Oscar Romero and Trócaire
‘Each one of you must be a microphone of God, each one of you must be a messenger, a prophet’
St Oscar Romero
St Oscar Romero was recently canonised for his work in El Salvador. He worked closely with Trócaire in the 1970s to speak out about corruption in El Salvador. At the time it was a country divided – most Salvadorans lived in extreme poverty, while a small number of rich families controlled most of the wealth and political power.
Violence was regularly used against those who stood up to challenge this inequality and Romero saw the violence first hand when his close friend, the Jesuit Fr Rutilio Grande, was killed. It was then that Archbishop Romero began to speak out. “If they have killed him for doing what he did, then I too have to walk the same path” he said.
Each week, after many hours of research, consultation, and prayer, Romero used his lengthy Sunday homilies as a platform. Also in a time of heavy press censorship, Trócaire helped fund broadcasting material, so that his sermons could be broadcast nationwide over the radio. Often they were the only way that people could hear the truth about the atrocities happening in their country. He also urged soldiers and police not to follow orders to kill.
Here Miriam Gormally talks with Eoghan Rice about the connection between Romero and Trócaire, as well as the ongoing difficulties in South and central America including the election of Bolsonaro in Brazil.