Monday, January 28, 2013


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March 24, 2013 will be the 33rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero; it will also be Palm Sunday and likely also be the first big public Mass for the new Pope!  The Romero anniversary will be marked with commemorations around the world.  The following observations stand among the most important celebrations of Archbishop Romero’s legacy each year.
Catholic Church: Day of Prayer and Fasting for Missionary Martyrs

In March 2007, Pope Benedict recognized that the Anniversary of Romero's martyrdom was the reason that the March 24 date was chosen for fasting and prayer for all missionaries who have given their lives for the faith.  The observance has taken hold especially in Asia, where, in India for example, the local Church holds annual observances such as a Romero Way of the Cross.
United Nations: International Day of the Right to Truth

The United Nations General Assembly has declared March 24 “International Day of the Right to Truth” regarding human rights violations, in honor of Archbishop Romero. The resolution was cosponsored by 45 countries, including all five Central American countries and others that include Italy, Greece, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Mexico and India.
San Salvador

The first public commemoration of the anniversary of Archbishop Romero’s martyrdom in March 1986 drew 10,000 marchers to Romero’s grave at the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Salvador—and the Salvadoran commemoration has grown ever since, drawing Salvadorans and foreigners, who come in delegations, for what has turned out to be a weeklong program of events.  The Salvadoran congress has declared March 24, National Óscar A. Romero Day, as have many cities around the world, including the City of Los Angeles, in California (USA).  The Romero celebrations are sometimes called the “Little Holy Week,” both because of their colorful and extensive nature, and their proximity to Easter Week, which can sometimes require Romero celebrations to be held on a different day—such is the case this year, when March 24 is Palm Sunday. 

This year, because of Palm Sunday, Fundación Romero has announced that the “Great Day” will be Saturday March 16:
3:00 pm — gathering at the Divine Savior Monument
5:00 pm — procession of lights to the San Salvador Cathedral atrium
7:30 pm — Eucharistic celebration at the Metropolitan Cathedral

10:00 pm — all-night vigil outside the San Salvador Cathedral for Archbishop Romero

March 18-22, 2013: the Little Holy Week of Conferences, panelists and subjects TBA.

Archbishop Romero’s martyrdom has been commemorated in the Eternal City every year since 1984.  Notable keynote speakers at the Roman commemorations have included the Servant of God Card. Eduardo Pironio of Argentina in 1988, Card. Roger Etchegaray of France in 1986 and 1994, the Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah in 2005, and notable Latin American churchmen such as Bishop Samuel Ruiz (Chiapas, Mexico, 2001), Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini (Huehuetenango, Guatemala, 2006), and Bishop Gregorio Rosa Chávez (San Salvador, El Salvador, 2000 and 2010).


Thurs. March 21 — Concert at 20.00.
"The meeting of two springs: Oscar Romero and Johann Sebastian Bach." Trumpet, organ (Gilberto Scordari)
Piazza of the Apostles outside the Basilica of the Holy Apostles

Fri. March 22 — Ecumenical Celebration at 19.00.
"Oscar Romero symbol of the martyrs of justice and peace" with Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Elisabeth Green, Baptist pastor; Matthew Zuppi, auxiliary bishop of Rome
Church of San Marcello al Corso - Piazza San Marcello

Saturday, March 23 — 10:00 am, Public meeting in the Capitol
"Latinoamerican Martyrology" with Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate; Carlos Cerniak, Embassy of Argentina; Gianni Mina, journalist; Paolo Masini, the municipal council of Rome
Sala Pietro da Cortona, Piazza del Campidoglio

Saturday, March 23 — 19:00 am, Eucharistic Celebration
By the Latin American community
At Santa Maria della Luce - Via Lungaretta

Since 2007, the Romero Trust in London has been organizing Romero Week as the umbrella under which different local, national, diocesan and ecumenical events could be consolidated into a single celebration of Archbishop Romero’s life and martyrdom with special liturgies, masses, talks, film showings, workshops and cultural events throughout Scotland, Wales and England.  The central ecumenical service is becoming a tradition at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square, London.  Commemorative homilies have been preached by leading English clergymen, including the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in 2010; and Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in 2011.  The Church of England recognizes March 24 as the Feast of Óscar Romero and the Martyrs of El Salvador, a recognition that is tantamount to the Roman Catholic process of canonization.
This year, Marie Dennis, Co-President of Pax Christi International, will travel to different UK cities to present the 2013 Romero lecture.  She is the author of seven books, including “Oscar Romero: Reflections on His Life and Writings and A Retreat with Oscar Romero and Dorothy Day: Walking with the Poor.” Until recently, she was director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, in Washington, DC and she has visited many conflict areas of the world for Maryknoll and Pax Christi International, including, most recently: Egypt, Colombia, Croatia, Sudan, Iraq, Honduras and Haiti.

