Sunday, October 24, 2010


This blog has a point of view! SUPER MARTYRIO adheres to three important principles you should know about: (i) a desire to be true to "the historic Romero," the actual person of Óscar Arnulfo Romero as a human being and shorn of political and sociological readings; (ii) adhesion to the Roman Catholic process of canonization for organizing and interpreting biographical and academic information about Romero, and (iii) a commitment to providing a balanced, independent analysis of the subject matter.

The very name of this blog, "SUPER MARTYRIO" translates roughly as "about martyrdom" in English, and is taken from the Latin term, "positio super martyrio" -- the "report about the martyrdom" of a sainthood candidate that must be completed for a martyr to be beatified according to the procedures established in the Roman Catholic Church. This blog sets out to assemble and analyze the contents of Archbishop Romero's martyrdom file -- his Positio Super Martyrio -- and thereby shed some light on Romero and the status of his canonization process. The entries are written in English and in Spanish -- divided equally, and alternating between the two languages in each successive post. The content of the posts is allotted according to material deemed to be of interest to English language and Spanish language readers, though, frankly, making that determination necessarily involves some guesswork.

The animating objective of this blog is to approach Óscar Romero, the person, as opposed to the political or historical models of Romero that are replicated and repeated, often according to political or ideological filters. That is not to say that this blog does not have its own bias, because it does, and that's what is acknowledged here. So, what does it mean to want to "approach Óscar Romero, the person"? First and foremost, it means to study Romero primarily through Romero-centric sources, such as his own sermons and writings, which we do here. Additionally, we pay attention to Romero's biography and episodes and influences in his life that may have shaped who he was and what he believed. We also focus on personal facts about Romero, such as his beliefs and attitudes, and seek out sources that he would have trusted, such as his family and his contemporaries, as primary sources to tell us about Romero. We also draw heavily from Romero biographers, who similarly focus on Romero as a whole person.

The Catholic bias of the blog is an outgrowth of the Romero focus. Romero himself was Catholic and his Catholicism was the most defining factor and permeated his entire life. Romero submitted explicitly to the judgments of the Church. Many people who argue that Romero is a saint do not actually believe in saints. But this blog takes the hard line view that Romero was not just a cultural icon or a glorified folk hero, but a real, bona fide saint, and to be able to argue that, you must allow as a thresshold matter that there is such a thing, and a way to gauge such a thing. Other measures of Romero are as valid and we will encounter and engage those models from time to time. In fact, we must account for them in order to carry out a complete analysis of the theological questions at heart.

Finally, this is not an official voice of the Church. It does not pressume to speak with any authority and values and guards its intellectual autonomy from the Church. In this sense, the Blog tries to be independent and reliable, providing citations and references where available, and adhering to the basic norms of freelance scholarship. Additionally, unless explicitly stated, the information provided does not come from "insider" sources or official organs of the Church and draws instead from publically available sources of information. The focus of the blog is the internal workings of the Church, but the vantage point is that of an outsider looking in.

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