God bless those who stand on their convictions.
Oscar Romero, the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador, was assassinated in March of 1980. This post will make more sense if you have read the first one, which precedes, this one. These photos are of his resting place in the basement of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in San Salvador which I visited today with Peggy Hahn, Vonda Drees (Living Word, Katy) and a Salvadoran Pastor serving in Milwaukee named Walter.
A Jesuit friend of his had been assassinated weeks earlier. Romero urged the government to investigate this death, but his requests were of course ignored. Romero spoke out against the government, against poverty, injustice, assassinations and torture. He was recognized internationally. He travelled to Rome and met with JP II. Romero criticized the U.S. for giving military aid to El Salvador’s corrupt (but right wing) government. He wrote to President Jimmy Carter.
Romero confirmed a young man who would later convert to Lutheranism: Medardo Gomez. They would remain in touch throughout their lives, and become even closer after Medardo became bishop.
Romero was shot on March 24 while celebrating mass in a small chapel. The chalice he was holding feel and mingled with his blood on the altar. A U.N. report found that the death squad had been trained in and funded by the United States.
The funeral of Archbishop Oscar Romero was held on March 30, 1980. People attended from all over the world, some 250,000 people. It was the largest demonstration in Salvadoran history. During the ceremony, a smoke bomb exploded in the square and gun shots began to ring out. People ran for their lives. Mourners were shot on the cathedral steps. Reports say 30-50 people died. One of the people inside the cathedral, at the funeral was a Lutheran pastor named Medardo Gomez. Some say he was the only speaker at the funeral to speak openly against the assassins and against the government. More in my next post.