When Monsignor Oscar Romero was installed as Archbishop of San Salvador, El Salvador in February 1977, he was thrust into a tumultuous situation. A military coup in October 1979 led to a gruesome, twelve year civil war. These events were precipitated by the great disparity between a small number of powerful, wealthy families – who were backed by local politicians and the military – and the rest of El Salvador’s citizens. Many people suffered extreme poverty. Laborers worked for minimal pay for wealthy landowners, yet they could not hope to obtain land for themselves. The military terrorized the people in order ensure that the families held onto land and money. The Catholic Church became a target when some clergy began to defend the poor. In response to these injustices, some Salvadorans took up arms and fought against the military.
While some Latin American clergy promoted violence as a response to injustice, Archbishop Romero advocated for a different weapon: Christian love.
Read more about this Witness to Freedom.
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – June 26, 2016
First Reading 1 – 1 Kings 19:16B, 19-21
Responsorial – Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
Reading 2 – Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Gospel – Luke 9:51-62