The Archbishop Romero Trust held an ecumenical service at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square, London at the weekend to commemorate the 31st Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Oscar Romero. It is hard not to be moved by Romero's story, in particular his work in the last four years of his life leading up to his assassination on March 24th 1980 during the Celebration of Mass. A lot of what he said regarding the 'option for the poor' is profoundly challenging for our western society and continues to inspire many religious in their work today.In many ways Romero has already been unofficially, and it must be said, ecumenically, canonized, which I am sure is one of many reasons why his Cause for Beatification has not yet begun.
The phrase 'Justice and Peace' has tragically been taken over by a stereotype of geriatric impotence in recent years. A friend of mine from the Leeds Diocese once said to me that his father (in his mid-sixties) was always the youngest person at J&P meetings in the parish. Romero's example reminds us how vibrant, and urgent, the message is, as well as how unbelievably radical it really is to suggest that there is something wrong in an increasingly globalised society of abundance where millions still go hungry. It is lethargy on the part of everyone that allows it to continue.
Either way, here is the text ofthe 2011 Romero Lecture, delivered by Fr. Juan Hernández Pico, S.J. and combined with the service at St. Martins. It really is worth a read.