Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Archbishop Romero & All The Saints


 
Which one of us”—asked Pope Francis during his October 30, 2013 General Audience—“has not felt insecurities, losses and even doubts in the journey of faith?  We all have experienced them, however we should not be frightened, but trust in God and the intercession of the saints to overcome them, said the Holy Father.  When Archbishop Óscar A. Romero marked his first All Saints Day as archbishop, he returned to El Paisnal, where his friend Fr. Rutilio Grande, martyred at the beginning of that first year of his archbishopric, was buried. Romero recalled the Jesuit and his two peasant travel companions killed alongside him. “They have completed their work here on earth and they are now united with this multitude of saints in Heaven where we are able to contemplate them,” Romero said, “on this feast of All Saints Day. For they are united with the great multitude of persons who have survived the time of great tribulation … proclaimed in today’s Gospel.” (November 1, 1977 Homily.)
Lovingly, Romero recalled the other precious victims of his Church (as of that time): “I want to remember here our beloved brother, Father Alfonso Navarro, and our dear catechists—it is impossible to name all of them—but we remember, for example, Miguel Martinez and Filomena Puertas and so many other women and men who have ministered and died. At the time of their suffering and painful agony, when they were flogged and tortured and riddled with bullets, when they offered their lives in sacrifice, then were they received in Heaven.” (Id.) Referring to all of them, Romero asked, “Who has conquered? In the words of Scripture, we can ask our martyrs in heaven and those who killed them and continue to persecute the Christians: Where, O death, is your victory?  The victory is in faith. Those who have been killed for the cause of justice are victorious.” (Id.) A word that would apply today to the Bishop who uttered them.
Archbishop Romero was spiritually nourished by the “multitude of saints in Heaven” not only on All Saints Day, but throughout the liturgical year. Romero not only alluded to the saints collectively, but he pointed out the specific virtues of the saints of popular Catholicism.  A few examples:
Saint Joseph:
As we all know Saint Joseph has a unique relationship with [Jesus and Mary]. For Mary, Saint Joseph was her husband. Those of you who have the dignity of being a husband, reflect on what it means to be the husband in a home, the father of a family. This is Saint Joseph’s role not only for the Holy Family but for the family that has grown into the great family of God. (12/19/1977 Hom.)
God needs women and men to be instruments like Saint Joseph and the angels who collaborated with God in the development of his plans of love and salvation and hope on earth. Blessed are those Christians who know how to sanctify their lives with the gospel and who, like Saint Joseph, become instruments of God’s salvation. (12/28/1977 Hom.)
St. Francis of Assisi:
Between the readings, the choir from Tejutla sang the beautiful hymn of Saint Francis of Assisi: praise to you, Lord, and may you be adored. For that man, Saint Francis of Assisi, a poor man, called all creatures to praise you. (10/1/1978 Hom.)
St. Martin of Porres:
On November 3rd, I was happy to celebrate the feast of Saint Martin de Porres in Quezaltepeque. Many boys and girls dressed like Saint Martin and carried brooms that represented the call and the message of this saint. Privileged people and people in lofty positions do not attract God’s blessing in the same way as humble people who, like Saint Martin, know how to make their broom and their daily chores (whether small or great) instruments of their sanctification. The destiny of humankind is not to obtain large a amount of money or power but to fulfill the will of God. This is the message that we communicated to the people of Quezaltepeque on this feast of Saint Martin. (11/6/1977 Hom.)
St. Teresa of the Child Jesus:
Remember that the saint of the missions is Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, a contemplative sister, who never left her cloister in Lisieux, France. Yet here is the secret of the missionary: from the cloister, the home, the store, the marketplace—from whatever profession, like Saint Theresa, offer all your sorrows and sacrifices for the missions. When the poor, tired woman, suffering from tuberculosis, walked in the patio of the convent and became tired, she rested on an earthenware flower pot and said: I offer my weariness to the Lord for the missionary who at this moment is walking through unknown lands. My sisters and brothers, how beautiful it is to be a missionary ... (8/21/1977 Hom.)
St. Anthony:
In Soyapango we celebrated the feast of Saint Anthony and applied the message of this saint of the Middle Ages to the present day situation. This was a saint who because of his studies knew how to speak difficult truths in his time. (6/17/1979 Hom.)
This does not take into account the countless times that Archbishop Romero spoke of the Blessed Virgin, Saint Paul, his numerous quotations of St. Augustine, and other theological and evangelical references in his preaching. In the case of the Mother of God, Archbishop Romero summarized all of his remarks when he said, “The history of Latin America cannot be understood without including devotion to the Virgin.” (12/9/1979 Hom.) [MORE.]
Putting his faith in all the saints, Romero prayed, “Let us not be afraid! Let us follow these roads that will lead us to the celebration of All Souls Day! Let us pray for one another so that we might also live with the saints in heaven and participate in the glory of the risen Christ!” (11/1/1977 Hom., supra.)

