of San Salvador
and liberation theologist
, Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez. Murdered in a chapel
on March 24, 1980 while celebrating mass
, the day after he made this plea to government
troops during his Sunday sermon
"Any human order to kill must be subordinate to the law of God, which says, 'Thou shalt not kill'. No soldier is obliged to obey an order contrary to the law of God. No one has to obey an immoral law. It is high time you obeyed your consciences rather than sinful orders. The church cannot remain silent before such an abomination."
Phillip Berryman would later write of what he saw in San Salvador: "What I have learned there, the ideas of the theologians as well as commitment like Archbishop Romero's, has been a kind of compass for my own life, however errantly I may follow it."
Leonardo and Clodovis Boff added:
Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, who had been conservative in his views,
became a great advocate and defender of the poor when he stood over the dead body of Fr.
Rutilio Grande, assassinated for his liberating commitment to the poor. The spilt blood of the martyr acted like a salve on his eyes, opening them to the urgency of the task of liberation.
And he himself was to follow to a martyr's death in the same cause.