18 March — Nottingham: Cathedral Hall at 7.30. 
19 March — Wrexham
20 March — Birmingham: Mass at 2pm at St Chad's Cathedral, followed by talk/reception hosted by CAFOD in the Grimshaw Room
20 March — Coventry: evening reflection
21 March — Oxford: Catholic Chaplaincy Chapel at 7.00pm. 
23 March — London: St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London. 11.00am 



While hundreds of American Churches commemorate Romero at the parish and diocesan level every year, no single liturgical celebration has acquired the gravity of the celebrations in San Salvador, Rome or London.  Romero followers in the US pool their resources behind a major university conference held each year at the Kelogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame University, called Romero Days.  Although the first Romero lecture was held in 1988, it was not until 1999 that the conference began to be held consistently every year.  Past Romero lecturers include Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez (Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, 2002), and many impressive panels drawing top notch luminaries from academia, the clergy, human rights and the legal profession, the arts, and other relevant backgrounds.
This year’s Romero Days program includes:

Thursday — Saturday, March 21 — 23 (McKenna Hall/Notre Dame Conference Center)
Catholic Social Tradition Conference “Peace Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”
Friday, March 22 (8:00pm — McKenna Hall/Notre Dame Conference Center)
Romero Lecture: “Romero as a Peacemaker” by Julian Filochowski, Chair of the Archbishop Romero Trust in England, Former Director of CAFOD

Saturday, March 23 (10:00 am to 11:15 am - Ave Maria Press, 19113 Douglas Road, on the Notre Dame campus)
Romero Days Workshop
A workshop for teachers on how to incorporate a five-day mini unit using the film Monsenor: The Last Journey of Oscar Romero into any theology course.


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If you know of additional details or events, please post them in the Comments.

Friday, January 25, 2013


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Mons. Cristóbal Coyne, el obispo auxiliar de Indianápolis, Indiana (EE.UU), entrevistó a los integrantes del grupo musical “The Project”, Michael Bell (foto) y Duane Arnold, sobre su CD “Martyrs Prayers” (Oraciones de los Mártires), y el primer video y sencillo del álbum, un tributo a Mons. Romero.  El obispo Coyne ha difundido la entrevista en su podcast y su blog, siendo un obispo moderno que ejerce su ministerio muy al compás de la nueva tecnología.  A través de tres sesiones, el Obispo católico desarrolló una plática ecuménica con Bell, un metodista, y Arnold, un anglicano, sobre cómo los mártires como Mons. Romero nos interpelan a la fe.  En la primera parte, el Obispo cuestionó a Bell y Arnold sobre los caminos de la fe que los condujeron a grabar el CD, empezando con sus experiencias en una comunidad de convivencia cristiana que estudiaba la historia de la iglesia antigua.  En la segunda parte, trataron el significado moderno del martirio—y este segmento trata extensivamente sobre Mons. Romero.  Finalmente, en la tercera parte de la conversación, se profundiza sobre ciertas tensiones que existen en la cultura actual en torno a la cuestión general de la naturaleza del sufrimiento y del martirio.

En la segunda parte de la entrevista, el Obispo platica con los artistas sobre la disponibilidad de los mártires a sufrir por la fe, aún antes de tener que enfrentar la muerte, como una realidad tal vez más accesible para nosotros que no tenemos necesariamente que morir por nuestra fe, pero que si debíamos estar dispuestos a enfrentar situaciones incómodas.  Bell y Arnold proponen que Mons. Romero es un ejemplar de esto, ya que al asumir un papel de denuncia después del asesinato del P. Rutilio Grande, tuvo que enfrentar muchas críticas.  Esto demuestra que “los principios de la fe cristiana pueden causar sufrimiento”, dice Arnold y el Obispo Coyne está de acuerdo.  Así fue”, dice Coyne, “ya que fue condenado al ostracismo por muchos adentro de la Iglesia en aquel tiempo, y por los otros obispos que se oponían a lo que veían como el entorno radical que su sacerdocio y su episcopado estaban tomando.  Su sufrimiento no se circunscribe a lo que pasó después”—(su asesinato), dice el Obispo—“también fue el hecho que él tuvo que salirse de sí mismo y asumir algo que le resultó impopular”.

El Obispo les pregunta a los artistas sobre la elaboración de la canción de “Romero” que aparece en el álbum.  La letra fue adaptada por Arnold de los comentarios atribuidos a Romero por el periodista guatemalteco José Calderón Salazar, quien lo entrevistó el 11 de marzo de 1980 para el periódico Excélsior de México, a sólo dos semanas de su muerte.  El obispo, que dice haber practicado la guitarra en su juventud, elogia la sencillez de la melodía: “me hace pensar que hasta yo podría tocar esta canción”, les dice, medio bromeando.  Les pregunta si esa sencillez fue a propósito: “Hay tanto de esta canción que me parece muy impactante: su sencillez, su austeridad”, dice el Obispo.  Tiene algo que nos conecta directamente con la persona de Romero en la última parte de su vida”.  Arnold comenta que la sencillez de Romero después de su “conversión” lo vuelve muy llamativo para los cristianos: “¿Cómo puedes leer sobre este hombre sin terminar amándolo al final de esa lectura?

El obispo les pregunta si no temen ser marginalizados o descartados por quienes ven a Mons. Romero como una figura estrictamente de izquierda.  Arnold responde contundentemente: “Esa fue una de las razones que lo queríamos presentar como la figura principal de este álbum”.  Arnold dice que, “Una de las cosas que queremos hacer es recuperar y reclamar a Romero y decir que no es político sino que es nuestro.  Él es un obispo en la Iglesia católica.  Murió por su compromiso evangélico”, dice Arnold y hace memoria de que el Papa Benedicto ha dicho que es problemático que una facción política ha querido tomar a Mons. Romero como su bandera particular, partidaria.  Yo pienso que él es un mártir en el sentido estricto, absoluto de la palabra”, puntualiza Arnold.

