Monday, August 18, 2014

Francis: «Romero is a man of God»




Pope Francis has spoken explicitly for the first time about his desire to see the beatification of Archbishop Oscar A. Romero of El Salvador, saying that, “For me, Romero is a man of God” and stating that there are no more doctrinal problems standing in the way of the martyred prelate’s beatification.  It is important to do it quickly,” the Pontiff added.

Francis made his remarks aboard the papal plane flying back from his trip to Korea on Monday, August 18, 2014.  The Pope was asked by a reporter about the status of the beatification cause and the Pontiff responded that theologians still need to clarify whether Romero was killed because of his faith.  Francis even suggested a way for theologians to resolve what has been the stickiest issue in the process.  What I would like is that they clarify when there's a martyrdom for hatred of the faith — for confessing the faith — as well as for doing the work for the other that Jesus commands,” the Pontiff was quoted as saying. 

Under Francis’ proposed solution, death for the cause of Christian justice—sometimes called «odium iustitiae»—would be established as an alternative formula to prove martyrdom in relation to the traditional test (called «odium fidei» or “hatred of the faith”).  It is currently a subsidiary test, but the analysis can often get bogged down in theological debates.

Francis’ remarks today represent the first time the Pope publicly expressed his support for Romero’s beatification.  He is said to have been even more enthusiastic in private, and commentators have observed that Romero’s message seems to fit the themes of Francis’ papacy, especially the emphasis on the poor from a son of the Latin American church.

Francis explained that the process had been “blocked out of prudence” by Vatican officials but should be now allowed to advance.  The Pope said that the investigation must take its course, and suggested the matter was in the hands of God.  But the process must go ahead, and God must give his sign. If he wants to do so, he will,” the Pontiff said.

He also hinted that the progress in the process depends also on human hands: “now the postulators have to move, because there are no longer impediments,” he said.

Francis’ comment that “Romero is a man of God” should be particularly well-received in San Salvador, where the Church has just launched a “Romero Triennium”—a three year program of commemorations leading to the 100th anniversary of Romero’s birth in 2017.  The theme for the first year is “Romero, Man of God.

Saint John Paul II discussed Archbishop Romero in seven different public speeches/audiences.  The most famous of these was a 1983 mass in San Salvador where he called Romero a “zealous pastor, whom love of God and service of brethren drove to surrender his life in a violent manner.”  Pope Benedict XVI spoke about Romero during three different public events, including an in-flight press conference after a 2007 trip to Brazil, during which he said,  “That Romero as a person merits beatification, I have no doubt ... Archbishop Romero was certainly an important witness of the faith, a man of great Christian virtue who worked for peace and against the dictatorship, and was assassinated while celebrating Mass. Consequently, his death was truly 'credible', a witness of faith.”  For his part, Pope Francis, while not making public statements before this press conference, had held high profile meetings about Romero, including with two presidents of El Salvador and with a delegation of Salvadoran bishops.

UPDATE:

The following is Zenit's translation of the question Francis was asked and his complete answer:

Q.  At what stage is the process for the cause of Archbishop Romero.   And what would you like to come out of this process?

A.  The process was blocked in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “ for prudence”, it was said.  Now it is unblocked and it is in the Congregation for Saints and follows the normal path of a process. It depends on how the postulators move, it’s very important to move in haste. What I would like is to have clarified when there is martyrdom in ‘odium fidei’ (out of hate for the faith),  whether it is for confessing the credo or  for performing the works that Jesus commands us to do  for our neighbor. This is a work of theologians that is being studied.  Because behind him (Romero), there is Rutillio Grande and there are others.  There are other that were also killed but are not at the same height as Romero. This has to be distinguished theologically. For me, Romero is a man of God.   He was a man of God but there has to be the process, and the Lord will have to give his sign (of approval). But if He wishes, He will do so!   The postulators must move now because there are no impediments.

Analysis

Francis' message reads differently based on which part of it people choose to emphasize.  The very first report yesterday focused on the Pope saying, "To me, he's a man of God" but we should let the process run its course--which sounded as though Francis wanted to stay hands off.  Salvadoran officials seem to be homing in Francis' comment that there are no doctrinal impediments, which suggests that beatification is assured now.  That's not really news, as it was reported last year that such an all-clear was given by the Vatican's doctrinal agency under Pope Benedict.  The Salvadorans say: well, it's the first time we hear the Pope say it, and that's true--though arguably he's not the most direct source for that information.  What I am focusing on the day after is Francis' comment that "the postulators need to move."  I think it's a not so subtle message from Francis that he expects the officials handling the matter to expedite it.

Francisco: «Romero es un hombre de Dios»





El Papa Francisco ha hablado explícitamente por primera vez acerca de su deseo de ver la beatificación de monseñor Oscar A. Romero de El Salvador, diciendo que, “Para mí, Romero es un hombre de Dios”, e indicando que ya no hay problemas doctrinales que puedan detener el camino a la beatificación del prelado martirizado. “Es importante que el tema avance rápidamente”, agregó el Pontífice.