Mons. Romero y Todos los Santos


 
¿Quién de nosotros”—preguntó el Papa Francisco en su Audiencia General del 30 de octubre de 2013—“no ha experimentado inseguridades, desorientaciones e incluso dudas en el camino de la fe?  Todas las hemos sentido, sin embargo no deberíamos asustarnos sino confiar en Dios y en la intercesión de los santos para superarlas, dijo el Santo Padre.  Cuando a Monseñor Óscar A. Romero le tocó marcar su primer Día de Todos los Santos como arzobispo, regresó a El Paisnal, donde estaba enterrado su gran amigo el P. Rutilio Grande, martirizado a principios de aquel primer año de su arzobispado. “Aunque el Padre Grande, don Manuel y Nelson ya terminaron su faena”, Monseñor predicaba—recordando al jesuita y sus dos compañeros campesinos, “y ahora se unen a esa turba de los santos en el cielo, para que nosotros contemplemos … no sólo el Día de Difuntos, que se celebrará mañana, sino a los santos del cielo, la gran muchedumbre venida de la gran tribulación por los caminos de las Bienaventuranzas, que se acaban de proclamar en el evangelio”. (Homilía del 1/11/1977.)
Amorosamente, Mons. Romero recordó a las otras preciosas víctimas de su Iglesia (hasta aquel momento): “Yo quiero recordar aquí al querido hermano, el Padre Alfonso Navarro, a nuestros queridos hermanos catequistas, -sería imposible enumerarlos- pero recordemos, por ejemplo a Filomena Puertas, a Miguel Martínez, a tantos otros, queridos hermanos, que han trabajado, que han muerto, y que en la hora de su dolor, de su agonía dolorosa, mientras los despellejaban, mientras los torturaban y daban su vida, mientras eran ametrallados, subieron al cielo”. (Id.) De todos ellos, Monseñor preguntó: “¿Quién ha vencido? ... ‘¿Dónde está, oh muerte, tu victoria?’ La victoria es la de la fe. Han salido victoriosos los matados por la justicia”. (Id.) Palabras que se aplicarían hoy a aquel que las pronunció.
Mons. Romero se sustentaba de la “turba de los santos en el cielo” no solo en el Día de los Santos, sino que durante todo el año litúrgico. Mons. Romero no solo aludió a los santos en su conglomeración colectiva, sino que señaló las virtudes puntuales de los santos del catolicismo popular.  Algunos ejemplos:
San José:
San José tiene una relación única, como todos sabemos. Para María es su esposo. Reflexionen aquí los que llevan esa dignidad de esposo lo que significa en un hogar el esposo, el padre de familia. Eso es San José no sólo para la Sagrada Familia, sino para esa familia que va a crecer inmensamente, la familia de Dios. (Hom. 19/12/1977.)
Dios necesita hombres, Dios necesita instrumentos que sean como José, que sean como los ángeles, que colaboren con Dios en desarrollar sus designios de amor, de salvación, de esperanza en la tierra. Dichosos los cristianos que saben santificar su vida con el evangelio y se hacen como José instrumentos de la salvación de Dios. (Hom.28/12/1977.)
San Francisco de Asís:
El coro de Tejutla, entre las lecciones de hoy, cantaba el cántico precioso de Francisco de Asís: Laudato sie, mi' Signore, Seas alabado Señor. Aquel hombre que llamó a todas las criaturas a la alabanza, San Francisco de Asís, porque era pobre. (Hom.1/10/1978.)
San Martín de Porres:
En Quezaltepeque, también, tuve la felicidad de celebrar el santo humilde y bueno, San Martín de Porres, el 3 de noviembre por la tarde: una comunidad representando en muchos niños y niñas vestidos de San Martín, con su escobita, el llamamiento, el mensaje de San Martín, que no son las posiciones altas, privilegiadas, las que atraen las bendiciones mejores del Señor, sino las almas humildes que, como Martín de Porres, saben hacer de su escoba, de sus quehaceres más humildes o grandes, el instrumento de su santificación. Pero, que el destino del hombre no es tener mucho dinero, tener mucho poder, ser muy vistoso, sino saber cumplir la voluntad de Dios. Este es el mensaje que dejamos en Quezaltepeque, junto al santo negrito, San Martín de Porres. (Hom. 6/11/1977.) [MÁS.]
Santa Teresa de Jesús:
La patrona de las misiones fue Santa Teresa del Niño Jesús, una monja de contemplación que nunca salió de su claustro de Lisieux en Francia y, sin embargo, aquí está el secreto para ser misionero desde el claustro, desde el hogar, desde la tienda, desde el puesto de mercado, desde la profesión, como Santa Teresa de Jesús, ofrecer todos sus dolores, sus sacrificios, por las misiones. Cuando la pobrecita, agobiada por la tuberculosis y que tenía que hacer sus paseos por el patio del convento, se cansaba, sentada sobre una loza decía: "Le ofrezco al Señor este cansancio por el misionero que en estos momentos andará recorriendo tierras desconocidas". Qué hermoso es ser misionero, hermanos ... (Hom. 21/8/1977.)
San Antonio:
En Soyapango celebramos la fiesta de San Antonio actualizando el mensaje de un santo de la Edad Media como es San Antonio, lo que sería hoy. Un santo que según los estudiosos supo hablar la verdad difícil de su tiempo. (Hom. 17/6/1979.)
Todo esto no toma en cuenta las incontables ocasiones en que Mons. Romero se refirió a la Santísima Virgen, a San Pablo, sus diversas citaciones de San Agustín, y otras referencias teológicas y evangélicas en su prédica. En el caso de la Madre de Dios, Mons. Romero sumó todo su discurso al decir que, “No se puede entender la historia latinoamericana si no es con la devoción a la Virgen”. (Hom. 9/12/1979.) [MÁS.]
Aferrándose a todos los santos, Mons. Romero rezó diciendo, “No tengamos miedo. Sigamos este caminar que nos llevará a ser un día difuntos, para que recen por nosotros, pero también santos en el cielo, participantes de la gloria de Cristo resucitado”. (Hom. 1/11/1977, supra.)

