As the Texas State Board of Education voted in March to exclude Archbishop Oscar Romero from history textbooks, just as we reach the thirtieth anniversary of his murder, it seems like a good moment to remember his legacy.
"Romero had the only uncensored voice in San Salvador, a small radio station,” said Father Timothy Healy, recalling Romero in a March 28th Washington Post story right after his death. “It broadcast the names of people who were missing. It would happen that a man would be taken off and never heard from again, and his family would ask a priest for help in tracing him. These things soon wound up in the archbishop's lap. He wanted answers, why people were arrested and what was happening to them."
Oscar Romero took an unexpected path to become a voice for El Salvador’s poor and oppressed, as this short biography shows. See more about his life and death at this Creighton University webpage.
"When the church hears the cry of the oppressed it cannot but denounce the social structures that give rise to and perpetuate the misery from which the cry arises."
"You can tell the people that if they succeed in killing me, that I forgive and bless those who do it. Hopefully, they will realize they are wasting their time. A bishop will die, but the church of God, which is the people, will never perish."
Texas textbook decisions have an outsize impact since the large purchasing power of the state means publishers choose to satisfy Texas preferences as they create textbooks for sale nationwide.
Check out Jon Stewart’s take (start at 2.25 to skip some off-color humor) on how “Oscar Romero got disappeared by rightwingers…. For the second time.”
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