Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated by paramilitaries on 24 March 1980 whilst in the middle of saying mass in the chapel at a hospital for cancer patients.
On 25th March, the Commission held a presentation of a film about his assassination and the subsequent journey to him becoming a saint. The film is called ‘Righting the Wrong’. The title refers to the sometimes tortuous process by which he was eventually canonised. The film is a very powerful evocation of his life and death told through the voices of people who knew him well and who worked with him.
We were able to organise this event with the help of the Archbishop Romero Trust.
We were delighted to be able to show the film at St Winefride’s Church Hall in Mary Mother of God parish in Bradford. A little over 20 people came to watch the film from a variety of parishes surrounding the Bradford area – but some from farther away as well. It felt good to be physically present with others for this event.
After the film our Chair, John Battle, facilitated a discussion to capture people’s thoughts.
The strong theme that came through in the film was how, after the assassination of his good friend Fr Rutilio Grande SJ, St Romero spoke up more and more strongly for the poorest and most disadvantaged in El Salvador. There is great disparity of wealth in El Salvador – with around 70 families controlling most of the wealth of the country. I suppose we would call them oligarchs today – as they did, effectively, rule the country. Romero’s weekly homilies were broadcast on the radio and his exhortations for justice for the poor and those who were ‘disappeared’ by paramilitaries brought him into increasing conflict with the ruling elite and eventually led to his assassination.
The discussion quite quickly turned to a consideration of the situation in our own country. Here, also, there are increasing disparities between the rich and the poor. The spiralling use of foodbanks is just one indicator among many.
The film left people with much food for thought.
RIGHTING THE WRONG
Could you get a few people together to view this film in your own parish?
We can bring the film, projector & sound system and people who have been to El Salvador and can provide first-hand experience of some of the locations used in the film. You just need to provide a venue and some people! (And we can help with promotion of the event too).
Romero is a prophet for our times and this film is a moving way to explore that. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org if this is a possibility.