Mons. Romero e Tutti i Santi


Chi di noi”—ha chiesto Papa Francesco durante la sua Udienza Generale di 30 Ottobre 2013— “non ha sperimentato insicurezze, smarrimenti e perfino dubbi nel cammino della fede?” Tutti noi li abbiamo sperimentato, ma non dobbiamo essere spaventati, ma ad avere fiducia in Dio e l'intercessione dei santi per il loro superamento, ha detto il Santo Padre.  Quando Mons. Oscar A. Romero ha marcato la sua prima Festa di Ognissanti, come arcivescovo, è tornato a El Paisnal, dove il suo amico p. Rutilio Grande, martirizzato all’inizio del primo anno del suo arcivescovato, fu sepolto. Romero ha ricordato il gesuita ei suoi due compagni di viaggio uccise al suo fianco. “Hanno completato il loro lavoro sulla terra e ora sono uniti a questa moltitudine di santi in cielo, dove possiamo contemplare loro”, ha detto Romero “a questa festa di Tutti i Santi. Ad essi sono uniti con la grande moltitudine di persone che sono sopravvissute al tempo della grande tribolazione... proclamata nel Vangelo di oggi”. (Omelia di 1 novembre 1977.)
Amorevolmente, Romero ha ricordato le altre preziose vittime della sua Chiesa (fino a tale data): “Voglio ricordare qui il nostro amato fratello, Padre Alfonso Navarro, ed i nostri cari catechisti—è impossibile citare tutti, ma ci ricordiamo, per esempio, Miguel Martinez e Filomena Puertas e tante altre donne e uomini che hanno lavorato e sono morti. Al momento della loro sofferenza e dolorosa agonia, quando sono stati frustati e torturati e crivellato di colpi, quando hanno offerto la loro vita in sacrificio, allora erano hanno ricevuto in Cielo”. (Id.) Riferendosi a tutti loro, ha chiesto Romero, “Chi ha vinto? Nelle parole della Scrittura, possiamo chiedere ai nostri martiri in cielo e chi li ha uccisi e continuano a perseguitare i cristiani: Dov’è, o morte, la tua vittoria? La vittoria è nella fede. Coloro che sono stati uccisi per la causa della giustizia sono vittoriose”. (Id.) Parole che si applicherebbero oggi, a lui che li pronunciate.
Mons. Romero era spiritualmente nutrito dalla “moltitudine di santi in cielo” non è solo il giorno di Ognissanti, ma durante tutto l’anno liturgico. Romero allude non solo ai santi collettivamente, ma ha sottolineato le virtù specifiche dei santi del cattolicesimo popolare.  Alcuni esempi:
San Giuseppe:
Come tutti sanno San Giuseppe ha un rapporto unico con [Gesù e Maria]. Per Maria, San Giuseppe era suo marito. Quelli di voi che hanno la dignità di essere un marito, riflettere su ciò che significa essere il marito in una casa, il padre di famiglia. Questo è il ruolo di San Giuseppe, non solo per la Sacra Famiglia, ma per la famiglia che è cresciuta nella grande famiglia di Dio. (Omelia 1977/12/19.)
Dio ha bisogno di uomini e donne che sono strumenti come San Giuseppe e gli angeli che hanno collaborato con Dio nello sviluppo dei suoi piani di amore e di salvezza e di speranza sulla terra. Beati quei cristiani che sanno come santificare la propria vita con il Vangelo e che, come San Giuseppe, diventano strumenti di salvezza di Dio. (Omelia 1977/12/28.)
San Francesco d’Assisi:
Tra le letture, il coro di Tejutla ha cantato il bellissimo inno di San Francesco d’ Assisi: lode a te, Signore, e possa tu essere adorato. Quindi l’uomo, San Francesco d’Assisi, un uomo povero, ha chiamato tutte le creature a lodare te. (Omelia 1978/10/01.)
San Martino di Porres:
Il 3 novembre, sono stato felice di celebrare la festa di San Martino de Porres in Quezaltepeque. Molti ragazzi e ragazze vestiti come San Martino con sui scope effettuate che rappresentava la chiamata e il messaggio di questo santo. I privilegiati e le persone in posizioni alte non attirano la benedizione di Dio nello stesso modo come persone umili che, come san Martino, sanno fare il loro scopa e le loro faccende quotidiane (piccoli o grandi) strumenti della loro santificazione. Il destino dell’uomo non è quello di ottenere una grande quantità di denaro o di potere, ma per compiere la volontà di Dio. Questo è il messaggio che abbiamo comunicato alla gente di Quezaltepeque in questa festa di San Martino. (Omelia 1977/06/11.)
S. Teresa del Bambino Gesù:
Ricordate che la santa delle missioni è santa Teresa del Bambino Gesù, una sorella contemplativa, che non ha mai lasciato il suo chiostro a Lisieux, Francia. Eppure, ecco il segreto del missionario: dal chiostro, la casa, il negozio, il mercatoda qualunque professione, come Santa Teresa, offrire a tutti i tuoi dolori e sacrifici per le missioni. Quando la povera donna stanca, malato di tubercolosi, entrò nel cortile del convento e divenne stanca, poggiava su un vaso di fiori di terracotta e disse: io offro la mia stanchezza al Signore per il missionario che in questo momento sta camminando attraverso terre sconosciuto. Cari fratelli e sorelle, che bello è essere un missionario... (Omelia 1977/08/21.)
Sant’Antonio:
In Soyapango abbiamo celebrato la festa di Sant’Antonio e applicato il messaggio di questo santo del Medioevo per la situazione attuale. Questo è stato un santo che a causa dei suoi studi sapeva parlare le verità difficili nel suo tempo. (Omelia 1979/06/17.)
Ciò non tiene in considerazione le innumerevoli volte che Mons. Romero ha parlato della Beata Vergine, San Paolo, le sue numerose citazioni di Sant’Agostino, e altri riferimenti teologici ed evangelici nella sua predicazione. Nel caso della Madre di Dio, Mons. Romero riassume tutte le sue osservazioni quando ha detto: “La storia dell’America Latina non può essere compresa senza includere la devozione alla Vergine”. (Omelia 1979/12/09.)
Mettendo la sua fede in tutti i santi, Romero pregò: “Non dobbiamo avere paura! Seguiamo queste strade che ci porterà alla celebrazione del giorno dei morti! Preghiamo per l’un l’altro in modo che possiamo anche vivere con i santi in cielo e partecipare alla gloria di Cristo risorto!” (Omelia 1977/11/01, Supra).

