Thursday, October 08, 2015

Francis to receive Romero delegation


Francis in the Clementine Hall.

Pope Francis will receive a delegation at the Vatican of over 300 Salvadorans, led by six bishops, to thank the pontiff for the beatification of Archbishop Oscar A. Romero, and to invite him to visit the country. So says Monsignor Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, in an interview.

Mgr. Rosa Chavez specified that they will propose to the Holy Father the idea of visiting El Salvador during his recently announced visit to Mexico, which still has no date. “He wants to come to do two things: to canonize Romero and to beatify Father Rutilio Grande,” said Bishop Rosa. “If we expedite the process for Fr. Rutilio, we could have the surprise” of a papal detour from Mexico to El Salvador. "We will explore that possibility with the pope on October 30, that from Mexico he could come here,” said the prelate.

During the same interview, Msgr. Chavez opined that pope Francis accelerated the Romero beatification as well as reforms in the church and has wanted to initiate a revision of the pastoral policies regarding the family because he thinks that his pontificate will be short. In addition, Rosa said he was astounded at the depth with which the pope spoke about Blessed Romero in a letter sent to the Salvadoran Church on the day of the beatification. “We did not think it would be so powerful.”
The audience will take place in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace at noon on Friday, October 30, and will be led by Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas, archbishop of San Salvador. The delegation would include hundreds of Salvadorans residing in Italy, in the private audience.
On May 9 of last year, four Salvadoran bishops met with the pope to advocate for the Romero beatification. This new encounter would be like the coda to that meeting.

Francisco recibirá delegación Romero


Francisco en la Sala Clementina.
En el Vaticano, el Papa Francisco recibirá una delegación de más 300 salvadoreños, encabezados por seis obispos para agradecer al pontífice por la beatificación de Mons. Óscar A. Romero, y para invitarle a visitar el país.  Así ha dicho Monseñor Gregorio Rosa Chávez, obispo auxiliar de San Salvador, en una entrevista.

Mons. Rosa Chávez explicitó que plantearán al Santo Padre la idea de visitar El Salvador durante su anunciado viaje a México, que aún no tiene fecha.  “Él quiere venir a hacer dos cosas: a canonizar a Romero y a beatificar al padre Rutilio Grande”, comentó Mons. Rosa.  “Si aceleramos hacer el proceso del p. Rutilio podríamos tener la sorpresa” de un desvío papal desde México a El Salvador.  “Vamos a explorar esa posibilidad con el papa el 30 de octubre, que de México pueda pasar acá”, dijo el prelado.

Durante la misma entrevista, Mons. Chávez opinó que el Papa Francisco agilizó el proceso de beatificación Romero y las reformas en la iglesia, y ha querido encaminar un proceso de revisión de la pastoral de la familia porque piensa que su pontificado será corto.  Además, Rosa dijo haberse admirado de la profundidad con que se expresó el papa sobre el Beato Romero en una carta enviada a la Iglesia Salvadoreña el día de la beatificación.  “Nunca pensamos que sería tan contundente”.
La audiencia tendrá lugar en la Sala Clementina del Palacio apostólico al mediodía el viernes 30 de octubre, y será liderada por monseñor José Luis Escobar Alas, arzobispo de San Salvador.  La centenaria delegación incluiría salvadoreños que residen en Italia, a la audiencia privada.
El 9 de mayo del año pasado, cuatro obispos salvadoreños se reunieron con el papa para abogar por la causa de beatificación Romero.  Este nuevo encuentro sería como el colofón de aquel encuentro.

Francesco riceverà delegazione Romero


Francesco nella Sala Clementina.

Papa Francesco riceverà una delegazione di oltre 300 salvadoregni in Vaticano, guidata da sei vescovi per ringraziare il ponteficeper la beatificazione di Mons. Oscar A. Romero, e ad invitarlo a visitare il paese. Così dice monsignor Gregorio Rosa Chavez, vescovo ausiliare di San Salvador, in una intervista.

Mons. Rosa Chavez ha precisato che proporranno al Santo Padre l’idea di visitare El Salvador durante il suo viaggio in Messico già ha annunciato, cui non ha ancora una data. “Lui vuole venire a fare due cose: a canonizzare Romero e a beatificare Padre Rutilio Grande,” ha detto Mons. Rosa. “Se acceleriamo il processo di p. Rutilio possiamo avere la sorpresa” di una deviazione papale dal Messico a El Salvador. “Esploreremo questa possibilità con il papa il 30 ottobre, che dal Messico può venire qui”, ha detto il prelato.

