Sunday, May 24, 2015

Update



By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
Reporting for Carlos X. covering the Beatification of Bl. Oscar Romero in San Salvador.
This morning, Pentecost Sunday, following Mass at the Vatican, spoke at the Regina Coeli concerning the plight of migrants in Southeast Asia and the recent beatifications in Kenya and El Salvador.  Speaking of events in El Salvador, Pope Francis recalled the life and work of Bl. Oscar Romero saying, “This zealous pastor, [following] the example of Jesus, chose to be among his people, especially the poor and oppressed, even at the cost of his life”.
Meanwhile, in El Salvador, Masses of Thanksgiving for the Beatification of Bl. Oscar Romero are taking place throughout the country, blending effortlessly with those for Pentecost Sunday.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Even so, come Pope Francis



By Carlos X. (reporting from San Salvador):

I posted earlier in Spanish that Fr. Luis Ernesto Ayala, a diocesan spokesman, told me that the San Salvador police estimated the crowd attending Blessed Oscar Romero’s beatification at over half a million.  That information was just confirmed to the press at the beatification site by Msgr. Rafael Urrutia, the vice-postulator of the cause.  (In a note over at Crux, John Allen called today’s beatification the largest religious gathering in Central American history.) Msgr. Urrutia told me that having done the Romero beatification in a big way here in El Salvador does not reduce his desire to see Pope Francis come to the country to canonize Romero one day.  In fact, Msgr. Urrutia said, he could make it a two-fer and beatify Fr. Rutilio Grande during the same trip.  Msgr. Urrutia says he has been getting signals from the Holy Father to get on with it (Urrutia is also the diocesan postulator for the Rutilio Grande cause).


UPDATE - LIVE

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
What a remarkable ceremony!  It was done with dignity and joy.  Archbishop Paglia’s remarks at the end seemed to encompass the whole meaning of the day - reconciliation, peace and dying to self for the sake of others.  His special mention of Fr. Rutilio Grande, SJ, seems to indicate that this is not the end of the process, but rather the beginning of a new understanding of martyrdom in the modern era.
With thanks to Carlos X - signing off from Indiana...



La beatificación (no papal) más grande



Por Carlos X. (corresponsal en San Salvador):

Mesurando las expectativas para la afluencia a la ceremonia y los estimados que se manejan extraoficialmente este día, tenemos suficiente confianza para declarar que estamos ante la ceremonia de beatificación más grande de la historia que no fuese celebrada por un papa.  El Pbtro. Luis Ernesto Ayala, de la comisión organizadora ha dicho a Súper Martyrio que los estimados iniciales de la PNC hablan de mas de de medio millón de personas en el acto de beatificación.  Ha habido beatificaciones, especialmente aquellas llevadas a cabo durante los viajes papales de San Juan Pablo II que han reunido a muchedumbres numerados en hasta un millón de personas o más alrededor de la presencia del papa.  Pero, si quitamos estas del escenario, esta beatificación de Mons. Romero es verdaderamente impresionante, aún más si tomamos en cuenta que ocurrió en un pequeño país centroamericano, con solo dos meses de aviso.

Según los datos que prevemos tener, estaríamos superando hoy los 300 mil que estuvieron presentes para la beatificación del Padre Pío en el Vaticano el 2 de mayo de 1999. 

La afluencia también ha sido mayor al entre 250 y 300 mil que presenciaron la beatificación de la Madre Teresa, también en el Vaticano el 19 de octubre del 2003. 
Mayor también que los 250 mil que acudieron a la beatificación vaticana del fundador del Opus Dei, Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer el 6 octubre del 2002, y los 250 mil que acudieron a la beatificación de su sucesor Don Álvaro del Portillo el 27 de septiembre del 2014 en Madrid.
Este día Mons. Romero ha resucitado en su Pueblo, y ha hecho historia en su Iglesia.


UPDATE - LIVE

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
Those who have Mons. Romero as a friend in the faith, who invoke him as protector and intercessor, who admire his image, find in him strength and courage to build the Kingdom of God, and to commit to a more equitable and dignified social order.
Pope Francis 
This is the phrase that was greeted with applause when read at the Beatification.