Francisco hizo estas declaraciones a bordo del avión papal que volaba de regreso de su viaje a Corea el lunes 18 de agosto de 2014.  El Papa fue interrogado por un periodista sobre el estado de la causa de beatificación y el pontífice respondió que los teólogos todavía tienen que aclarar si Romero fue asesinado a causa de su fe. Francisco llegó a sugerir un camino a los teólogos para resolver lo que ha sido el tema más cerrado del proceso. “Lo que me gustaría es que se aclarara cuando hay un martirio por odio a la fe — por confesar la fe — y cuando por hacer el trabajo por el otro que Jesús manda”, dijo el Pontífice, según informes.

Bajo la propuesta de solución de Francisco, la muerte por la causa de la justicia cristiana — a veces llamada «odium iustitiae» — podría establecerse como una fórmula alternativa para probar el martirio en relación a la prueba tradicional (llamada «odium fidei» o “odio a la fe”). Actualmente, es un criterio subordinado, pero el análisis de frecuencia puede enredarse en debates teológicos.

Los comentarios de Francisco de hoy representan la primera vez que el Papa ha expresado públicamente su apoyo a la beatificación de Romero. Se dice que ha sido aún más entusiasta en privado, y los comentaristas han observado que el mensaje de Romero parece encajar con los temas del papado de Francisco, especialmente el énfasis en los pobres de un hijo de la Iglesia latinoamericana.

Francisco explicó que el proceso había sido “bloqueado por prudencia” por funcionarios del Vaticano, pero debe ser ahora permitido avanzar. El Papa dijo que la investigación debe seguir su curso, y sugirió que el asunto estaba en manos de Dios. “Pero el proceso debe seguir adelante, y Dios tiene que dar su signo. Si quiere hacerlo, lo hará”, dijo el Pontífice.

También insinuó que el progreso del proceso depende también de la mano del hombre: “Ahora los postuladores tienen que moverse, ya que no existen impedimentos más”, dijo.

El comentario de Francisco que “Romero es un hombre de Dios” debe ser particularmente bien recibido en San Salvador, donde la Iglesia acaba de lanzar un “Trienio Mons. Romero”, un programa de tres años de conmemoraciones que lleva a los 100 años del nacimiento de Romero en 2017.  El tema para el primer año es precisamente “Romero, hombre de Dios”.

San Juan Pablo II habló de Mons. Romero en siete discursos públicos/audiencias. El más famoso de estas fue una misa en San Salvador en 1983 en que llamó a Romero un “celoso Pastor a quien el amor de Dios y el servicio a los hermanos condujeron hasta la entrega misma de la vida de manera violenta”. El Papa Benedicto XVI habló de Romero durante tres eventos públicos, incluyendo una conferencia de prensa durante el vuelo después de un viaje de 2007 a ​​Brasil, durante la cual, dijo, “De que Romero como una persona amerita la beatificación no tengo ninguna duda ... Ciertamente, monseñor Romero fue un gran testigo de la fe, un hombre de gran virtud cristiana, que se comprometió en favor de la paz y contra la dictadura, y que fue asesinado durante la celebración de la misa. Por tanto, una muerte verdaderamente 'creíble', de testimonio de la fe”.  Por su parte, el Papa Francisco, no obstante que no haiga hecho declaraciones públicas antes de esta rueda de prensa, ha celebrado reuniones de alto nivel sobre Romero, incluso con dos presidentes de el Salvador y con una delegación de obispos salvadoreños.

Pregunta y respuesta completa del Papa

P. ¿En qué fase se encuentra el proceso para la causa de monseñor Romero. ¿Qué es lo que le gustaría ver salir de este proceso?

R. El proceso estaba en la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, bloqueado "por prudencia", se decía.  Ahora está desbloqueado.  Ha pasado a la Congregación de los Santos, y sigue el camino normal de un proceso. Depende de cómo se mueven los postuladores. Esto es muy importante hacerlo rápidamente.  Lo que me gustaría es haber clarificado cuando hay martirio en 'odium fidei' (por odio a la fe), si es por confesar el credo o por la realización de las obras que Jesús nos manda a hacer por nuestro prójimo. Este es un trabajo de los teólogos que se está estudiando. Porque detrás de él (Romero), está Rutillio Grande y hay otros. Hay otros que también fueron asesinados, pero no están a la misma altura de Romero. Esto tiene que ser distinguido teológicamente. Para mí, Romero es un hombre de Dios. Él era un hombre de Dios, pero hay que hacer el proceso, y también el Señor tendrá que dar su signo (de aprobación). Pero si Él quiere, Él lo hará! Pero ahora los postuladores tienen que moverse porque no hay impedimentos.

Análisis

El mensaje de Francisco se lee diferente según cual parte lleva el énfasis. El primer informe de ayer se centró en las palabras del Papa que: "Para mí, él es un hombre de Dios", pero que debemos dejar que el proceso siga su curso -- lo que sonaba como si Francisco quería lavarse las manos del asunto. Funcionarios salvadoreños parecen estar concentrandose en el comentario de Francisco de que no existen impedimentos doctrinales, lo que sugiere que la beatificación está más o menos asegurada. Eso no es realmente noticia, ya que se había informado el año pasado que el buen ojo había sido dado por la agencia doctrinal del Vaticano durante el papado de Benedicto XVI. Los salvadoreños dirán: bueno, es la primera vez que escuchamos al Papa decirlo, y eso es cierto -- aunque podría decirse que él no es la fuente más directa para esa información. Lo que yo estoy viendo el día después es el comentario de Francisco que "los postuladores necesitan moverse." Creo que es un mensaje no tan sutil de Francisco que él espera que los funcionarios que manejan el asunto lo agilicen.