Nel corso della stessa intervista, Mons. Chavez ha ritenuto che Papa Francesco ha accelerato il processo di beatificazione Romero e di riforme nella chiesa e ha voluto iniziare un processo di revisione della pastorale familiare perché pensa che il suo pontificato sarà breve. Inoltre, Rosa ha detto che ammirava la profondità con quale il Papa ha parlato su Beato Romeroin una lettera inviata alla Chiesa salvadoregna nel giorno della beatificazione. “Non pensavamo che sarebbe stato così forte”.
L’udienza si svolgerà nella Sala Clementina del Palazzo Apostolico a mezzogiorno il Venerdì, 30 ottobre e sarà cappegiata da monsignor José Luis Escobar Alas, arcivescovo di San Salvador. La delegazione includerebbe centinaia salvadoregni residenti in Italia, ad un udienza privata.
Il 9 maggio dello scorso anno, quattro vescovi salvadoregni hanno incontrato il papa a perorare la causa di beatificazione Romero. Questo nuovo incontro sarebbe come il culmine di quella riunione.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

CIA lawsuit implicates Archbishop Romero



The University of Washington Center for Human Rights (UW CHR) has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with potential ramifications for the investigation of the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador.  The complaint filed in federal court in Washington State alleges that the CIA failed to properly respond to the UW CHR’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the declassification of documents regarding the alleged involvement of retired Salvadoran Colonel Sigifredo Ochoa Pérez in war crimes, including the El Calabozo massacre on August 22, 1982; the Santa Cruz Massacre of November 14, 1981; as well as Ochoa Pérez’ questionable links to the Romero assassination on March 24, 1980.
Ochoa Pérez, a retired legislator and diplomat, has dismissed reports of his alleged responsibility for the Santa Cruz massacre as vague and therefore false.  With respect to the Romero assassination, Ochoa Pérez is not typically included among the participants in the plot to assassinate Romero.  For example, Ochoa is not named in the 1993 U.N. Truth Commission Report on the assassination; nor in the 2000 OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights investigation report; nor in a 2004 U.S. federal court adjudication regarding the case.
Ochoa P­érez was, however, personally and ideologically close to those accused of perpetrating the crime.  Ochoa Pérez was a member of “la tandona”—the 1966 military academy graduating class that also includes Maj. Roberto D’Aubuisson, the accused mastermind of the Romero assassination, and Col. Guillermo Alfredo Benavides, convicted for the 1989 massacre of the Jesuit staff at the Central American University in San Salvador.
The UW CHR complaint makes passing reference to “at least one document,” declassified by the CIA, “in which Col. Ochoa is alleged to have been connected to the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero.”  [Complaint at ¶10.]  The reference is to an October 1980 memo which reports that “Lt. Col. Julio Agustín Trujillo, former commander of the telecommunications garrison and a leading supporter of Colonel Adolfo Majano of the Revolutionary Governing Junta (JRG) said on 3 October 1980 that Subsecretary of Defense, Colonel Nicolás Carranza, has told several military officers that one of those responsible for the murder of Archbishop Romero is Lt. Col. Sigrido [sic] Ochoa.  Trujillo found this information to be completely credible.”
There is some confusion relating to names.  A second declassified CIA document dated March 1983 reports that the suspect listed in the 1980 memo “may be identifiable with one Ltc. Sigfredo (Ochoa) Trujillo”—a different maternal last name than Ochoa Pérez (in Spanish name conventions, the names of the father and the mother are customarily used).  Additionally, the documents are inconsistent as to the spelling of the subject’s first name (Sigrido, Sigfredo, Sigifredo, etc.), and hard to follow as to the man’s military rank at various points in time.