Saturday, October 26, 2013

El Pdte. Funes y Mons. Romero (Opinión)

 
 

Seguramente, ningún político salvadoreño ha hecho más bien por Monseñor Romero que el Presidente Mauricio Funes—y nadie puede hacerle más daño a Mons. Romero que el Presidente Mauricio Funes.  El mandatario salvadoreño ha suscitado polémica con declaraciones recientes en la que propone una equivalencia entre el deseo de sus opositores de callar su programa radial, y el deseo de la ultra-derecha en tiempos de las dictaduras de silenciar a Mons. Romero.  Funes ya había jugado con la controversia meses atrás cuando hizo colocar publicidad que declaraba que su gobierno caminaba “Por el rumbo señalado por Monseñor Romero”.
En su afán de defender un gobierno supuestamente así orientado, Funes se olvida que ningún político se puede adueñar de Mons. Romero y pone en riesgo la figura de Mons. Romero, la cual pretende reducir a un nivel político, partidista, precisamente en el momento en que estaba liberándose hacia un nivel de aceptación más amplio en el país.  Hay que empezar reconociendo el bien que ha hecho el Pdte. Funes: el primer presidente en reconocer el valor de Mons. Romero para la sociedad y cultura de El Salvador—ya no se diga ser el primer presidente en reconocer la responsabilidad estatal por su asesinato, y pedir perdón por ella.  Sus esfuerzos a favor de la canonización también han sido apreciables.  En cambio, ¿cuántos presidentes antes que Funes pretendieron que Mons. Romero nunca existió, que su asesinato no ameritó el más menor comentario, y que el 24 de marzo era el día más ordinario de todo el año?  Funes cambió todo eso, y por eso le debemos muchas gracias … pero no lo convierte en propietario de la figura o del legado espiritual de Mons. Óscar Arnulfo Romero.
Si el Presidente de veras quiere ir “Por el rumbo señalado por Monseñor Romero”, haría mucho bien empezando con respetar las siguientes palabras de monseñor, pronunciadas el día antes de su martirio:

Por eso hay que agradecerle a la Iglesia, queridos hermanos políticos, no manipular a la Iglesia para llevarla a lo que nosotros queremos que diga, sino decir nosotros lo que la Iglesia está enseñando, no tiene intereses.

