Saturday, September 5, 2009
Archbishop Oscar Romero
As archbishop, he witnessed ongoing violations of human rights and started a group which spoke out on behalf of the poor and victims of the Salvadoran civil war. In many ways Romero was closely associated with Liberation Theology and he openly condemned both Marxism and Capitalism. In 1980, he was assassinated by a right-wing group headed by former major Roberto D'Aubuisson as he finished giving his homily. This provoked an international outcry for reform in El Salvador. After his assassination, Romero was succeeded by Monsignor Arturo Rivera.
Romero was killed by a shot to the heart on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass at a small chapel located in a hospital called "La Divina Providencia", one day after a sermon where he had called on Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to obey God's higher order and to stop carrying out the government's repression and violations of basic human rights. According to an audio-recording of the Mass, he was shot while holding up the Eucharist. When he was shot, his blood spilled over the altar.