When President Obama visits San Salvador, El Salvador, next week, he will pay a visit to the tomb of slain Archbishop Oscar Romero and attend Mass on the eve of the anniversary of his death.
The blog "A Reluctant Sinner" has the story.
It has been confirmed by the Foreign Minister for El Salvador, Hugo Martinez, that US President Barack Obama will visit the tomb of assassinated Archbishop Oscar Romero next Wednesday, 23 March (see EPA, here). The Salvadorian prelate was murdered on 24 March 1980, after leading protests against his country's government - the brutal Revolutionary Junta. Since then, Mgsr Romero's supporters have been campaigning for his canonisation as a martyr to the faith.
Obama is also expected to attend Mass during his visit to Romero's tomb, which is located in a crypt beneath the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador. In fact, the US President will be at San Salvador's Cathedral in time to commemorate the eve of the anniversary of Romero's murder - he was shot whilst celebrating Mass in the chapel at the Divine Providence Hospital. The current Archbishop of San Salvador, Msgr Jose Luis Escobar, will accompany Barck Obama during his pilgrimage to Romero's bronze mausoleum.
The US Secretary of State for Latin America, Arturo Valenzuela, said that Obama's visit to El Salvador is designed to recognise the "contribution of all Salvadorans" to building "a democratic country with strong institutions." The US President will arrive in the small Central American country on 22 March, leaving late on 23 March. The visit will form part of a wider tour of Latin America by Barack Obama.
Less than a month before he was shot, Mgsr Oscar Romero wrote to President Jimmy Carter, asking him to stop supplying arms to the Salvadoran regime. It was a plea that fell on deaf ears. The current US president, though, now wishes to honour the former Archbishop of San Salvador as "a universal figure, a representative figure of the faith," according to Hugo Martinez.
A Reluctant Sinner wonders out loud if Romero's association with liberation theology and his veneration by progressives is hindering his recognition by the Roman Catholic Church. Fortunately, the Episcopal Church has already acted on this. See the propers for the commemoration here.
For more resources visit Foundation Cristosal:
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Foundation Cristosal want to encourage observances during the week of March 24th commemorating the Feast of Oscar Romero and the Martyrs of El Salvador. Oscar Romero, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977-1980, became the "voice of the voiceless" in El Salvador during a time of terrible government repression and the beginning of that country's 12-year civil war. His outspokenness on behalf of the poor and oppressed led to his assassination March 24, 1980 while celebrating the Eucharist in the small chapel of La Divina Providencia. Romero is among ten Martyrs of the 20th Century represented at the Westminster Abbey in London, and his life and words continue to inspire thousands across denominational and religious lines to give their all to God's work of justice and reconciliation in a deeply broken world..
The Foundation Cristosal hopes that our congregations will become acquainted with their work, and consider participating in an annual in gathering to assist Foundation Cristosal as it supports the work of the Anglican/Episcopal Church of El Salvador that continues Romero's social witness. Foundation Cristosal is the principal North American advocacy group working with the Anglican/Episcopal Church of El Salvador. They have a broad range of resources available on their website, from bulletin inserts to photo essays, prayers of the people, and liturgical services, to help your congregations in observance of the Feast during the fourth week of March
Bulletin inserts can be downloaded HERE (pdf)