Archbishop Oscar Romero and Social Justice in Latin America

Essay by neffedoJunior High, 9th gradeA+, May 2004

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Archbishop Oscar Romero was a man of the church. Being conservative, he saw nothing but to defend his clergy and he greatly disagreed with the liberation theology. However, after he had seen so many of his fellow pastor brothers murdered because they preached of the injustices within El Salvador to the people in states of poverty, who had been continually oppressed by the wealthy landowners and government, his thoughts of the role of the church changed. He felt he could no longer let the government brutality and the divisions of the social and economical injustices go on within his country. (El Salvador: Country in Crisis) Through preaching and nonviolent actions, Oscar Romero made it clear that he wanted the oppression of the poor stopped, the poor liberated, and the words of God that killing should be stopped, to spread, but he wanted these social justices to come about through the peaceful means.

El Salvador was not at peace when Oscar Romero became a strong popular activist against oppression. The national situation worsened as the years dragged on. There were electoral frauds, and the people began to believe that the elections would not bring about change in their position. (Life of Romero) The jaunta ruled the country and the relations between the church and the state had never been worse. The citizens were powerless against the jaunta, and because of the political violence, many were killed each day. The fist act he committed to show the unit of the church in the face of military repression within his country was holding only one mass on the following Sunday after the death of his close friend, Rutilio Grande. After this act, Romero's desire to stop the injustices going on in El Salvador increased.

Oscar Romero helped the people greatly and...