Additionally, there is a history of false accusations in the Romero case, often motivated by politics.  At one point, the D’Aubuisson camp produced a falsified videotaped confession suggesting an imprisoned man was responsible for the crime.  It is conceivable that Ochoa was falsely accused by people with an axe to grind: Ochoa himself turned states’ evidence and testified against Benavides in the Jesuit case.  Perhaps, such doubts will only be clarified if all the relevant documents are released, though the documents principally sought appear to relate to the other massacres and not to the Romero assassination.
The UW CHR complaint attaches an August 10, 2015 sworn statement by Lord Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, regarding Archbishop Romero, whom he characterizes as “a moral leader of exceptional stature, and an outspoken critic of the widespread violent crimes perpetrated by the then government against its own people.”  He notes that Romero was recently beatified by the Church.  To be declared a martyr means that someone is recognized as having given their life in defense of the Christian faith,” Williams writes.  Echoing Mgr. Romero's call to the government of El Salvador to act transparently and ethically, I would make the same plea to the US government,” he says, urging the release of the documents.
In addition to its legal obligations under FOIA, the U.S. government has a moral responsibility to support the cause of truth and justice in El Salvador, especially given the extent to which the U.S. supported the Salvadoran military during the country’s civil war,” UW CHR Director Angelina Snodgrass Godoy said in a statement released to the press.

In recent comments, the auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, Msgr. Gregorio Rosa Chavez, appealed for a reinvigorated investigation of the case Romero. “There is a very large deficit with respect to Archbishop Romero, they (justice) have abandoned the request that the case be investigated seriously,” the bishop lamented.

Demanda a CIA implica a Mons. Romero



El Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad de Washington (UW CHR, en inglés) presentó una demanda contra la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) con potenciales ramificaciones para la investigación del asesinato de Monseñor Oscar Romero de El Salvador. La demanda entablada en un tribunal federal en el estado de Washington sostiene que la CIA no ha respondido adecuadamente a solicitudes de información según la ley de transparencia estadounidense (FOIA) por parte de la UW CHR pidiendo la desclasificación de documentos sobre la presunta participación del coronel jubilado salvadoreño Sigifredo Ochoa Pérez en crímenes de guerra, incluyendo la masacre de El Calabozo el 22 de agosto de 1982; la masacre de Santa Cruz el 14 de noviembre de 1981; así como los enlaces cuestionables de Ochoa Pérez al asesinato Romero el 24 de marzo de 1980.
Ochoa Pérez, un legislador y diplomático en retiro, ha desestimado reportes de prensa sobre su presunta responsabilidad en la matanza de Santa Cruz como imprecisos y por lo tanto falsos. Con respecto al asesinato Romero, Ochoa Pérez no se suele incluir entre los participantes en el complot para asesinar a Romero. Por ejemplo, Ochoa no estuvo nombrado en el Informe de 1993 de la Comisión de la Verdad de la ONU sobre el asesinato; ni en el informe del 2000 de la investigación de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos de la OEA; ni en la adjudicación en 2004 por un tribunal federal de Estados Unidos en relación al caso.
Ochoa Pérez ha sido, sin embargo, cercano personal -e ideológicamente a los acusados ​​de perpetrar el crimen. Ochoa Pérez fue miembro de “la tandona”—la clase de graduación de 1966 de la academia militar que también incluye al mayor Roberto D’Aubuisson, el presunto autor intelectual acusado del asesinato Romero, y al coronel Guillermo Alfredo Benavides, condenado por la masacre de 1989  del personal jesuita de la Universidad Centroamericana de San Salvador.
La demanda de UW CHR hace referencia de pasada a “por lo menos un documento”, desclasificado por la CIA, “en el que supuestamente el Coronel Ochoa ha sido ligado al asesinato de Monseñor Oscar Romero.” [Demanda, ¶10.] La referencia es a un memorando del octubre de 1980, que informa que “el teniente Coronel Julio Agustín Trujillo, ex comandante de la guarnición de telecomunicaciones y partidario del Coronel Adolfo Majano, líder de la Junta Revolucionaria de Gobierno (JRG) dijo el 3 de octubre 1980 que el Subsecretario de Defensa, el coronel Nicolás Carranza, les ha dicho a varios oficiales militares que uno de los responsables del asesinato de Monseñor Romero es el teniente coronel Sigrido [sic] Ochoa. Trujillo consideró esta información totalmente creíble”.
Existe cierta confusión con relación a los nombres. Un segundo documento desclasificado de la CIA de fecha de marzo 1983 informa que el sospechoso que aparece en el memorándum de 1980 “puede ser identificable con un Ltc. Sigfredo (Ochoa) Trujillo”—este es un apellido materno distinto al de Ochoa Pérez (en las convenciones de nombres españoles, se utilizan habitualmente los nombres del padre y de la madre). Además, los documentos son inconsistentes en cuanto al nombre propio del sujeto (Sigrido, Sigfredo, Sigifredo, etc.), y difícil de seguir en cuanto al rango militar del hombre en varios puntos en el tiempo.