Francesco: «Romero è un uomo di Dio»




Papa Francesco ha parlato esplicitamente per la prima volta sul suo desiderio di vedere la beatificazione di monsignor Oscar A. Romero di El Salvador, dicendo che, “Per me, Romero è un uomo di Dio” e affermando che ci non sono problemi dottrinali di impedire la beatificazione del prelato martire. “È importante farlo rapidamente”, ha aggiunto il Pontefice.

Francesco fece le sue osservazioni a bordo dell'aereo papale al tornare dal suo viaggio in Corea il Lunedi, 18 agosto 2014. Il Papa è stato chiesto da un giornalista sullo stato della causa di beatificazione e il Pontefice ha risposto che i teologi devono ancora chiarire se Romero fosse ucciso a causa della sua fede. Francesco anche suggerito un modo per i teologi per risolvere quello che è stato il problema appiccicoso nel processo. “Quello che vorrei è che si chiariscono quando c'è un martirio per odio alla fede — per confessare la fede — così come per fare il lavoro per l'altro che comanda Gesù,” il Pontefice ha detto secondo si riferesce.

Sotto soluzione proposto di Francesco, la morte per la causa della giustizia cristiana — a volte chiamata «odium iustitiae» — dovrebbe essere stabilita come una formula alternativa per dimostrare il martirio in relazione al test tradizionale (chiamato «odium fidei» o “odio alla fede”). Attualmente è una prova subordinata, ma l'analisi può spesso impantanarsi nei dibattiti teologici.

Gli osservazioni di Francesco di oggi rappresentano la prima volta che il Papa ha espresso pubblicamente il suo sostegno per la beatificazione di Romero. Si dice sia stato ancor più entusiasta in privato, e commentatori hanno osservato che il messaggio di Romero sembra adattarsi ai temi del pontificato di Francesco, in particolare l'enfasi sui poveri da un figlio della Chiesa latinoamericana.

Francesco ha spiegato che il processo era stato “bloccato per prudenza” di funzionari del Vaticano, ma dovrebbe essere ora consentito di avanzare. Il Papa ha detto che l'indagine deve fare il suo corso, e ha suggerito la questione è nelle mani di Dio. “Ma il processo deve andare avanti, e Dio deve dare il suo segno. Se vuole farlo, lo farà”, ha detto il Pontefice.

Egli ha anche accennato al fatto che il progresso nel processo dipende anche da mani umane: “adesso i postulatori devono muoversi perché non ci sono impedimenti” ha detto.

Il commento di Francesco che “Romero è un uomo di Dio” dovrebbe essere particolarmente ben accolto a San Salvador, dove la Chiesa ha appena lanciato un “Triennio Romero”, un programma di commemorazioni di tre anni che porta al 100 ° anniversario della nascita di Romero nel 2017. Il tema per il primo anno è “Romero, uomo di Dio”.

San Giovanni Paolo II ha parlato su Mons. Romero in sette discorsi / udienze pubbliche. Il più famoso di questi era una messa di 1983 a San Salvador, dove ha chiamato Romero un “zelante Pastore che l’amore di Dio e il servizio ai fratelli portarono fino al sacrificio stesso della vita in forma violenta”. Papa Benedetto XVI ha parlato sul Romero durante tre diversi eventi pubblici, tra cui una conferenza stampa in volo dopo un viaggio di 2007 in Brasile, durante la quale ha detto: “Non dubito che la sua persona meriti la beatificazione ... Mons. Romero è stato certamente un grande testimone della fede, un uomo di grande virtù cristiana, che si è impegnato per la pace e contro la dittatura e che è stato ucciso durante la celebrazione della Messa. Quindi una morte veramente 'credibile', di testimonianza della fede”.  Da parte sua, il Papa Francesco, pur non facere dichiarazioni pubbliche prima di questo conferenza stampa, aveva tenuto incontri di alto profilo su Romero, anche con due presidenti di El Salvador e con una delegazione di vescovi salvadoregni.

Domanda completa e la risposta del papa

D. Lei ha parlato del martirio: a che punto siamo con il processo per il vescovo Romero? Lei cosa vorrebbe vedere uscire da questo processo?

R. Il processo era alla Congregazione per la Dottrina della fede, bloccato “per prudenza”, si diceva. Adesso è sbloccato. E’ passato alla Congregazione per i Santi. E segue la strada normale di un processo. Dipende da come si muovono i postulatori. Questo è molto importante, di farlo in fretta. Io, quello che vorrei, è che si chiarisca: quando c’è il martirio in odium fidei, sia per aver confessato il Credo, sia per aver fatto le opere che Gesù ci comanda, con il prossimo. E questo è un lavoro dei teologi, che lo stanno studiando. Perché dietro di lui [Romero], c’è Rutilio Grande e ci sono altri; ci sono altri che sono stati uccisi, ma che non sono alla stessa altezza di Romero. Si deve distinguere teologicamente, questo. Per me Romero è un uomo di Dio, ma si deve fare il processo, e anche il Signore deve dare il suo segno… Se Lui vuole, lo farà. Ma adesso i postulatori devono muoversi perché non ci sono impedimenti.

