Sunday, May 05, 2013


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The recently published ALAI interview of Archbishop Romero from February 1980 is the perfect companion piece to our third installment of the Septem Sermones ad Pauperem (Seven Sermons to the Poor) series, which we entitled Septem Sermones Fidei (Seven Sermons of the Faith), in honor of our Roman Catholic Year of Faith.  In the ALAI interview, given by Archbishop Romero just three days before the first sermon in our series, Romero provides an efficient summary of the political content/context of his homilies.  Anyone who thought Romero was a Marxist sympathizer will be surprised to hear Romero lay out—as he does in his seven last sermons—a moderate and rational assessment of the political situation of El Salvador in 1980, viewed through the authorized social doctrine of the Church.
If you have been following our three-year series, you will know that in Lent 2011, we provided a general summary of each sermon, attempting to recap both the content of each homily and the political context in which it was given. In our second pass, in 2012, we highlighted Romero’s message to the poor, because Romero was just as demanding and critical of the left, as he was of the right, though—as the ALAI interview bears out—he had different critiques or expectations of the various sectors.  Finally, in this Year of Faith, we focused on Romero’s analysis of the liturgical readings for each sermon, which he always reminded the faithful was the most important component.

Óscar Romero’s last seven sermons were delivered in a 40-day period that began on February 14, 1980 and culminated on March 24, 1980—the date of his assassination.  The Valentine’s Day start date for this period has lead us to call it Romero’s Quaresima of Love.  The sermons include the “C” Cycle homilies on the Beatitudes, the first four Sundays of Lent and, finally, a private memorial Mass in which Romero expounded on the parable of the Grain of Wheat.  He was assassinated while preaching this homily.  Here is a recap of our posts about these sermons:
Interpretation (2013)
Message to the
Poor (2012)
Overview (2011)
The Beatitudes
The Temptations
The Transfiguration
The Barren Fig Tree
The Prodigal Son
The Adulteress
The Grain of Wheat

The Church is fulfilling its evangelical, pastoral role,” Archbishop Romero insisted in the ALAI interview given at the same time during which the sermons were preached.  She does not have to opt for one plan or another, but supports what is good within any given plan and denounces what is bad in any plan,” he said.  In other words, the Church maintains its autonomy in order to be the conscience within politics.”

Elsewhere in the last few years, we have also collated all of Romero’s Sunday sermons and other homilies, gathering, as available, their Spanish language audios, transcriptions, English translations, and Scriptural readings as well.  This preaching is a spiritual treasure of the Church.
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