Además, hay un historial de falsas acusaciones en el caso Romero, a menudo con motivaciones políticas. En un momento, el equipo de D’Aubuisson confabuló una confesión grabada en vídeo sugiriendo que un encarcelado era responsable del crimen. Es concebible que Ochoa fue falsamente acusado por personas con un interés personal: Ochoa testificó contra Benavides en el caso de los jesuitas.  Tal vez, tales dudas solo se aclararán si se liberan todos los documentos pertinentes, aunque la mayoría de los documentos tendría que ver con las otras masacres y no con el asesinato Romero.
La demanda UW CHR adjunta una declaración jurada del 10 de agosto 2015 del Lord Rowan Williams, ex arzobispo de Canterbury, en relación a Monseñor Romero, a quien califica como “un líder moral de estatura excepcional, y un crítico abierto de los crímenes violentos generalizados perpetrados por el gobierno de turno en contra de su propio pueblo”. Señala que Romero fue beatificado recientemente por la Iglesia. “Ser declarado mártir significa que alguien es reconocido por haber dado su vida en defensa de la fe cristiana”, escribe Williams. “Haciendo eco del llamado de Mons. Romero al gobierno de El Salvador a actuar con transparencia y ética, yo haría la misma petición al gobierno de Estados Unidos”, dice, exhortando por la liberación de los documentos.
Además de sus obligaciones legales bajo la FOIA [ley de transparencia estadounidense], el gobierno de Estados Unidos tiene la responsabilidad moral de apoyar la causa de la verdad y la justicia en El Salvador, especialmente teniendo en cuenta el grado en que los EE.UU. apoyó los militares salvadoreños durante la guerra civil del país,” dijo la Directora del UW CHR Angelina Snodgrass Godoy en un comunicado a la prensa.

En recientes declaraciones a la prensa, el obispo auxiliar de San Salvador, Mons. Gregorio Rosa Chávez, reclamó por una investigación revigorizada del caso Romero.  “Hay un déficit bastante grande con respecto a monseñor Romero, ellos (la justicia) han abandonado la petición de que se investigue el caso seriamente”, lamentó el obispo

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Maradiaga: Romero, 'Man of the Cross'


Photos from @RomeroTrust and @Mustard_Seed1 on Twitter

Speaking in London this Thursday, October 1, Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga compared Pope Francis to Blessed Oscar Romero, beatified in El Salvador earlier this year. [Full text of speech here.] The cardinal acknowledged a Salvadoran folk cross, crafted by a Salvadoran artist and installed in a chapel of St. George’s Cathedral, where the prelate spoke.  That cross you have there,” the Cardinal told the crowd, “is the best honor for Romero because he was a man of the cross.”  Romero, said the Cardinal, “was a man cum fide, with trust, an unlimited trust in Jesus Christ.  He was a man who had fixed his eyes on Jesus Christ and thus could walk safely amidst the pain and suffering of this people.”
The prelate’s speech was titled “From Romero to Francis: The joy and tensions of becoming a poor Church with the poor.” Rodriguez Maradiaga drew on his personal experience with Pope Francis. He is a key collaborator of the Pope, who serves as coordinator of the Council of Cardinals, a group of nine cardinals named by Francis to advise on Church governance matters.

Rodriguez Maradiaga recounted his two fleeting meetings with Romero.  He asserted that his “encounter with Romero grew more deeply from the day of his death”. Soon after Romero’s martyrdom, Rodriguez Maradiaga was sent to a diocese bordering El Salvador. With the intensity of the civil war in El Salvador increasing, Rodriguez says that “my first students, my children as bishop were the 20,000 refugees who fled into Honduras from the warring country. I was learning about Oscar Romero by the people, from the poor who had just escaped.”
Rodriguez Maradiaga said that the church’s preferential option for the poor is not new, but the cry of the poor heard anew in each generation. Looking at the lives of Pope Francis, Blessed Oscar Romero and Jesus, the Cardinal noted that each one lived alongside people living in poverty, knew them, were friends with them, loved them. As a result, each of them naturally lives out the preferential option for the poor. The Cardinal sees that Pope Francis “didn’t make the option for the poor from his lips, but from the bottom of his heart.”  He added that “Archbishop Romero and Pope Francis seem to follow parallel spiritual and pastoral paths.  Both men share an understanding of the practical implications of seeking God in all things.  A sense of openness to the presence of God in history and the world, including in struggle and discourse.”