Analisi

Il messaggio di Francesco 'si legge in modo diverso in base a che parte preferiamo sottolineare. La prima relazione di ieri focalizzata sul Papa dicendo: "Per me, è un uomo di Dio", ma si dovrebbe lasciare che il processo faccia il suo corso - che suonava come se Francesco voleva rimanere di neutralità. Funzionari salvadoregni sembrano di concentrarsi su commento di Francesco 'che non ci siano impedimenti dottrinali, il che suggerisce che la beatificazione è ora assicurata. Questo non è una notizia, perche è stato riferito l'anno scorso che una tale via libera è stato dato dall'agenzia dottrinale del Vaticano sotto il pontificato di Benedetto XVI. I salvadoregni dicono: bene, è la prima volta che sentiamo il Papa dirlo, e questo è vero - anche se probabilmente lui non è la fonte più diretta di tali informazioni. Quello che mi sto concentrando il giorno dopo è il commento di Francesco 'che "i postulatori devono muoversi." Penso che sia un messaggio non così sottile da Francesco, che si aspetta che i funzionari chi gestiscono il caso devono accelerare esso.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Happy birthday, Romero





Archbishop Escobar greets President and Mrs. Sanchez Ceren.  Prensa Latina photo.



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Archbishop Oscar A. Romero’s 97th birthday was marked with the launching in San Salvador of a three-year commemorative program leading up to his 2017 centennial; with expanded tributes online; and with continued behind-the-scenes work on his beatification cause in Rome.  Flying back from a trip to South Korea, Pope Francis told reporters, “For me, Romero is a man of God,” but said the beatification process must be allowed to run its course.

In San Salvador, the local church launched a “Romero Triennium,” a three year program of reflections and commemorations that the bishops said had been blessed by the Holy Father when it was presented to him during a May 9 audience.  The Triennium was inaugurated with a special mass in a packed San Salvador Cathedral, attended by the Archbishop of San Salvador, the Papal Nuncio, and four bishops from the Salvadoran episcopal conference, as well as “lots of clergy,” said Julian Filochowski, the chair of the Romero Foundation in London, who was in El Salvador for the commemorations.  The President of El Salvador and the First Lady were in the front row,” said Filochowski, “and several Salvadoran government ministers were also in attendance.”

The first year of the commemorations, which runs from August 2014 through July 2015 honors Romero, Man of God, and includes monthly meditations based on Romero’s spirituality.  Super Martyrio commits to follow the program and post monthly reflections that track the official program.  From August 2015-July 2016, the Triennium will pay tribute to Romero, Man of the Church and the last year culminating in the 100th anniversary of Romero’s 1917 birth will memorialize Romero, Servant of the Poor.  It is hoped that Pope Francis will participate in the centenary celebrations.


New statue unveiled in Ciudad Barrios.  Museo Romero photo.


In Ciudad Barrios, the remote village in El Salvador where Romero was born, a new statue of the favorite son was unveiled.  The square outside the village church, where Romero volunteered to sweep the floors as a child, has been renamed Oscar Romero Park.  Late night fireworks lit up the hillside hamlet’s sky to cap off the festivities.

Around the world, many remembered Romero on the Internet.  No one worked harder to promote Romero this year than the members of the Christian rock group The Project, whose musical video “Romero” has become a staple for commemorating the Salvadoran martyr.  This year, in promoting the video we concentrated our efforts on El Salvador making use of social media - mainly Twitter and Facebook,” the group’s Duane Arnold told Super Martyrio.  In addition to generating thousands of hits on YouTube, the group got play on more than a dozen radio stations and a number of television stations in El Salvador, and posted to several government-affiliated web sites and feeds.

The group originally released their song based on Romero’s own words in their 2012 album “Martyrs’ Prayers,” but they still promote it and find that it continues to attract new listeners today.  They were picked up earlier this year by RomeReports.  I have performed the song Romero live hundreds of times,” said Michael Glen Bell, the group’s front-man.  The overwhelming emotion that I have observed in the listeners is one of hope,” said Bell.  With the song ending with Romero saying ‘A Bishop will die but the Church, God's people will survive,’ it is quite powerful - especially when the listeners know they are the ‘God’s people’ in Romero’s words.”


Although their album features powerful testimonies of other martyrs, “we do feel a special devotion to Romero,” said the group’s Arnold.  He is a modern man - a modern saint. He allowed himself to be moved by the events of his time, as we must.”  Other online tributes to Romero this year included a remembrance on Patheos and a new collection of quotes from the Ignatian Solidarity Network.

Meanwhile, Vatican officials continued to quietly complete work on the martyred bishop’s beatification cause.  Flying back from his trip to South Korea, Pope Francis said that theologians still need to clarify whether martyrdom applies only to those killed for professing the faith or also to those killed for doing the “works that Jesus commands us to do for our neighbor,” according to CNS.   “For me, Romero is a man of God,” Francis was quoted as saying. “But the process must go ahead, and God must give his sign. If he wants to do so, he will.”   Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the Postulator of the Cause, broke from his usual reserve to congratulate The Project.  I thank God for you,” Paglia Tweeted the group.

