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News > Latin America

Archbishop Oscar Romero Film Screened 38 Years After Murder

  • A mural of Archbishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador, El Salvador.

    A mural of Archbishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador, El Salvador. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 March 2018

The documentary 'Desagravio' (The Reparation) presents a biographical account of slain Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero's life.

The Embassy of El Salvador in Belgium has paid homage to slain Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero by screening documentary 'Desagravio' (The Reparation) on the 38th anniversary of his murder.

Directed by Patrick Soergel from Switzerland, and Gianni Beretta from Italy, the film begins with Romero's birth in Ciudad Barrios on Aug. 15, 1917 and presents a biographical account of his life until his assassination on Mar. 24, 1980.

Oscar Romero Remembered on Centenary of His Birth

During the opening ceremony at the Cervantes Institute in Brussels, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Integration and Economic Production Carlos Castaneda characterized Romero as "the man and religious leader who fought for social justice and truth, always beside the people and killed as a result of hatred in faith."

He praised the video production team for "the interest to bring to other nations the message of peace" spoken by Romero.

Romero served as a "voice of those without voice" and struggled for social justice, according to sources from the Archdiocese of El Salvador, embracing a simple lifestyle and giving dedicated pastoral service to the diocese of San Miguel for 25 years.

There followed seven years of what he called "pastoral famine," while serving as an ecclesiastical bureaucrat in the capital city, San Salvador.

He was suspicious, seemingly unsympathetic to the Latin American Church, clergy and Base Christian Communities of the archdiocese. Instead, he worked directly with rural, poor communities, promoting social organizations and land reform.

The day before his assassination, Romero broadcast the homily many believe sealed his death warrant. With his voice rising, he addressed ordinary soldiers, most of whom came from campesino families: "In the name of this suffering people, whose cries to heaven become more deafening each day, I beg you, I beseech you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression."

A death squad sniper killed Romero on Mar. 24, 1980 while he was celebrating Mass in the chapel of the Divine Providence cancer hospital in San Salvador, where he lived. It was the year the civil war in El Salvador (1980 - 1992) officially began.

On May 23, 2015, the Vatican beatified Romero in a ceremony in the Plaza Divino Salvador del Mundo, in El Salvador's capital. Several thousand people from different parts of the world attended the event.

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