Rodriguez Maradiaga also stated that beatifying Romero was part of Pope Francis’ process of reforming the Church, akin to the divine mandate given to St. Francis of Assisi to “Repair my church,” which did not mean repair buildings but bring spiritual renewal.  “This is what Pope Francis took from the very beginning as his task,” said the Cardinal.  “In the reparation for my Church was the reparation for the cause of beatification of Oscar Romero.

He concluded the presentation with an a cappella rendition of a song he has penned called “La Misión Continental Para Una Iglesia Misionera” (“The Continental Mission for a Missionary Church”), an homage to Pope Francis.  Its chorus runs thus: “Poverty engulfs us, but it has a solution. The joy of the Gospel calls us to mission and with Pope Francis mercy and blessing.”

Maradiaga: Romero, 'Hombre de la Cruz'


Fotos de @RomeroTrust y @Mustard_Seed1 de Twitter.
Hablando en Londres este jueves, 1 de octubre el cardenal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga comparó el Papa Francisco al Beato Óscar Romero, beatificado en El Salvador anteriormente este año. El cardenal reconoció una cruz folclórica salvadoreña, hecha a mano por un artista salvadoreña e instalada en una capilla de la Catedral de San Jorge, donde el prelado pronunció su discurso. “Esa cruz que tienen ahí”, dijo el prelado a la audiencia, “es el mejor honor para Romero, porque él era un hombre de la cruz”.  Romero, dijo el Cardenal, “era un hombre cum fide, con confianza, una confianza ilimitada en Jesucristo. Él era un hombre que había fijado sus ojos en Jesucristo y por lo tanto podía caminar con seguridad en medio del dolor y el sufrimiento de este pueblo”.
La charla del cardenal estuvo titulada “Desde Romero hasta Francisco: La alegría y las tensiones de convertirse en una Iglesia pobre con los pobres”. Rodríguez Maradiaga se basó en su experiencia personal con Francisco. Es un colaborador clave del Pontífice, ya que actúa como coordinador del Consejo de Cardenales, un grupo de nueve cardenales nombrados por Francisco para asesorarle sobre temas de la gobernanza de la iglesia.
Rodríguez Maradiaga relató dos encuentros fugaces con Romero. Afirmó que su “encuentro con Romero creció más profundamente desde el día de su muerte”. Poco después del martirio de Romero, Rodríguez Maradiaga fue enviado a una diócesis limítrofe con El Salvador. Con la intensidad de la guerra civil en El Salvador en aumento, Rodríguez dice que “mis primeros alumnos, mis hijos como obispo eran los 20.000 refugiados que huyeron a Honduras desde aquel país en guerra. Yo estaba aprendiendo sobre Oscar Romero del pueblo, de los pobres que acababan de escapar”.
Rodríguez Maradiaga dijo que la opción preferencial de la Iglesia por los pobres no es nueva, sino el grito de los pobres oido de nuevo en cada generación. En cuanto a la vida de Francisco, el Beato Oscar Romero y Jesús, el Cardenal señaló que cada uno vivió junto a personas que viven en pobreza, los conocían, eran amigos con ellos, los han amado. Como resultado, cada uno de ellos vive naturalmente la opción preferencial por los pobres. El cardenal considera que Francisco “no ha hecho la opción por los pobres de sus labios, pero desde el fondo de su corazón”.  Agregó que “Monseñor Romero y el Papa Francisco parecen seguir caminos espirituales y pastorales paralelos. Ambos hombres comparten una comprensión de las implicaciones prácticas de buscar a Dios en todas las cosas. Un sentido de la apertura a la presencia de Dios en la historia y en el mundo, incluso en la lucha y el discurso”.

Rodríguez Maradiaga también declaró que beatificar a Romero fue parte del proceso de reforma de la Iglesia del Papa Francisco, similar al mandato divino dado a San Francisco de Asís de “Reparar mi iglesia”, lo cual no significa reparar edificios sino hacer una renovación espiritual. “Esto es lo que Francisco tomó desde el principio por su tarea”, dijo el Cardenal. “En la reparación de mi Iglesia viene la reparación de la causa de beatificación de Oscar Romero”.

