Defense of Life as Social Justice
In comments to Catholic gynecologists the day after the publication of an interview in which he said the Church should not overly emphasize teaching on matters of sexual morality, the Pope made his most explicit remarks to date condemning abortion. Francis linked the protection of the unborn to the promotion of social justice. This is exactly the tack Archbishop Romero used in approaching the issue. “If we experience repression when young women and men as well as adults are killed, then the same must also occur when life is removed from the womb of a woman,” said Romero. “The life that is destroyed in a woman’s womb is the same that occurs when a person is assassinated or when the Minister of Education is assassinated. When the child is aborted from the mother’s womb, that child is also assassinated.”
Social Justice is Not Communism
A more obvious Romero note was sounded by Francis in his Friday morning sermon at St. Martha’s House, where he resides in the Vatican. Expounding on St. Paul’s warning against love of money, Pope Francis said: “You cannot serve both God and money. You cannot! It’s either the one or the other! And this is not communism, eh! This is pure Gospel! These are the words of Jesus!” The part where the Pope said “this is not communism” would have been music to Oscar Romero’s ears, as he was accused of peddling communism when he preached the Social Doctrine of the Church in El Salvador.
Romero Cross on Vatican Radio
Finally, Vatican Radio reported on the blessing of the Romero Cross (photo) at St. George’s Cathedral in London, in a ceremony presided by Archbishop Peter Smith featuring Msgr. Ricardo Urioste, who turned 88 earlier in the week, and had been Archbishop Romero’s vicar and now heads the Romero Foundation in El Salvador. In its first report on September 12, Vatican Radio interviewed Canon John O’Toole, the Dean of St George's Cathedral, who called Romero “a voice for the voiceless ... especially in the spirit of Pope Francis.” In a second report on September 18, Vatican Radio spoke to Julian Filochowski, the chair of the Archbishop Romero Trust in the UK, who said that “The thing with Romero was that he not only expressed and spoke his faith but he lived the faith,” noting that “his commitment to the poor took him to his death.” Super Martyrio will have more about this event in an upcoming post. [Photos.]