The celebrations [of Romero’s birthday] this year seemed to have a greater intensity than in previous years,” said Arnold.  There is a sense that we are moving towards a goal - the beatification of Monseñor Romero. In the past, the beatification was conceptual - in the background, not the forefront. This year, with the unblocking of the process and the apparent support of the Holy Father, the beatification has become an impending reality.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ab. Romero's birthday, in the key of solidarity




On Friday, August 15, 2014, the St. Egidio Community of Rome will lead a prayer service at the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on Tiber Island—a shrine to the Church’s modern martyrs—to show solidarity with the persecuted Christians of Iraq and the Middle East.  That same day will mark the 97th anniversary of the birth of the martyred Archbishop Oscar A. Romero of El Salvador, whose prayer book is kept as a relic at the church.  This year, Romero’s birthday comes amid a renewed climate of Christian persecution and its commemoration provides a solemn occasion for solidarity, prayer, and prophetic denunciation of those unjust situations.

Here are three points for reflection and prayer:

First, the life and example of Oscar Romero becomes a vivid point of reference, which shows that persecution and martyrdom continue to be relevant for the Church.  Before he became himself a victim of church persecution, Romero was a valiant voice of denunciation of the policies of repression that targeted his Church.  Persecution is a reality that is necessary for the Church,” he declared.  You know why? Because the truth is persecuted. Jesus told his disciples: if they persecuted me, they will also persecute you (John 15:20).”  (May 29, 1977 Hom.)  He recalled Pope Leo XIII’s corollary to the well-known “Four Marks of the Church”— One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic—“I would add another: persecuted.”  (Ibid.)  A Church that does not suffer persecution is not the true church of Jesus Christ,” Romero declared  (Mar. 11, 1979 Hom.)  Thanks to God,” Romero said, “we are not only aware of the stories of the martyrs of past ages but we are also conscious of the martyrs of our own time.”  (Apr. 14, 1979 Hom.)  For example, “Cardinal Woytila reminds us of the times of the catacombs and the times of the [Roman] circus,” Romero said: “the times of the martyrs.”  (Oct. 29, 1978 Hom.)  And Romero always joined in solidarity when the Popes of his time called for prayers for the conflict in the Holy Land and the region.

Second, we are living a moment that calls for prayer and solidarity.  On Friday, August 15, the Italian Church is holding its Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians.  On Saturday the 16th, Pope Francis will beatify 124 martyrs in Korea, an occasion which will surely remind the world of the urgent situation for Christians in the Middle East and in other conflict areas.  Sunday the 17th is the day the U.S. bishops have called for prayers for the “Nazari” persecutions (of Christians) in Iraq.  Filipino Catholics have been urged to set aside Aug. 18, Monday, as a day of prayer for peace in Iraq.  In sum, if the theme of the times proves the relevancy of Archbishop Romero, we can also say that the memory of Romero must be considered in a key of solidarity and prayer, which helps the reflection recover the fullness of its meaning and importance.

Finally, we can also couple our reflection with profound contemplation of the Feast of the Assumption, and the figure of a Mother of Christ who ascends to heaven at the dawn of that first Age of Martyrs.  However, that ascension was by no means an alienation: the Mother of God does not abandon the Church at the onset of that tribulation.  Instead, Mary becomes a guiding light from on high, a torch that provides a perspective of Transcendence, and thus can give a new impulse and inspiration for the faithful.  In the words of Oscar Romero, “Beyond the night, dawn already glows and we carry in our heart a hope that never fails. Christ is with us. We are not afraid!

Have a blessed Feast of the Assumption, which marks the 97th anniversary of the birth of Oscar Romero.  Let us ask for his intercession on behalf of our Christian brothers and sisters who suffer persecution today.

Cumpleaños de Mons. Romero en clave de solidaridad



 


El Viernes, 15 de agosto 2014, la Comunidad de San Egidio de Roma encabezará un servicio de oración en la Basílica de San Bartolomé en la Isla Tiberinaun santuario a los mártires modernos de la Iglesiapara mostrar su solidaridad con los cristianos perseguidos de Irak y el Medio Oriente. Ese mismo día se conmemorará el 97° aniversario del nacimiento del arzobispo mártir Mons. Oscar A. Romero de El Salvador, cuyo libro de oraciones se mantiene como una reliquia en esa iglesia. Este año, el cumpleaños de Romero llega en medio de un renovado clima de persecución cristiana y su conmemoración ofrece una ocasión solemne para la solidaridad, la oración, y la denuncia profética de estas situaciones injustas.

Aquí tres puntos para la reflexión y la oración:

En primer lugar, la vida y el ejemplo de Mons. Romero se convierten en un punto claro de referencia, que demuestra que la persecución y el martirio siguen siendo vigentes para la Iglesia. Antes de convertirse en una víctima de la persecución de la iglesia, Romero era una voz valiente de denuncia de las políticas de la represión que tuvieron como objetivo su Iglesia. “La persecución es una realidad que es necesaria para la Iglesia”, declaró. “¿Saben por qué? Porque la verdad es perseguida. Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: Si me persiguieron a mí, también a vosotros os perseguirán (Juan 15:20)” (Homilía del 29 de mayo 1977.) Recordó el corolario del Papa León XIII a las conocidas Cuatro Notas de la Iglesia—es Una, Santa, Católica y Apostólica yo añadiría otra: perseguida” (Ibíd.) “Una Iglesia que no sufre la persecución no es la verdadera Iglesia de Jesucristo”, declaraba Romero (Hom. 11 de marzo 1979. ) “Gracias a Dios”, dijo Romero, “no sólo somos conscientes de las historias de los mártires de los siglos pasados​​, pero también somos conscientes de los mártires de nuestro tiempo”. (Hom. 14 de abril 1979.) Por ejemplo , “el Cardenal Wojtyla nos recuerda los tiempos de las catacumbas y las épocas del circo [romano]”, dijo Romero: “los tiempos de los mártires”. (Hom. 29 de octubre 1978.) Romero siempre se unió en solidaridad cuando los Papas de su tiempo pidieron oraciones por el conflicto en Tierra Santa y en la región.

