Oscar Romero’s beatification on Pentecost eve: A signal shift towards Church of the Poor

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The beatification of the slain Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, on the birthday of the church marks a watershed for the church under Francis’ stewardship.

At the start of his ministry as Bishop of Rome, Francis had expressed the desire to see the church transformed into the Church of the Poor. And on Pentecost this year, the Spirit, it would appear, is propelling the church in exactly that direction.

Some 250000 are filling the streets of the capital of El Salvador to joyously mark the final step before Romero, seen as a champion of the poor and the voiceless, is officially declared a saint by the church.

Many had already acclaimed him a saint of the Americas soon after his assassination by a death squad supported by the then US-backed regime in El Salvador, which was ruled by over a dozen wealthy oligarchs who controlled the nation’s wealth and much of its land.

These oligarchs, many of them Catholics, cultivated close ties with a handful of conservative church prelates – and they thought the church was in their pocket. But they hadn’t counted on Romero’s outspokenness following the murder of peasants and priests working among the poor.

This is the first part of the movie of his life which is worth watching:

Subsequent parts can be found by searching Youtube.

The death squads even fired into the massive 250000 crowd that turned up for Romero’s funeral in 1980, killing dozens.

And here are a few lovely songs to celebrate Romero’s legacy and his courage in speaking up for the poor, the voiceless and the disappeared:

Today, Romero has new relevance for the church and in a world teeming with billions of people who have been excluded, marginalised, oppressed or exploited while a small group of elites wallow in fabulous wealth. He made the Beatitudes come alive.

It is not God who wants the people to be poor and oppressed; it is an unjust and exploitative system that has caused the suffering and the torture – whereas God wants his people to live life to the full in his kingdom on earth.

14 COMMENTS

  1. One thing Malaysia can learn from Pakistan:

    Giant cross rises in Pakistan, home to a Christian minority
    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/giant-cross-rises-pakistan-home-christian-minority-071636985.html

    KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) — Now towering over this violent port city in Pakistan, where Islamic militant attacks and gangland shootings remain common, is an uncommon sight in this Muslim-majority country: a 42-meter (140-foot) Christian cross….

    ps: Do not expect to see this report on Utusan, TV3 or Astro Awani.

     
  2. PM Najib Razak is launching the Christians for Peace and Harmony Malaysia (CPHM).

    Is this a tool to help BN reclaim confidence among the Christians? Possibly designed by Lim Kok Wing school of creativity?

    It is reported that other existing prominent Christian groups like Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) and Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) have distanced themselves from this non-governmental organisation. Critics said that Putrajaya’s endorsement of this new group made it look as if the others had not been effective in their roles in uniting Christians, or making peace with other religious groups?

    What do you think, Anil and tunglang as Christians? Is this a form of political intervention to the Malaysian church?

     
      • Anil, religion has now become a tool to persecute, to discriminate, to ostracise, to bring fears & even as a licence to murder human beings, who as individuals have an undeniable right to choose whatever he or she can believe in.
        The religious bigots are pure fanatics with short-circuited brain nerves acting in an unnatural socio-religious behaviour in the belief of their own ‘truth’ salvation against the ‘infidels’. They have the same mental makeup as that US President Bush Sr of the often quoted mantra of “Either they are with us or against us”. So much so history is full of bloodshed in the name of religion.

        If there is one wish granted for us, let there be no religion at all.
        Listen carefully to John Lennon’s – Imagine
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVg2EJvvlF8

         
      • Have you not been practicing your faith without any curb !!! Religion is a very sensitive thing and either sides must understand the feeling of the other sides which is why we have to be sensitive when doing our religious duties.

         
    • What ever your religious belief, what’s good in your heart that matters.
      It will translate into righteous or brave acts (speech, behaviour, ultimatums, etc) within the rights of an individual according to circumstances.
      Only time will tell whether a person or a group is doing what is ‘right’ in the context of social interaction + integration. No need to quote scriptures or holy verses or swear with holy books to make one looks good or convincing.

      At the end of the day, whether a society will coexist or collapse depends on collective individuals. Tis no territory for “No Money, No Talk” to corrupt the 99% majority. Read the history of social revolutions to understand what I mean.

      I also worship Guan Yin & Guan Gong. Wanna persecute me?

       
      • Perkasa president Ibrahim Aliwas invited to the launch of CPHM by PM Najib. Why give Perkasa the recognition they don’t deserve? All they have been doing is accusing the Christians of preaching and proselytising to the Muslims without an iota of proof. They have pointed fingers at others because their faith in Islam is so weak. They (wanted to burn) bibles and clamoured for certain bibles to be banned. They participated in all kinds of protests against the Christians. On top of that they blamed the Christians for all their wrongdoings. What good have they ever contributed to tolerance, justice and racial and religious harmony in the country?

         
  3. God’s Kingdom is the sacred fulfilment of His Creation Wishes that his people live life to the full in his Kingdom on earth, wherever it may be. Here in Penang, the highly worshipped Niao Kong doesn’t see eye to eye with this long envisioned purpose of Love.
    The poor & the soon to be poor middle class are render to the hinterlands of “you help yourself emigration” in its grand vision of Cosmopolitan Penang in cohort with greedy developers, some of which are repugnantly arrogant & disdainful of the decent rule of law, one example of the rape of Madame Pykett.
    Soon Cosmopolitan Penang will not be a part of the kingdom of God’s purpose but a land of lust for wealth-creation by the repugnant few. The rule of law it seems is ripe for UBAH at the whims & fancies of Niao Kong in the quiet ambience of class inside Merc S300Lansi.

    God changed the earth when He saw Lucifer’s corruption of His Creation.
    Niao Kong UBAH Pearl Of The Orient when it tasted the high class of Cosmopolitan lifestyle of the rich, famous & greedy.

    Pray for another CHANGE, not for this UBAH of Lies.

     
  4. Yep, you missed the mark completely. Pope Francis speaks frequently of the devil as the source of evil in the world. It isn’t the “unjust and exploitative system,” but rather the devil in himself pitting us against one another. Fixing “the system” won’t do a thing as long as the devil meddles in the world. The devil is behind the greed of exploitation, the devil is behind the greed of materialism, the devil is behind communism and socialism (another form of philosophical materialism), and the devil is behind any system that doesn’t put God at its center.
    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/10/30/the-devil-is-real-and-he-must-be-fought-says-pope/

     

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