Saint Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, canonized a Saint by Pope Francis 14 October 2018, served his people and God during a time of great political strife in El Salvador. He led a persecuted Church under an oppressive regime. The people of El Slavador were caught in a violent conflict between right- and left-wing extremists. The people suffered crushing poverty, social injustice, torture, and assassination. Interestingly, Bishop Romero attempted to walk the path of Christ in a place that at times seemed to be located in the heart of Hell. Yet, Bishop Romero was inclusive seeming to desire to heal the wounds of El Salvadore rather then resorting to amputation.
Sadly, amputation seems to be the goal of many in today’s hyper-socialized-“mediaddicted,” cultural tribes in an almost frenzied, ritualistic, negation of another Human Being know as the “Cancel Culture.” Where once it seemed enough to ostracize another for having thoughts of his or her own, it is now fashionable for partisan fanatics to descend upon these people to utterly lay waste their lives, costing them their jobs, their friends, their place in the community, straining their families and making their lives a living hell sometimes for a mistake made decades earlier. One misspoken word and you will not be marginalized, you will be pushed off the page, erased. This is complete and utter madness. Debate is impossible. Resistance is futile.
Saint Oscar Romero in his homily of 10 July 1977 spoke to this mentality. I find it perhaps as relevant today, perhaps more so, than even is was then, and now with no further ado, the words of Saint Oscar Romero:
“One of the signs of the present time is the idea of participation, the right that all persons have to participate in the construction of their own common good.
For this reason, one of the most dangerous abuses of the present time is repression, the attitude that says, “Only we can govern, no one else; get rid of them.”
Everyone can contribute much that is good, and in that way trust is achieved. The common good will not be attained by excluding people. We can’t enrich the common good of our country by driving out those we don’t care for. We have to try to bring out all that is good in each person and try to develop an atmosphere of trust, not with physical force, as though dealing with irrational beings, but with a moral force that draws out the good that is in everyone, especially in concerned young people.
Thus, with all contributing their own interior life, their own responsibility, their own way of being, all can build the beautiful structure of the common good, the good that we construct together and that creates conditions of kindness, of trust, of freedom, of peace.
Then we can, all of us together, build the republic–the res publica, the public concern–what belongs to all of us and what we all have the duty of building.”
To you Saint Oscar Romero I ask pray for us!