En segundo lugar, estamos viviendo un momento que llama a la oración y la solidaridad. El viernes 15 de agosto, la Iglesia italiana celebra su Jornada de oración por los cristianos perseguidos. El sábado 16, el Papa Francisco proclamará beatos a 124 mártires en Corea, una ocasión que seguramente le recordará al mundo de la situación urgente de los cristianos en el Medio Oriente y en otras zonas de conflicto. El domingo 17 es el día que los obispos de Estados Unidos han pedido oraciones por las persecuciones de los “Nazaris” (los cristianos) en Irak. Los católicos filipinos están instados a hacer el lunes 18 de agosto un día de oración por la paz en Irak. En suma, si el tema de los tiempos comprueba la relevancia de Mons. Romero, también podemos decir que la memoria de Romero se debe considerar en una clave de solidaridad y de la oración, que ayuda a la reflexión recuperar la plenitud e importancia de su significado.

Por último, también se puede unir nuestra reflexión con una profunda contemplación de la Fiesta de la Asunción, y la figura de la Madre de Cristo, que asciende al cielo en el amanecer de aquella primera época de mártires. Sin embargo, la ascensión no fue de ninguna manera una alienación: la Madre de Dios no abandona a la Iglesia al inicio de aquella tribulación. En cambio, María se convierte en una luz que guía desde lo alto, una antorcha que ofrece una perspectiva de trascendencia, y por lo tanto puede dar un nuevo impulso e inspiración para los fieles. En las palabras de Mons. Romero, “Tras la noche ya fulgura la aurora, ya se lleva en el corazón la esperanza que no falla. ¡Va Cristo con nosotros! No temamos”.

Que tengan una bendita Fiesta de la Asunción, en que se conmemora el 97° aniversario del natalicio de Oscar Romero. Pidamos su intercesión por nuestros hermanos y hermanas cristianos que sufren persecuciones hoy en día.

Compleanno di Mons. Romero in chiave di solidarietà




Il Venerdì, 15 Agosto 2014, la Comunità di S. Egidio di Roma porterà un servizio di preghiera nella Basilica di San Bartolomeo all'Isola Tiberinaun santuario ai martiri moderni della Chiesaper mostrare solidarietà con i cristiani perseguitati in Iraq e nel medio Oriente.  Quello stesso giorno segnerà il 97 ° anniversario della nascita del martire Mons. Oscar A. Romero di El Salvador, il cui libro di preghiera è una reliquia in questa chiesa.  Quest'anno, il compleanno di Romero viene in mezzo di un nuovo clima di persecuzione cristiana e la sua commemorazione fornisce un'occasione solenne per la solidarietà, per la preghiera, e per la denuncia profetica di quelle situazioni ingiuste.

Ecco tre punti per la riflessione e per la preghiera:

In primo luogo, la vita e l'esempio di Oscar Romero diventano un punto di riferimento chiaro, che dimostra che la persecuzione e il martirio continuano ad essere rilevanti per la Chiesa. Prima di diventare egli stesso una vittima di persecuzioni della chiesa, Romero era una voce coraggiosa di denuncia delle politiche di repressione che hanno colpito la sua Chiesa.  La persecuzione è una realtà necessaria per la Chiesa”, ha dichiarato. “Sapete perché? Perché la verità è perseguitata. Gesù disse ai suoi discepoli: Se hanno perseguitato me, perseguiteranno anche voi (Gv 15,20)”. (Omelia 29 maggio 1977.) Ha ricordato il corollario di Papa Leone XIII per gli quattro caratteristiche della ChiesaUna, Santa, Cattolica, e Apostolicavorrei aggiungere un altra: perseguitata” (Ibid.). Romero ha dichiarato: “Una Chiesa che non soffre la persecuzione non è la vera chiesa di Gesù Cristo”. (Om. 11 Marzo 1979.) “Grazie a Dio”, ha detto Romero, “non solo siamo consapevoli delle storie dei martiri di epoche passate, ma siamo anche consapevoli dei martiri del nostro tempo”. (Om. 14 Aprile 1979.) Ad esempio , “il cardinale Woytila ​​ci ricorda i tempi delle catacombe e tempi del circo [romano]”, ha detto Romero: “i tempi dei martiri”. (Om. 29 ottobre 1978.) E Romero ha stato sempre unito nella solidarietà quando i Papi del suo tempo chiesto preghiere per in conflitto in Terra Santa e la regione.

