Friday, March 25, 2005

Romero's Legacy

It was twenty-five years ago this week that Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated while saying mass in the chapel of a hospital in San Salvador. More than a decade of political repression and civil war would pass in El Salvador before anything close to the kind of social change that Romero advocated would occur, but, during the bleak decade of the 1980s, his memory inspired not only Salvadorans but oppressed peoples throughout Latin America.

Many people today regard Romero as the patron saint of the struggle for human rights, even if he has not been officially canonized. In 1998, a statue of Romero, along with those of nine other twentieth-century martyrs (including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dietrich Bonhoeffer), was added to the front of Westminster Abbey.

For more on Romero and his legacy, see this article by Richard Higgins in yesterday's Boston Globe.