Reading Romero

I would like to appeal in a special way to the army’s enlisted men, and in particular to the ranks of the Guardia Nacional and the police --- those in the barracks.

Brothers: you are of part of our own people. You kill your own campesino brothers and sisters. Before an order to kill that a man may give, God’s law must prevail: Thou shalt not kill! No soldier is obliged to obey an order against the law of God. No one has to fulfill an immoral law. It is time to take back your consciences and to obey your consciences rather than the orders of sin. The Church, defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, of the person, cannot remain silent before such abominations. We want the government to understand seriously that reforms are worth nothing if they are stained with so much blood. In the name of God, and in the name of this suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven each day more tumultuous, I beg you, I beseech you, I order you in the name of God: Stop the repression!

The Church preaches its liberation just as we have studied it today in the Holy Bible --- a liberation that includes above all, respect for the human person, the salvation of the people’s common good, and transcendence, which looks before all to God, and from God alone derives its hope and its force.

Homily of Oscar Romero
March 23, 1980
One day before his assassination

We are truly fortunate to have a wide library of the words of Oscar Romero freely available in English translation on the Internet. The most comprehensive resource of which I am aware is the collection of Romero's homilies and his pastoral letters from the Archbishop Romero Trust. In addition to these materials, the website has a photo gallery, secondary resources, and more. Make sure you visit it as you commemorate the 30th anniversary.

For a long time, my favorite collection of Romero quotations has come in the book The Violence of Love. This 231 page book with a forward by Henri Nouwen has excerpts from Romero's homilies over his tenure as archbishop and provides great devotional reading. The book is available in its entirety for free download in English or Spanish at this link.


I'm blogging on a chapter a week of The Violence of Love at I put up a few of my favorite quotes, and a few comments on them, and would welcome your comments and thoughts on Romero-- please join me! The Rev. Amy Denney Zuniga
Don Plummer said…
I've been putting short excerpts from "The Violence of Love" on my Facebook page this week--about two per day. I didn't know the book was available online, and in Spanish, too. Thanks for letting us know!
Yes, we have it online in .pdf, .epub, and .prc formats for handheld book readers. We've got a lot of other good reading, too.Plough Free ebooks