(Homilía del 23 de marzo de 1980.)  La semana anterior, Mons. Romero había resaltado una característica vital de su ministerio: su integridad e independencia ante la izquierda política: “Mantenemos una autonomía de Iglesia, para reivindicar lo justo” en los proyectos de la entonces oposición, “y denunciar también, las violencias injustas, las injusticias e inmadureces que se organizan y que pueden hacer de su organización una idolatría y un abuso de poder”, había dicho.  (Hom. 16 de marzo de 1980.)  Y cuánto más vigencia cobra ese último punto sobre el abuso del poder ahora que la izquierda ha llegado a la cumbre del poder—es cuando resulta más necesario que nunca mantener una separación verdadera, metafísica y filosófica entre Mons. Romero y el proyecto político de la izquierda.
Por supuesto, el implicar a Mons. Romero en asuntos políticos puede hasta dañar su proceso de beatificación.  Por ende, La clase política y dirigencia del país” debería “abstenerse de toda manifestación política que empañe este hecho histórico para el pueblo de El Salvador”. Lo dijo Mauricio Funes el 22 de abril del 2013…

Friday, October 25, 2013

Irish president visits Archb. Romero’s grave

Simon Carswell photo.
 
President Michael D. Higgins, the head of state of Ireland, visited the Tomb of Archbishop Óscar A. Romero of El Salvador on Friday, October 25, 2013, during a visit to Central America.  The Tomb is located in the Crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador, and has been visited by numerous visiting heads of state—most prominently, U.S. President Barack Obama in March 2011.  Various Latin American leaders have similarly paid their respects at Romero’s Tomb, including Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Pres. Rafael Correa of Ecuador, and Pres. Fernando Lugo of Paraguay.  In June of this year, Pres. Sebastián Piñera of Chile praised Romero in his opening remarks upon arrival at the airport.  Pope John Paul II visited in 1983 and 1996.
During a ceremony the day before Friday’s visit, Pres. Higgins paid tribute to Archbishop Romero, saying that, “Óscar Romero has become an illuminating icon not only for the Church but for the oppressed of the world and those in solidarity with them.”

Higgins remained in the crypt a little over an hour, before touring the rest of the interior of the cathedral with his wife.

Pres. Higgins speaks to reporters outside the Cathedral after completing his visit.


Pres. Higgins listens to Msgr. Jesus Delgado as he tours the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador on October 25, 2013.
 
Pres. Higgins at the Truth and Memory Monument in honor of the Salvadoran Civil War's dead on October 25, 2013.
 
Pres. Higgins at the Truth and Memory Monument in honor of the Salvadoran Civil War's dead on October 25, 2013.

Pres. Higgins tours a room used by two women killed alongside 6 priests at a San Salvador Jesuit university in 1989.

Pres. Higgins tours the rose garden where 6 priests were killed at a San Salvador Jesuit university in 1989.
 
Pres. Higgins tours the San Salvador Jesuit university where 6 priests were killed in 1989.
 
Pres. Mauricio Funes (right) shows Pres. Higgins artwork featuring Archbishop Oscar Romero.

Presidente irlandés visita Tumba de Mons. Romero


 

El Presidente Michael D. Higgins, el jefe de Estado de Irlanda, visitó la tumba de Mons. Óscar A. Romero de El Salvador el viernes 25 de octubre de 2013, durante una visita a la América Central. La tumba se encuentra en la cripta de la Catedral Metropolitana de San Salvador, y ha recibido las visitas de numerosos jefes de Estado visitantes, el más prominente, el presidente EE.UU. Barack Obama en marzo de 2011. Varios líderes latinoamericanos han pagado de manera similar sus respetos ante la tumba de Romero, incluyendo el Pdte. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva de Brasil, el Pdte. Rafael Correa del Ecuador, y el Pdte. Fernando Lugo de Paraguay. En junio de este año, el Pdte. Sebastián Piñera de Chile elogió a Romero en sus palabras de apertura a su llegada al aeropuerto.  El Papa Juan Pablo II visitó en 1983 y 1996. [MÁS FOTOS.]
Durante una ceremonia el día antes de la visita del viernes, el Pdte. Higgins rindió homenaje a Monseñor Romero, diciendo que “Óscar Romero se ha convertido en un icono luminoso, no sólo para la Iglesia sino para los oprimidos del mundo y los que están en solidaridad con ellos”.