El Obispo Cristóbal Coyne es un líder de la Iglesia en Norte América.  Fue administrador de la arquidiócesis de Indianápolis hasta que el Papa nombró un arzobispo permanente el año pasado.  Antes de eso fue portavoz ante los medios de comunicación y secretario de Comunicaciones de la Arquidiócesis de Boston, estrecho colaborador del Cardenal Law.  También fungió de catedrático del Seminario de San Juan en Brighton, Massachusetts, conocedor de la liturgia sacra y la predicación.  Es uno de una tanda creciente de obispos con presencia en las redes de comunicación social, con una cuenta de Twitter (con más de 7,000 tuíts), una página de FaceBook, un Podcast y un Blog.  Todo esto, por supuesto, además de la página web de la arquidiócesis.  En su blog, el Obispo Coyne explica que su filosofía es la de San Agustín de enseñar, agradar y persuadir.  Agradar se refiere, dice el Obispo, “a comunicar de tal manera que se mantenga el interés del oyente”.  Por ende, “Hay que utilizar la retórica, humor, historias, y todos los otros elementos de la comunicación como un medio para ‘enseñar’ con el fin de ‘persuadir’”—y esto incluye los elementos tecnológicos de la modernidad.

De hecho, la tecnología nos puede brindar impactos inesperados.  El Obispo concluye el segmento de la entrevista de Bell y Arnold sobre la canción de Romero resaltando un aspecto técnico de la grabación.  Esta incluye un efecto de sonido muy especial al principio de la grabación: el estallido del disparo que acabó la vida de Mons. Romero.  Bell le explica que una monja del Hospitalito donde Mons. Romero vivió y murió estaba grabando la Misa en que fue asesinado, y que decidieron, después de mucho debate, incluir el sonido al principio de la grabación.  Al final decidimos incluirlo porque es histórico, está allí, es parte de toda la historia”, dice Bell.  El Obispo comenta que al escuchar la canción con ese detalle en mente, “se me volvió la piel de gallina, me bajaron escalofríos por la columna vertebral: es un momento tan horroroso pero también pone en relieve todo el impacto de lo que sucedió”, concluye el Obispo Coyne.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


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The final resting place of Archbishop Romero has become a focus of spiritual reflection on Romero’s life work and legacy and the locus of Eucharistic celebrations and continued orientation of the faithful along the approved social doctrine of the Church.  This is evidenced from the content of regularly held Sunday worship services held by the side of Romero’s grave by the “Community of the Crypt,” a pastoral community of Romero followers who take the San Salvador Cathedral where Romero is buried as their home church.  Super Martyrio has reviewed published reports of the sermons preached in the Crypt in 2012 and finds a mainstream Catholic ministry—with an emphasis on social doctrine, naturally.
The progressive Salvadoran newspaper Diario Co Latino regularly covers the Crypt sermons, and provides a broad insight into the content of the preaching, carried on by a variety of guest homilists who included high ranking prelates such as the Jesuit Provincial for Central America (who came to preach on the anniversary of the Central America University Jesuit martyrs) as well as visiting priests from all over El Salvador.  Regular preachers in the rotation include the Vicar of the San Salvador Cathedral as well as the parish priest of the nearby El Rosario Church.  Together, these clerics offer the Crypt Community a consistent message that Archbishop Romero calls on society to put aside greed and consumption to make generous provision for the poor and to purify oneself of hedonistic urges.  Selfishness and envy take over people’s hearts”—a young priest named Fr. Edgardo Reyes preached on July 1, 2012, the Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time—“which gives rise to unhealthy passions and when things are acquired easily we do not learn any type of responsibility,” he said.  God calls on us to not be so selfish.”  (Scroll down for summaries of all the homilies.)

Other homilists incorporated broader themes of the Church into the preaching which typically centered on Archbishop Romero’s own homily for the same liturgical occasion.  For example, Fr. Gerardo Potter, the El Rosario pastor, who preached five of the reported sermons, often wove Pope Benedict’s emphasis on traditional family values into his sermons.  In his Pentecost Sunday sermon, Fr. Potter lamented the plight of children who have to go hungry.  Later, on October 7, the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Fr. Potter recalled Archbishop Romero’s message of family unity and urged the faithful to smooth over family conflicts by showing “compassion.”  And on the Feast of the Holy Family, Fr. Potter preached that the traditional family is the nucleus of a just society.  Other preachers took their cues from the current Archbishop of San Salvador, criticizing the Salvadoran legislature for its attempts to skirt the authority of the Salvadoran Supreme Court in a legal crisis that consumed Salvadoran political news during much of the summer.
The close fidelity to the magisterium and to the hierarchy in these homilies shows dramatic progress from the situation in previous years.  During the archbishopric of Msgr. Fernando Sáenz Lacalle, there was sometimes such a disconnect between the Archbishop’s pastoral line and the doctrinal tendencies of the Community that some of its activist members gloated that there were “two churches” in the Cathedral, and they provocatively used language that played on the symbolism of hierarchy—one Church imposed on top of another, the hierarchical church upstairs and the “popular” church downstairs, etc.—to play up a scandalous division.  Not only was such partisan hyperbole gone from the scene last year, so too was any notion of inappropriate superstition or folklore which might color the spirituality.  When Fr. Mario Romero (no relation) preached on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, which coincides with a local celebration during which the Cross is decorated with fruits and flowers, in keeping with a former indigenous celebration, Fr. Mario recalled that Archbishop Romero had cautioned that the celebration must be more than mere folklore: “Let us consider the Cross of Christ to be our only hope.”