“There is a great celebration in heaven.”  “Romero is joyful because he sees us gathered togther.”  “He helps us to live this dream of reconciliation.”  “Give your lives for each other and for the poor.” “Only love and not violence can change the world.” “If we feel with Romero, El Salvador and the world will change.”
Archbishop Paglia

LIVE - UPDATE

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
Estimates have risen to above 300,000 in the plaza. Over 1200 priests are present, more than 200 bishops and higher clergy and twelve heads of state.  
Important to note, 300,000 would represent about five percent of the entire nation of El Salvador  gathered in one place today.  



UPDATE - LIVE

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
Estimates by the Archdiocese of San Salvador place the crowd at between 250,000 and 300,000.  The exchange of peace within the context of the Mass, appeared especially significant, considering the many deep divisions in Salvadoran society and politics. It is clear that in the remarks of Cardinal Amato and numerous commentators, the emphasis of the entire event is that of reconciliation.  


UPDATE - LIVE

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
Cardinal Amato places Bl. Oscar Romero in the long line of American saints and martyrs. 
“Romero is not a symbol of division, but reconciliation.”  
“Romero is ours, Romero belongs to the Church, but he belongs to all humanity”
“Romero is a prophet of love... Blessed Oscar Romero, pray for us!”
A beautiful and thoughtful homily...



UPDATE - LIVE

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
President Obama has made a statement concerning Bl. Oscar Romero -
"I join people in El Salvador and around the world today in welcoming the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero," Obama said. "He fearlessly confronted the evils he saw, guided by the needs of his beloved pueblo, the poor and oppressed people of El Salvador."
"El Salvador has come a long way in the last 35 years," Obama said. "Today in El Salvador, and all of Central America, the United States is guided by the vision of Archbishop Romero."

UPDATE - LIVE

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
Carlos X is without internet service at the moment, so we are communicating by text!  As we watch the transmission of the Mass, we note the vestments emblazoned with the coat of arms adopted by Oscar Romero as Archbishop of San Salvador.  Earlier, we noted that Cardinal Amato was wearing a mitre with Romero's motto.  As the Gospel is proclaimed in a rich and wonderful voice, the emotion in the square is evident. 
As Cardinal Amato presents the homily, he references St. Augustine first as a pastor, not merely  a theologian, and compares him to Romero as a man who offered his life for “reconciliation and peace”. He moves to the “meaning of martyrdom”. Romero is “light of the world” and “salt of the earth” in imitation of Christ.  Romero’s last years, he says, were filled with anxiety, though he prepared himself for his death - as a priest, a bishop and as a man. 


Now it's Blessed Oscar Romero

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
So, after his murder at the altar, years of civil war, inquiries by Pontifical Commissions, countless examinations of his writings, homilies and manner of life, Bl. Oscar Romero takes his place among the heroes of the faith.  He already held that place of reverence in the hearts of those who knew him, but today is the acknowledgement of the Church universal of a man who died for his faith, who loved until the end, who has served as an inspiration to countless millions over the past thirty-five years.  
“Rejoice... and again I say, Rejoice!”



Update - LIVE

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
IT’S DONE BLESSED OSCAR ARNULFO ROMERO!!! 




Romero, ¡Beato!

Por Carlos X. (corresponsal en San Salvador):
¡La Iglesia ha sumado el nombre de Óscar Arnulfo Romero, “el niño de la flauta,” hijo de Santos y Guadalupe Romero de Ciudad Barrios, cuarto Arzobispo de San Salvador, en el elenco de los santos!
Si Monseñor Romero no existiera, lo tuviéramos que inventar. La iglesia está recibiendo un don para la evangelización que los escritores de guiones en Hollywood difícilmente pudieran igualar: Un obispo asesinado en el altar haciendo oración eucarística.  Un conservador tradicionalista que se volvió el más arduo defensor de los derechos de los campesinos y los pobres.  Un beato con fama de mártir y reconocimiento también por su prédica y sus escritos.  Una figura internacionalmente resaltada que proviene de uno de los países más pequeños y pobres (pero el único país que alude a Jesucristo en su nombre).  Un obispo que en sus tres años de ministerio en “el Pulgarcito de Centroamérica” alcanzó una altura inalcanzable entre los clérigos de su generación; un hombre que no logró completar su doctorado en teología por el estallido de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, pero que se considera un padre de la teología latinoamericana.
La Iglesia está ahora celebrando el +Beato Óscar Romero, Mártir por Amor, asesinado «in odium fidei, uti fertur»…