Higgins permaneció en la cripta un poco más de una hora, antes de recorrer el resto del interior de la catedral con su esposa.

Presidente irlandese visita Tomba di Mons. Romero


Presidente Michael D. Higgins, il capo di stato dell’Irlanda, ha visitato la tomba di Mons. Oscar A. Romero di El Salvador il Venerdì, 25 ottobre 2013, nel corso di una visita in America Centrale. La tomba si trova nella Cripta della Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Salvador, ed è stato visitato da numerosi capi di stato in visita: il principale ha stato il presidente americano Barack Obama nel marzo 2011. Vari leader latinoamericani hanno similmente i loro omaggi alla tomba di Romero, comprese Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva del Brasile, Rafael Correa dell’Ecuador, e Fernando Lugo del Paraguay. Nel giugno di quest’anno, Sebastián Piñera del Cile ha elogiato Romero nel suo intervento di apertura all’arrivo in aeroporto.  Papa Giovanni Paolo II visitò nel 1983 e nel 1996. [GALERIA DI FOTO.]
Nel corso di una cerimonia il giorno prima della visita di Venerdì, Pres. Higgins ha reso omaggio a Mons. Romero, dicendo che “Óscar Romero è diventato un’icona illuminante non solo per la Chiesa ma per gli oppressi del mondo e quelli in solidarietà con loro”.

Higgins è rimasto nella cripta un po più di un’ora, prima di visitare il resto degli interni della cattedrale con la moglie.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Answering a critic


The Nobel-winning physicist Robert B. Laughlin said that “conflict through debate is a powerful means of revealing truth.”  It is in that spirit that I publish this response to a criticism posted on Tim’s El Salvador Blog of the views expressed in this site regarding Liberation Theology.  In part, I respond because I thought the criticism was well-formulated.  But I also respond because I think the criticism misapprehends my positions.  According to the poster,
the analysis of the Super Martyrio blog on liberation theology is reprehensible. Apparently, liberation theology is an abstract noun—no people, no texts, only a straw-man about whom you can impute what you want; just as in the Vatican instructions. So who are these mysterious liberation theologians whom Romero rejects? Gustavo Gutierrez from whom he took a course and with whom he spoke on the phone just a month before his assassination? Jon Sobrino? Who helped draft Romero's 2nd pastoral letter & Louvain address? Ellacuria? Who helped draft the 4th pastoral letter? Rutilio Grande? Whose death caused such a profound change in Romero? Alfonso Navarro? Need we go on?
Yes, there were some liberation theologies with which Romero had differences, but blanket statements like those of Carlos distort the truth and are spread by those who wish to blunt or domesticate the prophetic ministry of Romero.
Generally, I have no trouble conceding that my analysis of Liberation Theology tracks the Vatican instructions of 1984 and 1986.  However, I reject that I have made “blanket statements” that present Liberation Theology as an amorphous mass “about [which] you can impute what you want.”  Neither I nor the Vatican’s instructions do that.  From the first time I posted on the subject, I opened with the proposition that Liberation Theology “has never been entirely rejected by the Church” (September 5, 2010 post—in Spanish).  In that post, I specified that I only separate Romero from Liberation Theology in three discrete areas in which L.T. astrays from Catholic doctrine: (1) in its use of Marxist analysis; (2) in countenancing violence under the rubric of “class struggle;” and (3) in rejecting orthodox notions of ecclesiology (same).  Romero parts company with any Liberation Theology that seeks to do these three things.  But he accepts some of its other premises.  In the same post, I point to Romero’s adoption of the three guiding principles accepted by John Paul II at Puebla (the teachings relating to Christ, the Church, and mankind), later identified by Cardinal Ratzinger as the pillars of authentic Christian Liberation.  And in a subsequent piece (April 26, 2011 post), I identify, by name, which Liberation Theologians Romero read, and which he did not.  Thus, the criticism that my analysis fails to distinguish lines of theology or theologians is without merit.
The poster also argues that I construct a ‘straw man’ argument.  A ‘straw man’ argument is when a debater “creates the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the ‘straw man’), and [purports] to refute it, without ever having actually refuted the original position” (Wikipedia).  Yet an obvious straw man appears in my critic’s post, when he asks, “So who are these mysterious liberation theologians whom Romero rejects?  Answer: as explained above, I never posited that Romero rejected individual liberation theologians, personally.  Instead, I have acknowledged Romero’s personal friendships with Liberation Theologians: “He grew to admire and know many of them personally and he appreciated their genuine commitment to the poor,” I wrote in my April 26, 2011 post.  Accordingly, the poster is refuting a position I specifically did not take, and not my more nuanced actual position, which acknowledges the friendships and collaborations Romero undertook with particular individuals.  (For example, in my June 20, 2012 post, I described Archbishop Romero’s history with Fr. Sobrino, whom I said I held in “near moral equivalency with the martyrs” because he was targeted for assassination but only escaped death because of a fortuity.)
In general, the poster overstates the degree to which Romero depended on the enumerated adherents of Liberation Theology.  For example, there is no evidence that Romero ever took a course from Gustavo Gutiérrez.  Not in Romero’s very detailed diary, not in any biography of Romero that I am aware of, or even in Gutiérrez’s principal speeches and writings that relate to Romero.  Although Jon Sobrino did collaborate with Romero, by Father Sobrino’s own admission, the draft that he wrote for Romero’s second pastoral letter was almost entirely rejected, and substantially reworked by Romero.  Similarly, Ignacio Ellacuría’s contribution to Romero’s fourth pastoral letter was limited.  Ellacuría was one of several priests who advised Romero regarding the document, and the principal drafting/revision was handled by another cleric, Fr. Fabián Amaya, according to Romero’s diary.  A recent book about Ellacuría limits his contribution to serving as “inspiration” for a single section of Romero’s letter.  Love that Produces Hope: The Thought of Ignacio Ellacuría, edited by María Pilar Aquino, Kevin F. Burke, Robert Anthony Lassalle-Klein.  Liturgical Press, 2006.
Finally, we must be careful not to mistake Romero’s magnanimity and desire to be inclusive to be an indication that he allowed a particular segment to hijack his ministry.  If Romero sought to incorporate the school of Liberation Theology into his project, it was to obtain their input and avail himself of their expertise, together with that of other sectors to which he reached out during his archbishopric.
Interpretations [that emphasize Romero’s] liberationist outlook may fail to adequately reflect an equally important dimension of his life and work that is highlighted in his personal diary: his commitment to unity … It involved overcoming divisions in the church and in society, and also overcoming divisions between the church and society.  Appreciating Romero’s concern for unity and therefore his Christian sense of reconciliation is at least as important for an understanding of his theology, ministry and life journey as understanding his Christian sense of liberation.
Latin America Between Conflict and Reconciliation, edited by Martin Leiner, Susan Flämig.  Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012.
As I wrote in my original response to this poster on Tim’s Blog, I do not purport to be an expert in Liberation Theology, as I am not specially trained or a theologian.  While I very well may be mistaken in some of my expressions regarding this subject, I do not believe that I have committed the systemic errors ascribed to me by my critic.  I have simply sought to point out that the generalized statement often advanced, that Romero was a believer or practitioner of Liberation Theology, has significant limitations, which Romero himself, often times, was eager to point out.