The following is a recap of all the sermons preached in the Crypt that were reported by Co Latino.  During much of the first half of the year, the San Salvador Cathedral was occupied by Salvadoran Civil War veterans protesting the lack of government benefits available to them, and therefore there were no masses, either in the Crypt or in the main worship space of the Cathedral.  Services resumed in May.  Super Martyrio is thankful to Co Latino and to the journalists who reported on the Crypt sermons in 2012—they are all women!  They are: Leonor Cárdenas, Beatriz Castillo, Patricia Meza, Gloria Silvia Orellana, Bianca Segura, Zoraya Urbina, and Alma Vilches.

Homilist: Fr. Antonio Rodríguez, Franciscan priest.  Excerpt: Fr. Rodriguez preached that we must put aside anything that tends to marginalize or devalue life.  This admonition is not directed to a specific group, we all need to practice our moral, social and spiritual values, because many people end up reducing their faith and practices to mere folklore, completely surrendering to the powerful.”

Homilist: Fr. Mario Romero. Excerpt: Fr. Mario criticized the role of politicians in the Salvadoran constitutional crisis.  The deputies,” he said, “are not and never will be shepherds.  They have left a bad taste in people’s mouths because they are salary drawers, not good shepherds.  They cannot continue betraying the people.”

Homilist: Fr. Jorge Aguilar. He spoke about Archbishop Romero as an inspiration for mothers and their children (the homily coincided with Mothers’ Day in Latin America).

Homilist: Fr. Antonio Rodríguez, Franciscan priest. Fr. Rodríguez said that the normal human response to injustice was indignation.  He turned the concept to the country’s gang problem: “We need to raise awareness of this phenomenon through indignation, so we can begin to make a difference from within our own homes.”

Homilist: Fr. Gerardo Potter, pastor of El Rosario Church. Excerpt: “Where have we come to that we do not think it’s important to know that there are many children who are starving in the world? That is not right, because there is so much food in the world that could feed all of humanity twice over, but at the same time there are many others in the world who are starving.”

Homilist: Fr. Gerardo Potter, pastor of El Rosario Church. Fr. Potter said Archbishop Romero was a “magnet” for the international community.  He said Archbishop Romero’s words were always “surprising, precise and inspiring,” which is why people come to the Crypt from all over the world to venerate him and be near to him.

Homilist: Fr. Miguel Hernández, from the parish of Santa Lucía in Ilopango (El Salvador). Excerpts: “Men were born to us who worked for the transformation of our country and that transformation still has not come.  It is unfortunate that we should still be seeing victims for the liberation of our people … Archbishop Romero offered himself like a sacrificial lamb, because he accepted his sacrifice and then released himself into the Salvadoran people, but the transformation will not come if we do not all work for it … We make Christ current every time we celebrate Mass, his sacrifice of body and blood returns in a Communion of love, just like the impoverished mother who shares bread in her humble table with her children as an act of love.”

Homilist: Fr. Fredy Sandoval. Fr. Sandoval criticized the consumerist culture.  Excerpts: “32 years later [after Romero was assassinated], we are still murdering children, born and unborn, men and women, regardless of age … Life is opposed by economic, political, and labor forces that distort its meaning … El Salvador is the greatest consumerist country in Latin America.  It’s embarrassing.”

Homilist: Fr. Edgardo Reyes. Excerpt: “Selfishness and envy take over people’s hearts, which gives rise to unhealthy passions and when things are acquired easily we do not learn any type of responsibility.  God calls on us to not be so selfish.”

Homilist: Fr. Balmore Pedroza, Vicar of the San Salvador Cathedral. Fr. Pedroso denounced the desecration of Archbishop Romero’s statue during protests in San Salvador.  Excerpt: “Archbishop Romero encountered numerous difficulties in his time and they often told him ‘Leave the country, go and stop denouncing injustice.’ This is why we see in Archbishop Romero the figure of a prophet.”

Homilist: Fr. Antonio Rodríguez, Franciscan priest. Fr. Rodríguez bemoaned the lack of leaders in El Salvador.  Excerpts: “That sense that Jesus gives us, exists today, in our people who live without knowing the truth, without anyone to shepherd, guided or govern them, without a structure or model of pastors who generate liberation, life, or alternatives … These new pastors or leaders of the world or of the country, are not interested in people, are not interested in living in a state of law.  The only thing that motivates them is what they might obtain and generate with the hegemony of the power structure and the State.”

Homilist: Fr. Andrés Oriestini, pastor of Cuyultitán. Excerpt: “Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, it is simply encouraging peaceful coexistence in acknowledging the mistakes of others.”

Homilist: Fr. Pedro D‘Clear. Excerpt: “Archbishop Romero was a new benchmark, a new model of life, especially for Christians, as he was especially concerned about the defense of human life.”

Homilist: Fr. Gerardo Potter, pastor of El Rosario Church. Excerpt: “Jesus stripped himself of his flesh and blood to give it to us to us. Like Him, we are asked to strip and to give to others and to think about them … We are called to think about how we can contribute to the Kingdom of God and to work for real change.”

Homilist: Fr. Balmore Pedroza, Vicar of the San Salvador Cathedral. Excerpts: “Today's Gospel invites us to live in accord with the Word of God and good works, Jesus makes a critique of the Pharisees, they wanted to live the eternal questions but forgot the most important commandment, which is love.”  Fr. Balmore said that Romero urged the faithful to live a life in the face of God and not “empty lives,” “which is why he said, let us gain more and more every day, the conscientiousness to be able talk to the Lord, our Father, and that leads us to love our brothers.  In the end, what the Church asks of us as Catholics is to be consistent in our faith … When there are so many problems that go unnoticed in our country, men and women who are sick in hospitals and we forget about them, others are killed and extorted and we get lost in the details. We forget about others and bottle ourselves in our own interests, in our selfishness.”

