Archbishop Oscar Romero 24 March 2015 - 35th Anniversary of his Assassination
"THEY CAN KILL ME, BUT THEY CAN NEVER KILL JUSTICE"
Tuesday, March 24, is the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero from El Salvador. In 1979, his country was plunging into a bloody civil war which claimed the lives of some 75,000 people. The conflict was marked by extreme brutality; anyone who dared speak out or was suspected of opposition, was targeted for torture and elimination by the security forces and affiliated death squads.
Archbishop Romero vigorously denounced the violence and injustices and dedicated his life to expose the suffering and violation of basic rights inflicted on his people, especially the country’s poorest communities. On March 24, 1980, Romero was celebrating an evening Mass in a small hospital chapel; when he had finished speaking and was moving towards the altar, he was shot and killed by members of a death squad. Last month, on Feb. 3rd, Pope Francis declared Archbishop Romero a Martyr. May 23, 2015 has been announced as the date of his beatification by the Catholic Church, to take place in his native El Salvador. The Church explained that indeed Archbishop Romero “does not need sanctification; it is for our sake.”
In recent years, El Salvador, like many Central and South American countries, suffers from frequent natural disasters due to climate change, as well as an increase in crime and violence. We join our hope to that of the Salvadoran people in their continued struggle for justice and the rule of law, that the courageous commitment exemplified by Romero, may inspire leaders in the Americas to give voice to the voiceless -- that vast majority who still struggle daily to overcome harsh inequalities and marginalization.