See also:

My professed P.O.V.
The Blog's "Thesis" (in Spanish)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Francis: Romero beatification “is on the right path”


 
Pope Francis told the President of the Central American Parliament (Parlacen), Leonel Bucaro, that the cause of beatification for Archbishop Óscar A. Romerois on the right path” according to a (Spanish language) press release issued by the Central American parliamentarian (of Salvadoran nationality) after a conversation with the pontiff during his general audience in St. Peter's Square on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.
During the encounter, President Bucaro took the opportunity to ask his Holiness Pope Francis to expedite the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero,” the statement said. The Pope “told him that it is on the right path.” The meeting was the latest of several occasions in which the Holy Father has been lobbied about the Romero case after the ambassador and the First Lady of El Salvador did so on March 19, the Anglican Bishop John Sentamu on March 20, Argentine Nobel laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel on March 21 and June 24, and the President of El Salvador on May 23—among others.
In recent statements, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller indicated that there are no doctrinal reservations against the beatification and that he expected it would be forthcoming.



Francisco: beatificación Romero “va por buen camino”


 
El Papa Francisco le indicó al presidente del Parlamento Centroamericano (Parlacen), Leonel Búcaro, que la causa de beatificación de Mons. Oscar Arnulfo Romero “va por buen camino”, según un comunicado de prensa emitido por el parlamentario centroamericano de nacionalidad salvadoreña después de conversar con el pontífice durante su audiencia general en la Plaza de San Pedro el miércoles 23 de octubre del 2013.
Durante el encuentro el Presidente Búcaro, aprovecho la ocasión para solicitarle agilizar la beatificación de Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero a su Santidad el Papa Francisco”, informa el comunicado.  El Papa “le respondió que va por buen camino”.  El encuentro sería la última de varias ocasiones en que el Santo Padre ha sido interpelado sobre el caso Romero después de que lo habrían hecho el embajador y la Primera Dama de El Salvador el 19 de marzo, el obispo anglicano John Sentamu el 20 de marzo, el premio Nobel argentino Adolfo Pérez Esquivel el 21 de marzo y el 24 de junio, y el presidente de El Salvador el 23 de mayo—entre otros.
En declaraciones recientes, el Prefecto de la Congregación Para la Doctrina de la Fe, el Arzobispo Gerhard Ludwig Müller indicó que no hay reservas doctrinales en contra de la beatificación y que esperaba que esta llegara en un breve plazo.

