Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Leading theologians to commemorate the anniversary of Monseñor Romero

by Susana Barrera
March 2, 2010

Theologians Gustavo Gutierrez and Jon Sobrino, the leading exponents of Liberation Theology in Latin America, will join in El Salvador shortly to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero.

"The church of the poor" is one of the conferences that the Peruvian Gustavo Gutierrez and Xavier Alegre, the Spaniard, will present. Gutierrez was the one who, for the first time, used the term that refers to this theological current, back in the '70s. Praised and condemned for his contributions to this new theology, he has been one of the central figures in the movement since its beginnings in the '70s.

Meanwhile, the Jesuit Jon Sobrino and Luis Carlos Suncín, will take up "Spirituality and martyrdom." Other theologians of the stature of María Clara Lucetti and José Comblin will also talk about the spirituality of the martyr.

"Through Romero the Gospel of Jesus becomes history and takes history beyond itself, that's what cost him his life," Gutiérrez said about the contribution this man made to the Church. Meanwhile Christologist Jon Sobrino affirms that "Monsignor Romero was given the ability to 'see' the people, and their God, in their deepest reality."

Oscar Arnulfo Romero was assassinated by a death squad on March 24, 1980 in the context of the bloody civil war that Central American country experienced. His remains lie in a distinguished place in the crypt of the Cathedral of San Salvador.

Every year hundreds of religious tourists come together in the crypt of the famous "little hospital" for the terminally ill where he was killed, and visit the museum in his honor that shows his personal belongings, books and the clothing that he wore the evening of crime, among other things.

The commemoration activities began in August last year, around the 92th birthday of the pastor. For the month of March, the Fundación Monseñor Romero has announced a series of activities -- liturgical, theological and pastoral, dissemination of his thought, cultural and artistic and other activities targeted at youth.

"El Salvador is now a destination where many people come together, inspired by the spirit of Archbishop Romero," said Edin Martinez of the Foundation, while inviting the general public to join the tribute.

"Monsignor Romero, hope of victims" is the theme of these events, which also include the issuance of stamps with the image of the Christian martyr, the broadcasting of a radio novel, the film exhibition and the traditional Vigil of Light, among others. Those interested in learning more can visit http://www.fundacionmonsenorromero.org.sv/.

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