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Sep 232014
 

An article published last month by Christopher Dickey dated 8-24-2014, “Why Pope Francis Wants to Declare Murdered Archbishop Romero a Saint” (https://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/24/why-pope-francis-wants-to-declare-murdered-archbishop-romero-a-saint.html; obtained on 8-27-2014) does appear to continue to provide evidence that Pope Francis does have a relatively high level of intuition. The article ended the following way:

“When I was covering the wars in Central America, all of us knew that the archbishop would be killed. After the murder of Rutilio Grande, who was his friend, Romero began to speak out ever more critically of the government and of the rich in a country where the gap between the wealthy and the poor — really, the oligarchs and the peasantry — was on a feudal scale. The gray cleric, who had been given the position of archbishop partly because he seemed so uncontroversial, began to articulate the hopes and dreams and finally the desperation of the dispossessed. Guerrillas with Cuban backing were making a bid for power. But Romero became the most visible and most important enemy of the oligarchs and of those in the military and on its margins who defended their interests.

One day a cameraman friend of mine went out to a rural community where Romero was performing a mass wedding ceremony for campesinos who had lived together for years as husband and wife, but had never had their marriage blessed by the church. On the way back, the cameraman ran into a group of men who looked like the thugs usually associated with the right-wing death squads. He struck up a conversation with them and realized that, indeed, they had been sent to kill the archbishop, but when his car approached and they saw him, and he stopped and talked to them, they could not do it.

Then on March 23, Romero delivered a truly impassioned homily. ‘I want to make a special appeal to soldiers, national guardsmen, and policemen: each of you is one of us,’ he said. ‘The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear a man telling you to kill, remember God’s words, ‘thou shalt not kill.’ No soldier is obliged to obey a law contrary to the law of God. In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people, I beseech you, I implore you; in the name of God I command you to stop the repression.’

The next evening, Romero was saying mass in the chapel at the hospice where he lived in a tiny room near the infirm and the dying. A gunman on the road outside shot him through the heart.

At Romero’s funeral a week later, tens of thousands of mourners turned out knowing there was a chance they might be killed, and at least 35 of them died when shooting erupted — whether by the military or the guerrillas or both remains disputed. Most of the dead were crushed in the panic. I was there, and I can tell you the miracle was that any of us survived.

Someday in the not too distant future, Romero will be beatified. And then, if Pope Francis is still with us, we may well see the leftist saints come marching in.”

 

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Louis DeCola, Jr.  © 2014                                    The Hygiology Post ®