The homilist preached about pilgrimages as a symbol of faith in honor of Archbishop Romero.

Homilist: Fr. Gerardo Potter, pastor of El Rosario Church. Excerpt, on family unity: “We cannot apply the law to the letter, because we have heart and we must have compassion for others.”

Homilist: Fr. Edgardo Reyes. Excerpt: “Detachment from material things is critical to gaining the Kingdom of Heaven … We should not cling to riches. Jesus gives the example of the young man who is saddened when asked to be stripped of his possessions and follow him. Jesus says it is difficult for the rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven … Those who have a gift should share it with others and we are meant to do in our daily life … Prudence must be fostered in the rulers so they make decisions that benefit others and not just those that get them out of problems more easily.”

Homilist: Fr. Antonio Rodríguez, Franciscan priest. Excerpt: Archbishop Romero “only needed to be in love with God and his people,” to evangelize the whole country.  The situation of the country is serious, the economy is bad, but keep the evangelizing mission is clear, there should be no proselytizing and we should be instead more human ... we must not give up the values ​​of the gospel and we should not be afraid … I call on the under-trodden to learn to believe and trust in themselves, because only then can we transform life.”

Homilist: Fr. Carlos Torres, pastor of Tecoluca, San Vicente. Excerpt: “when we are compassionate, we reach the goodness and mercy of the Lord.”

Homilist: Fr. Jesús Sariego, Jesuit Provincial for Central America. Excerpts: “We are joining the two memories [of the Jesuits and Romero] … We carry them in our hearts, with a great satisfaction to have been partners and friends of such great people that gave so much for this country, and whose sacrifice was not in vain, since peace was achieved, but there is still much do, that is our commitment … The most relevant part of their religious principles is that there cannot be a change for this country that does not take into account the poor, their future, their alternatives, their situation, which was the great message of Archbishop Romero.”

Homilist: Fr. Balmore Pedroza, Vicar of the San Salvador Cathedral. This was another commemoration of the Jesuits.

Homilist: Fr. Carlos Osorio, a young priest of the Costa Rica district and Fr. Enrique Gómez, from Spain. Excerpts: “How many Pilates do we know today that say they have no money to strengthen the development of their cities, but they do increase their own salary or purchased Humvees? … We're like Pilate when we do not allow Christ the King govern within us, in our homes, where there are men who beat their wives and they think they are the masters of the world, just because they have money … You have to understand the feast of Christ the King, for he is the Lord of history, because He is rooted in the hearts of each of us and tells us to build His kingdom in this society.”

Homilist: Fr. Manuel Cardona, of the San Carlos Borromeo parish. Excerpts: “Christians must open their hearts and expand hope for everyone. Just as John the Baptist did. We take our task in the name of God … With the death of Father Rutilio Grande, Archbishop [Romero] decided to make his the work of evangelizing and defending the oppressed in this country. We all need to take up our own responsibility in this … This government assumed the responsibility to commemorate Archbishop [Romero]. That responsibility was not theirs, but the government of ARENA, who forgot our martyr. It is important that we remember but not only with material aspects, he also should be in our hearts and in our commitment to change this country.”

Homilist: Fr. Alan de Jesús Ventura. Excerpt: “In this world greed does not stop, selfishness has progressed to incredible heights, we do not have our hearts set on God, this is why terrible things are done.”

Homilist: Fr. Alejandro Celso. Excerpt: “These are no longer Christmases in which we recall the birth of Jesus, but the commerce of the season that envelops us … It is the birth of the Prince of Peace.”

Homilist: Fr. Gerardo Potter, pastor of El Rosario Church. Fr. Potter preached that the traditional family is the nucleus of a just society.

See also

2010 Crypt Recap (Spanish)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


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Lo Spirito del Signore è sopra di me”, dice Cristo nel Vangelo di questa Domenica, “per questo mi ha consacrato con l'unzione, e mi ha mandato per annunziare ai poveri un lieto messaggio, per proclamare ai prigionieri la liberazione e ai ciechi la vista; per rimettere in libertà gli oppressi, e predicare un anno di grazia del Signore” (Luca 4:18-19).  In questo Anno della Fede, RADIO VATICANA ha pubblicato un sermone per la terza domenica del tempo ordinario che presenta a Mons. Romero come “un martire per il Vangelo di Cristo” adatto per lo studio del Vangelo di questa Domenica. 

Il Vangelo cristiano è ancora pericoloso quando la sua verità è davvero mettere in pratica”, si legge nel sermone di Radio Vaticana.  Questo si vede chiaramente nel caso di Mons. Oscar Romero, assassinato quando, come Gesù, ha ricordato popolo dei bisogni dei poveri e degli oppressi in El Salvador.  Il testo prosegue per ricapitolare la storia dell'arrivo di Romero a San Salvador come vescovo ‘conservatore’ che, tra l'assassinio del suo amico Rutilio Grande, è ‘convertito’ alla necessità di denunciare le ingiustizie, alla luce del Vangelo.  Le sue parole e le azioni sono stati segnalati in tutto il mondo, in modo che tutti sapevano le atrocità che accadono in El Salvador”, dice il testo.  Poi descrive come Romero è stato assassinato da agenti della dittatura militare a causa delle sue denunce.  Così, l'arcivescovo Romero morì martire per il vangelo di Cristo”, conclude l’Omelia.  Mentre riflettiamo oggi sulle parole di Gesù sulla sua missione, ricordiamo Mons. Romero e continuiamo a cercare di vivere fedelmente nel nostro mondo e nella nostra vita quotidiana, la verità ‘pericolosa’ di ‘lieto messaggio’, che è un dono di Gesù a noi oggi.”--Radio Vaticana