Concluyó la presentación con una interpretación “a capella” de una canción escrita de su propia pluma, llamada “La Misión Continental Para Una Iglesia Misionera”, un homenaje a Francisco. Su estribillo dice así: “La pobreza nos agobia, pero tiene solución. La alegría del Evangelio nos invita a la misión y con el Papa Francisco misericordia y bendición”.

Maradiaga: Romero, 'Uomo della Croce'


Foto da @RomeroTrust e @Mustard_Seed1 da Twitter.
Parlando a Londra questo Giovedi, October 1, il Cardinale Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, paragonò Papa Francesco al beato Oscar Romero, beatificato in El Salvador precedentemente quest’anno. Il porporato ha riconosciuto una croce popolare salvadoregna, realizzata da un artista salvadoregno e installata in una cappella della Cattedrale di San Giorgio, dove ha parlato il prelato. “Quella croce che avete lì”, il cardinale ha detto alla folla, “è la migliore onore per Romero perché era un uomo della croce”.   Romero, ha detto il cardinale, “era un uomo cum fide, con fiducia, una fiducia illimitata in Gesù Cristo. Era un uomo che aveva fissato lo sguardo su Gesù Cristo e quindi poteva camminare tranquillamente in mezzo al dolore e la sofferenza di questo popolo”.

Il discorso del presule è stato intitolato “Da Romero a Francesco: La gioia e le tensioni di diventare una Chiesa povera con i poveri”. Rodríguez Maradiaga ha attirato sulla sua esperienza personale di Papa Francesco. Lui è un collaboratore chiave del Pontefice, che serve come coordinatore del Consiglio di Cardinali, un gruppo di nove cardinali nominati da Francesco di consigliarlo sul governo della Chiesa.
Rodríguez Maradiaga ha raccontato due incontri fugaci con Romero. Ha affermato che il suo “incontro con Romero è cresciuto più profondamente dal giorno della sua morte”. Subito dopo il martirio di Romero, Rodríguez Maradiaga è stato inviato a una diocesi confine di El Salvador. Con l’intensità della guerra civile in El Salvador crescente, Rodriguez dice che “i miei primi studenti, i miei figli come vescovo sono stati i 20.000 profughi fuggiti in Honduras dal paese in guerra. Stavo imparando su Oscar Romero dalla gente, dai poveri che aveva appena scappato.”
Rodríguez Maradiaga ha affermato che l’opzione preferenziale della Chiesa per i poveri non è nuova, ma il grido dei poveri sentito di nuovo in ogni generazione. Osservando la vita di Papa Francesco, Beato Oscar Romero e Gesù, il Cardinale ha osservato che ognuno ha vissuto al fianco di persone che vivono in condizioni di povertà, li hanno conosciuti, erano amici con loro, li hanno amato. Come risultato, ognuno vive naturalmente l’opzione preferenziale per i poveri. Il cardinale considera che Papa Francesco “non ha fatto l’opzione per i poveri dalle sue labbra, ma dal profondo del suo cuore.”  Ha aggiunto che “Monsignor Romero e Papa Francesco sembrano seguire percorsi spirituali e pastorali parallele. Ambi due uomini condividono la comprensione delle implicazioni pratiche della ricerca di Dio in tutte le cose. Un senso di apertura alla presenza di Dio nella storia e nel mondo, anche nella lotta e nel discorso”.

Rodríguez Maradiaga ha anche dichiarato che beatificare Romero era parte del processo di riforma della Chiesa di Papa Francesco, simile al mandato divino dato a San Francesco d'Assisi a “riparare la mia chiesa”, che non significa riparazione di edifici ma fare il rinnovo spirituale. “Questo è ciò che il Papa Francesco ha preso fin dall'inizio come il suo compito”, ha detto il Cardinale. “Nella riparazione per la mia Chiesa è stata anche la riparazione della causa di beatificazione di Oscar Romero”.
Ha concluso la presentazione con una interpretazione "a cappella" di una canzone che ha lui stesso scritto chiamata “La Misión Continental para una Iglesia Misionera” (“La Missione Continentale per una Chiesa missionaria”), un omaggio a Papa Francesco. Il suo coro corre così: “La povertà ci sommerge, ma ha una soluzione. La gioia del Vangelo ci invita alla missione e con Papa Francesco misericordia e benedizione”.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Maradiaga on Francis, Romero



