Today marks the anniversary of Archbishop Oscar Romero’s martyrdom. He was shot dead on March 24th 1980 when celebrating Mass in the cancer hospital where he lived. This is from one of his sermons:
Those who have listened to me here in church on Sundays
without ill will,
without intending to defend indefensible interests,
those who have listened to me here cannot say
I am giving political or subversive sermons.
All that is simply slander.
You are listening to me at this moment,
and I am saying what I have always said.
What I want to say here in the cathedral pulpit
is what the church is,
and in the name of the church
I want to support what is good,
console the victims of atrocities, of injustices,
and also with courage
disclose the atrocities,
the disappearance of prisoners,
the social injustice.
This is not engaging in politics;
this is building up the church
and carrying out the church’s duty
as imposed by the church’s identity
My conscience is undisturbed,
and I call on all of you:
Let us build up the true church!
Sermon preached on September 10th 1978, from Oscar Romero: the Violence of Love