Voice of the Voiceless
By: Oscar Romero
2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the death of St. Oscar Romero, the martyred Archbishop of San Salvador. In the three short years of his episcopal ministry he emerged as a courageous prophet, a voice for those who had no voice, and truly a saint for our time. His outspoken defense of the poor and his refusal to keep silent in the face of violent repression earned him powerful enemies. In making an option for the poor, he was prepared to face “the same fate as the poor.” Still, his witness and his theological message remain: a gift and a challenge to the church he loved.
"Like the prophets and like Jesus, Romero spoke the truth and paid the prophets price with the offering of his life. Like Jesus he testified to the validity of his words by the quality of his deeds, and his testimony in word and deed was faithful until the moment when he offered his life for his people. Because the Archbishop's testimony was so evidently that of the just man of whom the Book of Wisdom speaks, because he was so clearly in the tradition of Jeremiah and Jesus, his words demand our attention: the words he spoke to his countrymen and the words he spoke to us as American citizens. In the complex, tragic, and violent struggle for justice in El Salvador, the Archbishop exemplified what the Latin American bishops at Puebla called a preferential option for the poor. As a pastor he spoke the truth to all in his society, but he spoke with and for the poor... The assassin's bullet will not silence the power of his words, or his witness."