Bishop Patrick, as a new Trustee of CAFOD, visited El Salvador earlier this year and experienced first hand the legacy of Oscar Romero. He is inviting the people of Nottingham Diocese to learn more about the soon to be Saint (the canonisation takes place in Rome on 14 October) and on Monday 26 November he will be hosting an evening at The Becket School in Nottingham. Bishop Patrick has invited two people to come and share their experiences and knowledge of Romero with us. Clare Dixon, CAFOD Head of Region – Latin America and member of Romero Trust; along with Ciara Hogan who visited El Salvador as part of her CAFOD Gap Year last year when she was based at The Briars. The evening will begin with refreshments at 7pm and finish at 9pm.
Oscar Romero was the Archbishop of San Salvador from 1977 until he was assassinated in 1980. During his three years as archbishop, Romero repeatedly denounced violence and spoke out on behalf of the victims of the civil war. In a time of heavy press censorship, his weekly radio broadcasts were often the only way people could find out the truth about the atrocities that were happening in their country. He defended the right of the poor to demand political change, a stance which made him a troublesome adversary for the country’s rulers. On the day before his assassination, he urged soldiers and police not to follow orders to kill civilians and stop the repression.
Archbishop Romero was shot dead on 24 March 1980, aged 62, while celebrating Mass. In the following decade, some 70,000 Salvadorans were killed in the civil war.
In the 1970s, CAFOD supported Romero’s famous radio broadcasts, which – at a time when the press was heavily censored – were often the only means by which people in El Salvador knew the truth about the atrocities occurring in their country. When Romero’s radio station was blown up, CAFOD provided funding to rebuild it. CAFOD also helped to fund the support given by the Church to thousands of people who had fled their homes because of the violence. After Romero was martyred, CAFOD staff successfully petitioned Lambeth Council to rename the Brixton street where their office was located ‘Romero Close’. And when CAFOD moved to a new office in 2009, it was named ‘Romero House’
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