Sunday, September 15, 2013

Checking in on Oscar Romero

It's been too long since I have pointed to any of the blog posts written by our friend, the blogger Polycarpio, who writes about all things Oscar Romero, and now calls his great blog "Super Martyrio -- the Martyrdom Files."  With the commencement of Francis' papacy, there is a much greater sense that coming very soon will be the formal beatification of the slain archbishop as a saint of the Roman Catholic church.  

Polycarpio's most recent two blog posts are  5 points about Oscar Romero & Liberation Theology, and “Romero will be beatified soon”.   The posts provide insights into Romero's theology and why Vatican watchers expect the beatification process to move quickly under Francis, the first Latinamerican pope.

Prior to those posts, Polycarpio "live blogged" on the day of prayer and fasting for Syria declared by Pope Francis, and channeling Oscar Romero into the meaning of that day.

Be sure and check out these posts and the many others at the blog dedicated to Oscar Romero, El Salvador's "voice for the voiceless."


Carlos X said...

Thank you very much, Tim! Over the years you and your readers have been true friends of the Super Martyrio Blog. In return, my pledge is to keep my ear to the ground and let you know as soon as I learn anything of significance on the beatification front, and with respect to Romero's legacy more broadly.

As you correctly report, the big news over the past year has been the arrival of Pope Francis. Although Romero was already well on his way to canonization, it helps to have a Pope whose attitude is reflected in his sermon just today, earlier this morning in the Vatican, in which he said: “A good Catholic meddles in politics.” (!) Those with any familiarity with the Romero canonization process will know that a major obstacle to his sainthood process has been the raised eyebrows in some Catholic circles when a bishop “meddles in politics” or pushes the envelope in any way. Well, here's a pope who has been constantly saying since he arrived that he wants clerics who will man the outposts, and that he'd rather have a Church that gets in a fender-bender than a Church that gets sick from breathing stale air holed up at home. And of course, a Pope who has taken up the cause of the poor. From a standpoint of journalism, we have a real story here! And I'll definitely stay on it.

Best regards,

Carlos (aka Polycarpio)

Michael Lee said...

Love the blog, Tim. However, the analysis of the Super Martyrio blog on liberation theology is reprehensible. Apparently, liberation theology is an abstract noun--no people, no texts, only a straw-man about whom you can impute what you want; just as in the Vatican instructions. So who are these mysterious liberation theologians whom Romero rejects? Gustavo Gutierrez from whom he took a course and with whom he spoke on the phone just a month before his assassination? Jon Sobrino? Who helped draft Romero's 2nd pastoral letter & Louvain address? Ellacuria? Who helped draft the 4th pastoral letter? Rutilio Grande? Whose death caused such a profound change in Romero? Alfonso Navarro? Need we go on?
Yes, there were some liberation theologies with which Romero had differences, but blanket statements like those of Carlos distort the truth and are spread by those who wish to blunt or domesticate the prophetic ministry of Romero.

Carlos X said...

Michael, I'm sorry that you feel I have painted Liberation Theology with a broad brush. Perhaps, I have. If so, it has not been my intention. I am no expert or theologian, but in general, my aim has been not to slam Liberation Theology. I have acknowledged Romero's relationship with Fr. Sobrino, and I have simply argued that Romero's views were largely in line with what the Vatican has said, along the lines of John Paul's directives in Puebla (which Romero quoted and which Card. Ratzinger quoted in his famous Instruction). What I have tried to do is to protect Romero from being painted with the "broad brush" by distinguishing his teachings, by isolating them and talking about what he preached (I call it "Transfiguration Theology," using the words that Romero used to describe his views, or "that part of Liberation Theology which the Vatican found unassailable," as I once described it). Now, there are signs of a new appreciation for many other parts of the L.T. movement that had gotten unfairly panned, so perhaps the need for harping on these issues will become less prevalent.