Questo blog propone Romero per l'Anno della Fede.  Mons. Romero incarna la “testimonianza credibile” che Papa Benedetto XVI ha chiesto alla Chiesa di evidenziare questo anno. “Ciò di cui il mondo oggi ha particolarmente bisogno”, il Pontefice ha scritto nel suo motu propio «PORTA FIDEI», “è la testimonianza credibile di quanti, illuminati nella mente e nel cuore dalla Parola del Signore, sono capaci di aprire il cuore e la mente di tanti al desiderio di Dio e della vita vera, quella che non ha fine.” Come il martire più noto del XX° secolo, abbracciato al di là del mondo cattolico, l'arcivescovo Romero è particolarmente adatto. Lo stesso Benedetto ha detto che Romero era “veramente credibile, di testimonianza della fede” nel 2007.  L’Omelia di Radio Radio Vaticana per questa prossima terza domenica del tempo ordinario confirma la nostra intuizione.

Altre note in Italiano in questo blog:

Romero e i Papi: Giovanni Paolo I

Romero e i Papi: Benedetto XV

Perché beatificare lui

Nuovo concetto di Romero

Il padre Rutilio Grande

Obama visita tomba di Romero

Romero per gli bambini

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


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La Fundación Romero en El Salvador ha anunciado que el lema para las conmemoraciones del XXXIII Aniversario del Martirio de Mons. Romero, celebradas el 24 de marzo de este año, será “Dios está en medio de nosotros”—una frase tomada de la homilía de Mons. Romero del 16 de diciembre de 1979.  La elección de ese lema encaja perfectamente con la visión presentada en este blog de ofrecer a «Mons. Romero para el Año de la Fe».  De hecho, la frase completa que Mons. Romero pronunció en 1979 relaciona directamente las palabras citadas con el tema de la fe, diciendo, integralmente: “Dios está en medio de nosotros. Tengamos fe en esta verdad central de la sagrada revelación”.  (Hom. 16-12-1979.)

Ese mensaje de monseñor es vigente en este Año de la Fe.  El Papa Benedicto, en una audiencia sobre el tema de “como hablar de Dios en el Año de la Fe”, resaltó la necesidad de anunciar al mundo la inserción de Dios en la historia.  Hablar de Dios”, dijo el Pontífice, “quiere decir, ante todo, tener bien claro lo que debemos llevar a los hombres y a las mujeres de nuestro tiempo: no un Dios abstracto, una hipótesis, sino un Dios concreto, un Dios que existe, que ha entrado en la historia y está presente en la historia”.  Esa presencia de Dios en la historia debe ser expuesta al mundo a la luz del Concilio Vaticano II como una razón para ser optimista, dijo Benedicto en otra audiencia sobre el Año de la Fe.  Debemos aprender la lección más sencilla y fundamental del Concilio”, dijo Benedicto.  Lo importante hoy, precisamente como era el deseo de los padres conciliares, es que se vea —de nuevo, con claridad— que Dios está presente, nos cuida, nos responde”.

Eso es precisamente lo que Mons. Romero predicó en su homilía de “alegría y esperanza” («Gaudium et spes», en el lenguaje del Concilio), de 1979: que “ningún cristiano debe sentirse solo en su caminar, ninguna familia tiene que sentirse desamparada, ningún pueblo debe ser pesimista aún en medio de las crisis que parecen insolubles, como la de nuestro país”.  Es en este contexto que llegó a decir, “Dios está en medio de nosotros. Tengamos fe en esta verdad central de la sagrada revelación”.  Y terminó con estas palabras alentadoras: “Dios está presente, no duerme, está activo, observa, ayuda y a su tiempo actúa oportunamente. Por eso la presencia de Dios despierta en el corazón la verdadera alegría: ¡Alegraos en el Señor! De nuevo os repito: ¡Alegraos porque Dios está cerca!

El mensaje de Mons. Romero, que “Dios está en medio de nosotros”, como que es un reflejo de lo que Benedicto XVI ha querido impulsar al llamarnos a vivir un Año de la Fe.  La Iglesia vive en la historia”, dice el Papa, “no se encierra en sí misma, sino que afronta con valentía su camino en medio de dificultades y sufrimientos, afirmando con fuerza que el mal, en definitiva, no vence al bien , la oscuridad no ofusca el esplendor de Dios”.  La alegría de Mons. Romero ante la adversidad es relevante para este 2013dice Benedicto: “Este es un punto importante para nosotros; como cristianos nunca podemos ser pesimistas; sabemos bien que en el camino de nuestra vida encontramos a menudo violencia, mentira, odio, persecuciones, pero esto no nos desalienta”.

Por eso, ofrecemos a Mons. Romero para el Año de la Fe, como un testigo creíble de uno de los mensajes principales de nuestra espiritualidad: Dios está en medio de nosotros. Tengamos fe.   

