the Communion Line (20180205) A Time to Judge (20180212) Mary McAleese Being Banned is Embarrassing (20180219) Correct, Don't Complicate Excommunication (20180226) Catholic Tradition, Labour, and Organizing Workers (20180305) Misogyny in the Vatican (20180312) The Unofficial Saint of the Internet (20180318) Francis Invites Change, But We Are the Change (20180325) Rediscovering the Role of Mary Magdalene as Apostle of the Apostles (20180401) Synodality and its Perils (20180409) Get rid of the clergy - But keep Holy Orders (20180415) Renewing the Program of Priestly Formation (20180429) Male and Female, in the image and likeness of God (20180506) Wedding Bans: Why Do Parishes Turn Young Couples Away? (20180513) Christian Humanism, the Path to the Divine (20180520) Mary - Prophet and Priest (20180527) A Wake-Up Call to Liberal Theologians (20160603) Canonization is right for Oscar Romero (20180610) Could the Church take a risk? (20180618) AJC expresses "Profound Concern" over beatification (20180624) The Bible's #MeToo Problem (20180701) 'Humanae Vitae' and the census fidelium (20180715) The Catholic Church wasn't always so against contraception (20180722) 50 years later, scientist's findings on birth control... (20180729) #MeToo, Your Excellency The Catholic Church needs a way to deal with bad bishops (20180812) The Catholic Church is tempted by power and obsessed with sex (20180819) Real change against abuse... (20180826) Pope Francis is facing a crisis of justice (20180829) Catholics Are Facing a Very Real Emergency (20180902) Truth and its violent consequences (20180909) The Third Millennial Catholic Reformation (20180917) Reality in an Historical-Critical Perspective (20180923) Both Prudential & Indisputable (20180930) Catholic Crossroads and Catholic Conflict (20181007) Schism or Evolution? (20181015) Theology: Stones or Bread? (20181028) White Christian America (20181102) Stone Throwing. Or Not. (20181104) Young People, Hope for the Church(es) (20181112) Who Represents the Laity? (20181118) Open Letter to the US Catholic Bishops: It's Over (20181125)
Changing Power Relationships
ArCC
ARCC-ive

   

Canonization is right for Oscar Romero (20180610)

Canonization is right for Oscar Romero

Details

Contemporary Catholic Belief and Action

 

Canonization is right for Óscar Romero, 
a true Christian martyr
Charles E. Curran
 
Romero
 
Óscar Romero was appointed archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador, in February 1977. He was not the candidate of the previous archbishop, who thought he was not firm enough in opposition to the violence, oppression and injustice of the right-wing government. Romero himself thought he had to find balance or a middle road between support for the vulnerable and oppressed and political partisanship, but after becoming archbishop, he changed.
What brought about the change? His good friend, Jesuit Fr. Rutilio Grande, was murdered by the government because of his strong support for the oppressed and victims of the government. Romero was already becoming more conscious of the injustice and violence. What many called the "Rutilio miracle" was the reality that brought about his commitment. He recognized that not all those who opposed the government were communists. In fact, most of the poor were fighting injustice in the name of the Gospel.
Romero used many different means to make his position known. In his homilies, weekly magazine articles, and broadcasts, he became a strong defender of the oppressed and emphasized the need for the church to be on the side of the poor in resisting the violence, torture and oppression carried out by the existing regime.
At times, he was a lonely voice in the struggle. The powerful upper class in El Salvador, who considered themselves good Catholics, strongly opposed his support of the poor and his opposition to the government, which was strongly opposed to communism. The majority of other bishops in El Salvador disagreed with him as being too political and supporting the communists.
The Roman Curia and Pope John Paul II also could not accept his approach. In the one audience he finally had with John Paul II, the pope suggested that he might appoint an administrator to run the San Salvador Archdiocese.
There were many threats against Romero's life. In February 1980, he wrote a letter to U.S. President Jimmy Carter, urging him as a Christian and a supporter of human rights not to send military aid to the Salvadoran government. He read this letter in his homily of Feb. 17, 1980.
On March 23, 1980, he appealed directly to the government soldiers not to kill their brother peasants. When confronted with an order to kill, they should obey God's law and not the unjust order.
One day later, on March 24, 1980, while presiding at Mass, he was assassinated. His funeral on March 30, 1980, saw more violence and killing. A bomb exploded and gunfire occurred, followed by more bombs and gunfire in the plaza outside the cathedral where the funeral was being held. The mourners at the funeral raced into the cathedral to protect themselves from harm and stayed there for more than two hours before the all clear was signaled.
For the people of El Salvador, Romero was a saint even before he was assassinated. Anglicans and Lutherans regarded him as a saint, but the Catholic Church had problems. For many, he was too political: His death was not a martyrdom for the faith but a killing because of his political positions.
Things changed in the Catholic Church significantly when Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis. Romero was beatified in May 2015 and in March 2018, the Vatican announced that Romero would be canonized as a saint. The date for the canonization has been set for Oct. 14 in Rome.
I will offer three comments about this narrative. 
First, Romero's struggle against the government and its injustices did not involve unacceptable involvement of the church or church leaders in the world of politics. Whatever affects human persons, human communities, and the environment is by that very nature not just a political or a legal issue. It is a human, moral and, for the believer, Christian issue. The Christian tradition has consistently recognized that the political order is subject to the moral order.
Second, Romero was truly a martyr. In the past, martyrdom was often seen in terms of dying for the faith in a very restricted manner. But today we recognize that Christian faith must act and influence all that we do. The international synod of bishops in 1971 maintained, "Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation."
Third is the issue of communism. It is obvious that Romero was not communistic but an exceptionally committed Christian. It is also clear that U.S. policy and some within the Vatican used the threat and fear of communism to support right-wing governments and all their unjust means.
All have to recognize there is some overlap, as well as some significant differences, between Christian social teaching and action and communism. Pope Paul VI recognized this relationship in his 1971 apostolic letter Octogesima Adveniens, commemorating the 80th anniversary of the social encyclical Rerum Novarum. There is a difference between philosophical teachings and historical movements.
Also, many Christians are attracted to the Marxist struggle against injustice. The pope opposes the Marxist denial of transcendence, its materialistic philosophy and the class struggle, but he recognizes that Marxism provides for some Christians a tool for the sociological analysis of what often occurs in our world.
These three points strongly confirm the judgment of the Roman Catholic Church to finally canonize Romero as a saint.
 
This article appears in the NCR Memories of Romero  feature series
Fr. Charles E. Curran is a priest and moral theologian. He currently serves at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, as the Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values
_______________________________
 
Quick Links... 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
   
© ARCC