In secondo luogo, stiamo vivendo un momento che richiede la preghiera e la solidarietà. Venerdì 15 agosto, la Chiesa italiana sta tenendo la sua Giornata di preghiera per i cristiani perseguitati.  Il Sabato 16, Papa Francesco celebrerà la beatificazione di 124 martiri in Corea, un'occasione che sicuramente ricordarà al mondo la situazione urgente per i cristiani in Medio Oriente e in altre zone di conflitto.  Domenica 17 è il giorno i vescovi degli Stati Uniti hanno chiesto preghiere per le persecuzioni dei “Nazari” (i Cristiani) in Iraq.  Cattolici filippini sono stati invitati a fare il Lunedi 18 agosto una giornata di preghiera per la pace in Iraq.  In somma, se il tema dei tempi dimostra la pertinenza di monsignor Romero, possiamo anche dire che la memoria di Romero deve essere considerata in chiave di solidarietà e di preghiera, che aiuta la riflessione recuperare la pienezza del suo significato e sua importanza.

Infine, possiamo anche unire nostra riflessione con profonda contemplazione della festa dell'Assunta, e la figura di una madre di Cristo che ascende al cielo all'inizio di quella prima epoca di martiri.  Tuttavia, quella ascensione non era affatto una alienazione: la Madre di Dio non abbandona la Chiesa al momento della comparsa di quella tribolazione.  Invece, Maria diventa una luce che guida dall'alto, una torcia che fornisce una prospettiva di trascendenza, e quindi è in grado di dare un nuovo impulso e ispirazione per i fedeli.  Nelle parole di Oscar Romero, “Dopo la notte brilla già l'alba, e ci portiamo nei cuori la speranza che non delude. Va Cristo con noi! Non abbiamo paura!

Buona festa dell'Assunta, che segna il 97 ° anniversario della nascita di Oscar Romero. Chiediamo la sua intercessione per i nostri fratelli e sorelle cristiani che soffrono persecuzioni oggi.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Romero at 97









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August 2014 will mark the 97th anniversary of the birth of Archbishop Óscar A. Romero, the martyred Salvadoran cleric said to be close to beatification under Pope Francis.  For the Salvadoran Church, the date will start a three-year countdown to the Romero Centennial, which church authorities hope will (finally) bring canonization of the Salvadoran martyr.
Last year, Tim’s El Salvador Blog compiled a list of Romero resources that Super Martyrio wishes to repeat and supplement here.  Here are Tim’s selections:
[* August will also mark the 25th anniversary of the release of the Raul Julia film and I will post something relative to that film and its legacy later this month.]
Here are my additions:
The Best of this Blog.  Finally, here is a recap of my most essential posts.
  1. «Romero for Dummies».  My attempt to offer a cheat-sheet intro to the man, his legacy, and his cause.
  2. Septem Sermones Ad Pauperem.  Four-year running Lent ruminations on Romero’s final sermons, which summarize the teachings of a lifetime—and cost him his life.
  3. «Homiliarium».  All of Romero’s homilies on a single page, English and Spanish, audios, transcriptions, and translations, by liturgical cycle.  Might be the single most useful post here.
  4. Recaps of Romero’s pastoral letters, beginning with his last.
  5. The latest on the beatification cause.  There was some premature excitement earlier this year, summarized here.
  6. Romero in Rome.  A nostalgic look back at Romero’s seminary years shows how his time in Rome foreshadowed his prophetic ministry as Archbishop of San Salvador.
  7. The Liturgical Style of Óscar Romero.  Another Super Martyrio original that you won’t find anywhere else, shows how Romero tried to balance tradition and innovation.
  8. «Rosarium».  This is a Rosary that I will pray through August, the month of the Assumption of Mary, which focuses on Romero’s devotion to the Eucharist.
  9. Series on Romero and the Popes.  Various posts on Romero’s relationship with and fidelity to the modern popes.  Here is the post regarding St. John Paul II.
  10. Series on Romero and Contemporary Catholics.  Various posts situate Romero in the mainstream of the Church.  Here is Romero and St. Josemaría Escrivá, of Opus Dei.
With that, I hope you have some useful tools with which to commemorate the 97th anniversary of the birth of Oscar Romero, and to begin the countdown to the centennial year.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vacation meditation


A thought exercise regarding Óscar Romero and St. Damien of Molokai.


        
Photo credit: TripAdvisor.com, user Alienpilot, May 2012.



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Staring intently at the sun setting behind Molokai, from Maui, where I was on vacation with my family this summer, was, for me, a religious experience (the two Hawaiian islands are only 7.5 miles apart).  The sunset has since time immemorial been a spiritual hour for Christians: the Vespers have been recited at this time since at least the 4th century; the glorious refraction of the sun’s light across the sky creates a natural stained glass window, and the fall of darkness recalls the hour of the death on the Cross.  Going on vacation can take us out of our normal schedule, threatening to disrupt our prayer life.  But powerful moments such as the sunset—which happens every day, and being on vacation may leave us more at liberty to observe—can provide an opportunity to keep up our prayer life and indeed enrich it.

One way to seize upon such unplanned and unexpected moments is meditation—that “freestyle” form of conversation with God, which differs from regular prayer in that prayer attempts to articulate in words our needs and praise, while meditation “engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire.”  [Catechism of the Catholic Church, §2708.]  It is often said that meditation in the Christian sense involves an active process—engaging the mind through thought, imagery, reflection, etc.—whereas “eastern” forms of meditation often involve “emptying” oneself of these.  Catholics may turn to these other techniques for “a path to interior peace and psychic balance,” but they are not effective substitutes for prayer. [Letter to the Bishops on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, J. Ratzinger, Prefect, 1989.]  Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with Him.”  [Catechism, supra.]