Google Translate:
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga will deliver the 2015 Archbishop Romero Lecture of the Archbishop Romero Trust in London this Thursday, October 1st.  Cardinal Maradiaga’s presentation will be entitled “From Romero to Francis: The Joy & the Tensions of Becoming a Poor Church with the Poor.”  The Cardinal is particularly well-suited for the topic, as he is knowledgeable about both men.  He hails from Honduras, next-door to El Salvador and he even met Blessed Oscar Romero when the Cardinal was a young priest.   He has spoken about Romero before, leading the vigil Mass at Romero’s beatification in May.  Of course, he knows Pope Francis quite well also, because he chairs the Pope’s council of cardinal advisers.

Update: The speech.
Given the Cardinal’s long experience with Caritas International, and his current role working alongside Pope Francis,” says the Trust’s Julian Filochowski, “he is uniquely placed to offer insights on what the often repeated hope of the pope, to bring about ‘a poor Church for the poor’ means, and the links to the vision of Church which Blessed Oscar Romero lived out.”
The link between Romero and Francis has been noted by many others, including this blog (for example, this post two weeks after Francis’ election, which compared the way Romero and Francis both took the Church by storm).  More recently, John Allen wrote at the time of Romero’s beatification that “Romero devotees say Francis is the pope their hero would have been.”  Huffington Post has linked Romero and Francis in their challenges to secular politics.  N.Y. Newsday previewed Francis’ visit to the Big Apple by writing that Romero’s “spirit lives on in Pope Francis, who also embraces humility, compassion and equality.”  Card. Maradiaga will presumably put meat on the bones of those arguments with his insights.
Maradiaga’s speech will be notable beyond any interest in Romero because it promises to be very revealing about Pope Francis.  The similarities between Romero and Francis do not stem from any conscious attempt by Francis to model Romero, nor, obviously from any intention of Romero to mirror Francis.  The similarities are explained by both men’s formation in Latin America and, more precisely, in the Latin American Bishops’ Conference.  Romero was as much a child of Medellín and Puebla, the 1968 and 1979 meetings of CELAM (the Spanish acronym for the conference) and their documents, as Francis was shaped by Aparecida, the 2007 edition, for which he was the lead drafter of its concluding document.  Aparecida incorporated and subsumed the content of Medellín and Puebla.
Austen Ivereigh, author of “The Great Reformer,” a biographical analysis of Pope Francis, told Crux that in Francis’ era, the touchstone for the universal Church is now Latin America rather than Europe.  Juan Carlos Scannone, who was one of the pope’s seminary professors, is quoted in the same story saying that the influence of Latin American theology over Francis is particularly visible in his desire for a “poor Church for the poor.”
Of course, Rodriguez Maradiaga is himself a Latin American bishop, who has aroused controversy and become a lightning rod for criticism that is probably intended for Francis.  Maradiaga was first criticized by the militant left, after he was depicted as chummy with the forces that ousted the populist Manuel Zelaya from power in 2006.  Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez sneeringly derided Maradiaga at the time as a “parrot of the empire” and as an “imperialist clown.”  Subsequently, Maradiaga was accused of being a socialist by the Catholic right after he criticized capitalist policies.  Cardinal Maradiaga makes his sympathies clear,” John Zmirak wrote in 2013, “when he quotes as an authority on the morality of international investment … a longtime defender of Fidel Castro, who has called the United States an ‘imperialist dictatorship’.”
As Austen Ivereigh, the papal biographer, told Crux, such simplistic analyses are bound to miss the mark.  In Latin America, the liberal-conservative division is restricted to small elites; the Church’s main reference point is the mass of people, who are generally poor and respectful of Church teaching,” Ivereigh was quoted as saying.  The Church in Latin America sees itself as defending the interests, values, and culture of the ‘people’ against neo-colonial interests,” he said, suggesting that same instinct is clear in history’s first Latin American pope.
Thursday’s speech by Rodriguez Maradiaga is bound to be interesting.  Anyone willing to listen will stand to gain insights into a man who remains for some an enigmatic pontiff.