Update - Live

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
What a miraculous day this is!  Many of us have waited twenty years and more to see what we will see today.  Even three years ago, when my friend Michael Glen Bell and I wrote our song, Romero, it seemed almost impossible. We actually had people in certain circles tell us that, “No one is interested in Oscar Romero these days.”  Now, today, hundreds of thousands are assembled in San Salvador awaiting the moment of Romero’s beatification. Thanks must go out to people like our friends Carlos X, The Romero Trust, Ignatian Solidarity, Archbishop Paglia and so many others who have kept the flame alive through many dark and uncertain years for Romero’s Cause.  Today, we mark the time in minutes... not days, or months or years. Today, one who fell at the altar, will be “raised to the altars”.




Update

By Duane WH Arnold, PhD (Indiana, USA):
Carlos X has made his way out into the public area to get a feel for the event.  Everything is moving toward the ceremony itself.  We’re saying a prayer that the rain will stay away!


Pope Francis' Message for Romero Beatification


By Carlos X. (reporting from San Salvador):

Here is the text of Pope Francis’ letter on the beatification of Archbishop Romero as reported by Catholic News Agency.

+ + +

Mons. José Luis Escobar Alas
Archbishop of San Salvador
President of the Episcopal Conference of El Salvador

Dear brother,
The beatification of Mons. Óscar Arnulfo Romero Galdámez, who was pastor of this dear archdiocese, is a reason for great joy for Salvadorans and for all those who enjoy the example of the best sons of the Church. Mons. Romero, who built peace with the power of love, bore witness to the faith with his life given to the extreme.

The Lord never abandons his people in difficulties, and he always shows diligence in their needs. He sees the oppression, hears the painful cries of his children, and comes to their aid to free them from oppression and bring them to a new land, fertile and spacious, “flowing with milk and honey (Ex 3:7-8).” Just as he chose Moses to lead his people in his name, he continues to raise pastors after his own heart, who feed his flock with knowledge and prudence.

In this beautiful Central American country, bathed by the Pacific Ocean, the Lord granted to his Church a zealous bishop who, by loving God and serving his brethren, became an image of Christ the Good Shepherd. In times of difficult coexistence, Mons. Romero knew how to lead, defend and protect his flock, remaining faithful to the Gospel and in communion with the entire Church. His ministry was distinguished by a special attention to the poorest and most marginalized. And in the moment of his death, while celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of Love and Reconciliation, he received the grace of fully identifying with the One who have his life for his sheep.

On this day of celebration for the Salvadoran nation, and also for the beautiful Latin American countries, we give thanks to God because he granted a martyr bishop the ability to see and hear the suffering of his people, and was molding his heart so that, in his name, he will guide and enlighten, to make his work a full exercise of Christian Charity.

The voice of the new Blessed continues to resonate today to remind us that the Church, a gathering of brothers around their Lord, is the family of God in which there can be no division. Faith in Jesus Christ, when it is well understood and is assumed until its final consequences, generates communities who are builders of peace and solidarity. It is to this that the Church in El Salvador, in America and in the entire world is called to today: to be rich in mercy, to become a leaven of reconciliation for society.

Mons. Romero invites us to wisdom and reflection, to respect for life and harmony.

It's necessary to renounce “the violence of the sword, of hatred,” and to live “the violence of love, which left Christ nailed to a cross, which makes each person overcome their egoism and ensures that no such cruel inequalities are among us.” He knew how to see and experience in his own flesh “the egoism that lurks in those who do not want to give up themselves in order to reach others.” And, with the heart of a father, he cared for “the most poor,” asking the powerful to convert their “weapons into scythes for work.”

Those who have Mons. Romero as a friend in the faith, who invoke him as protector and intercessor, who admire his image, finds in him strength and courage to build the Kingdom of God, and to commit to a more equitable and dignified social order.

It is a favorable moment for a true and proper national reconciliation in front of the challenges that currently faced today. The Pope participates with his hopes, he joins his prayers so that the seed of martyrdom flourishes and becomes entrenched by the true paths of the sons and daughters of this nation, which proudly bears the name of the Divine Savior of the world.

Dear brother, I ask you, please, to pray and do pray for me, while at the same time I impart my apostolic blessing to all those who are united in different ways in the celebration of the new Blessed.

Fraternally,
Francis