In my meditation as I marveled at the miraculous sunset over Molokai, my thoughts turned of course to St. Damien, the Belgian priest who ministered to the leper colony that was once established there, and his unconditional commitment to Christ through the lepers.  So great was his submission that he was known as “the Martyr of Molokai,” in no small measure because of the fact that Father Damien ended up contracting leprosy himself and dying.  According to the modern Salvadoran martyr Óscar Romero, Father Damien’s commitment can only be understood through the prism of the Eucharist: “The bread of eternal life gave Father Damien strength, gives strength to every missionary, to all sisters, to all priests, gives life to the ecclesial base communities, and becomes the center of parish life,” Romero said.

The resulting thesis from my meditation staring at the sun set over Molokai became: (1) how similar Romero and St. Damien were in their commitment to Christ through contemporary outcasts; (2) how similar the medical apartheid of Molokai was to the injustice that Romero confronted; and (3) how both St. Damien and Romero were motivated by a missionary impetus that is vital to the Church’s mission (read: our mission) today.

The similarities between Óscar Romero and St. Damien of Molokai are quite remarkable and become clear if we consider a few choice snippets from the words of the two men.  My greatest pleasure is to serve the Lord in his poor children rejected by other people,” said St. Damien.  One day as he raised up the consecrated host,” Romero said of Damien, “he saw on his hand the signs of leprosy and from that time on when he spoke with the lepers he said: we, lepers.” 

St. Damien described his internal attitude this way: “Having no doubts about the true nature of the disease, I am calm, resigned, and very happy in the midst of my people.”  The same serenity comes through from Óscar Romero a month before his assassination: “Believe me, sisters and brothers, anyone committed to the poor must suffer the same fate as the poor.  And in El Salvador we know the fate of the poor: to be ‘disappeared,’ to be tortured, to be jailed, to be found dead.”  Again, St. Damien: “God certainly knows what is best for my sanctification and I gladly repeat: Thy Will Be Done.”  And Óscar Romero: “Thus do I place under His loving providence all my life, and I accept with faith in Him my death, however hard it be.  I do not want to express an intention to him, such as that my death be for my country’s peace or our Church’s flourishing.  Christ’s heart will know how to direct it to the purpose He wishes.”

If the attitudes of the two men were similar, the environmental conditions that produced them were also alike.  In nineteenth century Molokai, legislation made it a crime to be a leper and consigned those poor wretches suspected of having the disease to banishment upon a thin strip of land nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the tallest sea cliffs in the world—which Robert Louis Stevenson called “a prison fortified by nature.”  Those confined there lost all legal rights and were considered legally dead to the world.  It was the 1800s version of apartheid.  In 1970s El Salvador, a modern military state was set up to enforce a society with the socioeconomic distribution of a medieval fiefdom.  The military repression there was worse than that in Pinochet’s Chile or Argentina during the ‘Dirty War.’

Facing both situations, St. Damien and Óscar Romero made what would be called in modern theological parlance a “preferential option for the poor.”  In our hyper-politicized times, such terms immediately invoke suspicions.  Speaking about St. Damien, Archbishop Romero remarked that “Some people cannot conceive of women and men willing to die unless it is for some subversive or revolutionary motive.”  He went on: “But there is a power greater than any revolution: the love that individuals and communities have discovered in the treasure that is revealed to us in Jesus Christ—his lively and life-giving presence in the Eucharist.”  St. Damien said the same thing in fewer words: “I make myself a leper with the lepers to gain all to Jesus Christ.”

These last words reflect an evangelizing, missionary thrust behind St. Damien, which was also found in Archbishop Romero.  Father Damien went to the lepers because he wanted to win their souls for the Kingdom: “The harvest appears to be ripe here.”  Similarly, Archbishop Romero targeted social reformers and those seeking to establish earthly justice as potential targets the Church might win over to what he considered to be the greatest liberationist project of all—Christ’s deliverance found through the Church’s ministry of salvation.  In this way, both men were trying to do what Pope Francis would call going to the existential peripheries of modern life to bring the gospel message to groups that have not heard it.  Accordingly, both men are exemplars of how we need to take the gospel to groups that have heretofore evaded targeting, boldly going where no evangelist has gone before.

My actual meditation as I beheld the magnificent sunset over Molokai was, of course, more modest than this effort to corroborate the underpinnings of my reflection.  Nevertheless, the bones of the foregoing rumination were all there, and I was able to contemplate in relation to the celestial spectacle how two different men, living in different times and circumstances, were able to, like rays of the same sun, converge upon a singular focus: Christ Jesus.  As all Christian meditation does. 

Meditation, a method of encountering God that is more flexible and adaptable because it engages the imagination rather than the deliberate word, can be an important way of keeping our channels of communication with God open while we are on vacation.  In fact, the opportunities presented during these moments of leisure can provide unexpected little epiphanies and revelations that may flourish from the everyday picture cards of nature—for the aides to Christian meditation include “the great book of creation, and that of history the page on which the ‘today’ of God is written.” [Catechism, supra, §2705.]