Monday, January 07, 2013


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In November 2012, two Italian bishops responded to Pope Benedict’s proclamation of a «Year of Faith» by launching a series of seminars on the witnesses of the faith, and kicking it off by highlighting Óscar Romero.  Monsignor Luigi Marrucci, the Bishop of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia and Monsignor Matteo Zuppi, the Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, presented Romero together.  To look at a martyr,” explained Bishop Zuppi, “is even more helpful than studying the Catechism.”  This is not to say that martyrs are “a superior class of Christians,” he said.  But, rather, martyrs are ordinary people who have simply “loved more than others.”  This year, we will follow the two bishops’ lead, and present Archbishop Romero as a model for the «Year of Faith.»

Archbishop Romero embodies the “credible witness” that Pope Benedict has asked the Church to highlight this year. “What the world is in particular need of today,” the Pontiff wrote in his motu propio «PORTA FIDEIis the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end.”  As the best known 20th Cent. martyr, broadly embraced beyond the Catholic world, Archbishop Romero singularly fits the bill.  (In fact, Benedict himself said that  Romero was “truly credible, a witness of faith” in 2007.)  Romero represents the spirit of the Church that Benedict wishes to hold up: a Church which, “like a stranger in a foreign land,” in the words of Vatican II, “presses forward amid the persecutions of the world … announcing the cross and death of the Lord until he comes.” (PORTA, supra.)  And there can hardly be a more convincing model for the «Year of Faith» than a martyr of the faith.  By faith,” the Pope reminds us, “the martyrs gave their lives, bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel that had transformed them and made them capable of attaining to the greatest gift of love: the forgiveness of their persecutors.”  (Id.)  Archbishop Romero did this, and therefore he offers the ‘credible witness’ that the Pope has asked us to highlight.
«Archbishop Romero for the Year of Faith» will be this Blog’s theme this year.  First, we wish to highlight previous posts that illustrate Romero’s suitability to be a model for the «Year of Faith» reflections.  In particular, we call attention to the following ten topics in prior blog posts.

1.      The Homiliarium and Supplementum, which chart all of Romero’s homilies and collate the original audio recordings, Spanish language transcriptions, English translations, and Scriptural readings for each sermon. 

2.      «Septem sermones ad pauperem,» our special series analyzing Archbishop Romero’s ‘seven [last] sermons to the poor.’ 

3.      Romero’s preaching on the Transfiguration, which sets forth Romero’s social views, as opposed to Liberation Theology.

5.      Romero’s Eucharistic adoration. 

6.      Romero’s orthodoxy and moral preaching. 

7.      Romero’s ascetic influences/practices. 

9.      Ecumenical and international recognitions. 

10.  Romero remembered in El Salvador, through the weekly masses at his grave and incorporation into popular piety, such as Holy week commemorations.
Second, our new posts this year will continue to highlight and expand the ten topics described above, as well as introduce additional topics that illustrate «Romero for the Year of Faith  As in previous years, you can expect to see upwards of fifty blog posts this year (the average has been 55-60 in the last three years), with recurring posts, including annual examinations of the beatification process status, annual round-ups of Romero news, and other posts examining Romero’s life and legacy.  As always, the goal is to provide “well-informed news and well-researched commentary” on all things Óscar Romero.”
And third, we will highlight «Romero for the Year of Faith» in two special series of posts this year.  (1) In the first quarter of the year, we will mark the 33rd Anniv. of Mgr. Romero’s martyrdom with our third installment of «Septem sermones ad pauperem» to focus on Romero’s scriptural interpretations in his final homilies.   As Providence would have it, we are on the same reading cycle in 2013 as we were in 1980.  (2) In a special series of posts midyear, we will analyze Romero’s four pastoral letters, dedicating a blog post to each of the four letters and their teachings.  This series will appear around the Aug. 6 date of the Feast of the Transfiguration, the date that Romero released three of his four pastoral letters.
In the words of Bishop Marrucci when presenting Archbishop Romero to his diocese of Civitavecchia in November, “We treasure our brethren who have incarnated Jesus in their own lives because through them we re-encounter the central truth of our Lord.”  And, in the words of Mgr. Zuppi, Romero stands with the martyrs of the 20th century who “offer their witness to the Christians of the new millennium, just as the first martyrs do for today’s [Christian] community.”  As such, Archbishop Romero represents the best that the Church has to offer a world in particular need of credible witnesses.

Sunday, January 06, 2013


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Este día Su Santidad Benedicto XVI declaró que “un Obispo debe de ser un hombre al que le importan los hombres, que se siente tocado por las vicisitudes de los hombres”; un peregrino “en camino hacia el verdadero rey del mundo y su promesa de justicia, verdad y amor”; y un hombre “valeroso” hasta el punto de “dejarse golpear y enfrentarse a los criterios de las opiniones dominantes”.   En este post analizamos, como es de costumbre a principios de año, si Mons. Romero—quien, a nuestro criterio rellenó (y rebasó) las cualidades en el discurso del papa—puede ser beatificado este año.  Concretamente hablando, no hay verdaderamente mucha posibilidad de que Mons. Romero pueda ser beatificado este año.  Sin embargo, ante Dios todo es posible, y podemos hablar de algún escenario—ya casi milagroso—según cual podría avanzar la causa.  Y además, aunque no se alcance lograr la beatificación este año, sí se puede hablar de desestancar la causa para que siga progresando de una manera más satisfactoria que la inactividad que la caracterizó el año pasado.

