Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI and Oscar Romero

Catholic News Service reports that Pope Benedict XVI recalled the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar A. Romero and prayed for the many missionary martyrs of recent years.
Speaking at his noon blessing March 25, the pope noted that the previous day marked the 27th anniversary of the slaying of Archbishop Romero. The March 24 date has been chosen for fasting and prayer for all missionaries who have given their lives for the faith.

"These are bishops, priests, men and women religious, and laypeople, cut down while fulfilling their mission of evangelization and human promotion," the pope said.

"They are a hope for the world, because they show that love of Christ is stronger than violence and hatred. They didn't seek martyrdom, but they were ready to give their lives to remain faithful to the Gospel," he said.

The Vatican said 24 missionaries, most of them priests, were slain in 2006. Eleven were killed in Africa, the continent with the highest number of missionary deaths.

All well and good, until we get to this:
Archbishop Romero was shot and killed in 1980 as he was celebrating Mass in a San Salvador hospital chapel. After El Salvador's 12-year civil war, a truth commission found that a group of army officers and rightist businessmen planned the archbishop's murder.

Archbishop Romero's sainthood cause has been under study at the Vatican for several years. Sources have said the Vatican is satisfied that the archbishop's writings, homilies and speeches were free of doctrinal error, but a remaining question is whether it was the archbishop's faith or his politics that led to his assassination.

Excuse us, but Bishop Romero's faith led to his politics, and all of us should have such faith, and such politics. Albany Catholic thinks there are those in the Vatican who will never accept anyone who might be considered to have even the remotest link to liberation theology. Shame on them.

The entire CNS story is here.