10 October 2018, The Tablet

A martyr for our time

Inspiration abroad


At the end of a memorial Mass in Westminster Cathedral in April 1980, within days of the assassination and funeral of Archbishop Romero, Cardinal Basil Hume spoke briefly to the congregation. “It is not for me to anticipate the mind of the Church,” he said, “but I personally believe that one day Archbishop Romero will be recognised as a saint of the Church.” Tomorrow his words will come true.

By 1977, through reports from their volunteer workers stationed in Central America, the Catholic Institute for International Relations in London (CIIR) had become aware of the appalling atrocities being carried out under the military regime in El Salvador. Soon CIIR were alerted to the stir being created by the weekly sermons of the unknown 60-year-old bishop of a poor, rural diocese who had recently been appointed Archbishop of San Salvador. His name was Oscar Romero.

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