¿Por qué decimos que la posibilidad de tener una beatificación en el 2013 es poca?  Basado en lo que entendemos sobre donde se encuentra el caso y qué queda por hacer, no hay suficiente tiempo dentro de doce meses para terminar el trabajo que se necita terminar para poder beatificar a Mons. Romero en el 2013.  Según una nota de prensa publicada por el periódico italiano «La Stampa», “los teólogos y los historiadores de la Congregación nunca han iniciado a trabajar en el material recogido durante la fase diocesana” del proceso de Mons. Romero.  El relator de la causa de Mons. Romero, el P. Daniel Ols, le comentó al «National Catholic Reporter»  que el lapso normal para revisar esos materiales es de diez años.  O sea, basado en ese frio cálculo, si verdaderamente no se ha comenzado la revisión y se necesitan diez años para estudiar y revisar, sencillamente no se va a terminar dentro de los próximos doce meses, especialmente bajo la situación descrita en algunas notas, de una falta de atención o interés en adelantar la causa.  Aun presumiendo de que ha habido algunos avances, y que la situación no esté en un desatendido extremo, es probable de que un año todavía sería muy poco tiempo para completar lo necesario para obtener la beatificación de Mons. Romero en el 2013.

Ahora bien, supongamos que se ha hecho lo suficiente para reducir ese lapso de diez años a una lista de tareas que sí se pueden completar en un año, ¿es factible poder pensar que eso sucedería?  Todo dependería de la voluntad eclesiástica por querer sacar adelante la causa—nos referimos en este caso en una decisión papal, del postulador don Vincenzo Paglia, de la conferencia episcopal de El Salvador, y de la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos (del prefecto Mons. Amato, y del ya mencionado P. Ols, entre otros).  A nuestro criterio, los elementos necesarios para volver a poner en marcha el proceso allí están.  Viendo, en primer lugar, la agenda papal para este año: Benedicto regresa a Brasil en julio, con posibilidades de visitar a Panamá, que sería su primera llegada a tierras centroamericanas; y a Colombia, el país que nos dio Medellín (sede de los documentos eclesiales que animaron el pastoral de Mons. Romero).  El papa está promoviendo un «Año de la Fe», para el cual se está especulando sobre muchas beatificaciones de alto perfil para resaltar los valores que se quieren inculcar.  Por ejemplo, hay especulación de que Pablo VI, Juan Pablo I y posiblemente Pio XII podrían ser beatificados, y en España, la conferencia episcopal ha programado cerrar el Año de la Fe con beatificaciones conjuntas de dos grupos de mártires en octubre.  (La arquidiócesis de San Salvador, por coincidencia, también está celebrando un «Año Jubilar» por motivo de su centenario como arquidiócesis; y ya faltarán solamente cuatro años para el centenario del natalicio de Mons. Romero que se da el 15 de agosto del 2017.)

Es posible imaginarse que estos factores pudieran acumularse para engendrar el deseo en la feligresía y la jerarquía de la Iglesia para hacer un esfuerzo sostenido de llevar a su término el trabajo de la beatificación de Mons. Romero dentro de este año.  Se puede argumentar que no hay mejor exponente para un «Año de la Fe» que un mártir de la fe, y seguramente no hay un mártir de la fe por ser beatificado de mayor peso que Mons. Romero.  Ya hace diez años se decía que, “Entre los íconos católicos populares del siglo XX, no hay un santo en espera que figure de manera más prominente que Oscar Romero”, y una reciente nota de prensa confirma que sigue siendo “extremadamente popular”.  Lo importante de reconocer, es que se necesitaría un mayor empeño para poder lograr arrancar de nuevo la causa—no queremos decir que es probable, o que se cree que exista una intención de hacerlo.  La verdad es que hasta el momento no se ha visto ninguna seña de querer lograr la beatificación de Mons. Romero dentro de este marco de tiempo.  Una indicación importante sobre la agenda de la Congregación para las Causas de los Santos la tendremos este lunes 14 de enero, cuando el Prefecto de esa Congregación dará su discurso anual a los alumnos que estudian un diplomado sobre los procesos de la Congregación para declarar beatos, santos y doctores de la Iglesia.  Será interesante saber qué es lo que la Congregación tiene programado como parte de su agenda para el «Año de la Fe» y esto nos podría dar luces adicionales sobre las posibilidades aquí tratadas.

Si bien estos elementos no logran alcanzar la beatificación de Mons. Romero dentro el «Año de la Fe», los mismos factores podrían ser claves para impulsar un relanzamiento de su causa de beatificación, para reanimarla y reimpulsarla de manera que reasuma el nivel de proceso que todos esperamos para un mártir tan importante de la Iglesia universal.  Hay dos pasos esenciales que esperamos ver para volver a tener una gran esperanza de tener a Mons. Romero próximamente en los altares.  Primero, sería alguna confirmación de que su proceso ha sido trasladado desde la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe a la Congregación para la Causa de los Santos, para que esta última lo pueda estudiar.  Segundo, sería alguna confirmación de parte de Mons. Paglia o la Congregación, de que la comisión de teólogos (y después, la comisión de cardenales) haya comenzado a hojear los informes.  Pensamos que esto bien puede ser cierto aún en este mismo momento, pero lo que falta es tener confirmación de ello en algún reporte.

El proceso de Mons. Romero es peculiar por haberse estancado tan cerca de la meta, como un objeto que se traba cerca de la apertura de una tubería que lo llevaría a su liberación.  Lo bueno de esto es que, cuando comience a progresar nuevamente, la espera será muy breve para terminar el proceso.  Mientras tanto, la espera es doblemente frustrante porque no hace sentir que estamos «tan cerca y aún tan lejos» de la meta final.


Informe 2006
Perspectivas 2007
Perspectivas 2008
Perspectivas 2011
Perspectivas 2012