 
 

Francesco: beatificazione Romero “è sulla buona strada”


 
Papa Francesco ha detto il presidente del Parlamento centroamericano ( Parlacen ), Leonel Bucaro, che la causa di beatificazione di Mons. Oscar A. Romero “è sulla buona strada”, secondo un comunicato stampa (in spagnolo) rilasciato dal parlamentare centrale americana (di nazionalità salvadoregna), dopo un colloquio con il pontefice durante l’udienza generale in piazza San Pietro il Mercoledì, 23 ottobre 2013.
Durante l’incontro, il presidente Bucaro cogliere l’occasione per chiedere a Sua Santità Papa Francesco per accelerare la beatificazione di Mons. Oscar Arnulfo Romero”, dice la nota. Il Papa “gli ha detto che è sulla buona strada”. L’incontro è stato l’ultimo di diverse occasioni in cui il Santo Padre ha stato interrogato sul caso Romero dopo che l’ambasciatore e la First Lady di El Salvador lo hanno fatto il 19 marzo, il vescovo anglicano John Sentamu il 20 marzo, il premio Nobel argentino Adolfo Perez Esquivel il 21 marzo e il 24 giugno, e il presidente di El Salvador il 23 maggio—tra gli altri.
In recenti dichiarazioni, il Prefetto della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, monsignor Gerhard Ludwig Müller, ha indicato che non vi sono riserve dottrinali contro la beatificazione e che si aspettava che sarebbe stato imminente.

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Archb. Romero in the Peripheries


 
 
Fundación Romero in San Salvador has announced the theme for the 34th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Archbishop Óscar A. Romero, which will be observed on March 24, 2014. The cover of the Liturgical Calendar published by Fundación for 2014 reveals the slogan, taken from Archbishop Romero’s homily on October 30, 1977: “The pastor must be where there is suffering.” The calendar features a photo of the martyred archbishop, walking on railroad tracks in a San Salvador slum, the “La Chacra” Community, accompanied by residents of that neighborhood and two Sisters of the Assumption from the place, Sr. Ignacia and Sr. Carmen.  The photo was taken on Monday, September 3, 1979.
It is probably no coincidence that the theme chosen fits well with the message of Pope Francis, who in his speech to the first group of new bishops appointed during his pontificate, exhorted: “Do not close yourselves in! Go down among your faithful, even into the margins of your dioceses and into all those peripheries of existence where there is suffering, loneliness and human degradation.” The new pope has been extolling as priorities the approaches to the small, to the suffering, constructing “a poor church for the poor,” with “pastors with the odor of the sheep,” etc. Undoubtedly, Archbishop Romero fits the criteria established by Pope Bergoglio, and the theme chosen by the Romero Foundation for the 34th anniversary memorializes the happy coincidence.

Mons. Romero en las Periferias


 
La Fundación Romero en San Salvador ha anunciado el lema del 34° Aniversario del Martirio de Mons. Óscar A. Romero, que se marcará el 24 de marzo del 2014.  La portada del Calendario Litúrgico publicado por la Fundación para el 2014 revela el lema, tomado de la homilía de Mons. Romero del 30 de octubre de 1977: “El pastor debe estar donde está el sufrimiento.”  El calendario luce una foto del arzobispo mártir, caminando sobre las líneas del tren de un barrio marginal de San Salvador, la Comunidad “La Chacra,” acompañado de habitantes de dicho vecindario y de dos Hermanas de la Asunción que trabajaban en el local—la Hna. Ignacia (falda gris) y Hna. Carmen (falda negra).  La foto fue tomada el lunes 3 de septiembre de 1979.
Probablemente no es coincidencia de que el lema escogido encaja muy bien con el mensaje del Papa Francisco, quien en su discurso al primer grupo de obispos nuevos, nombrados en su pontificado, exhorta: “No os cerréis. Bajad en medio de vuestros fieles, también en las periferias de vuestras diócesis y en todas esas periferias existenciales donde hay sufrimiento, soledad, degradación humana”.  El nuevo papa ha puesto en relievo la prioridad de acercarse a los pequeños, a los que sufren, de hacer una Iglesia pobre, para los pobres, con pastores que llevan el olor a oveja, etc.  Indudablemente, Mons. Romero reúne los criterios marcados por el Papa Bergoglio, y el lema escogido por la Fundación Romero para el 34° Aniversario hace memorial de esa grata coincidencia.