Speaker meets Pope Francis: ‘Islam Is Religion Of Peace!’

islam satanic

VATICAN CITY: Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanem met in Vatican City yesterday with Pope Francis and Vatican Prime Minister Pietro Parolin.

Following the meeting, Ghanem stressed the significance of his visit to the Vatican, also as head of the Arab Inter- Parliamentary Union (AIPU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) parliaments.

The visit acquires importance as it comes amid fears of terrorism “and reports by foreign media seeking to link terrorism to our true Islam,” Ghanem told KUNA, and Kuwait TV.

The meeting was attended by MPs Faisal Al-Shaya and Youssef Al-Zalzalah. “We have emphasized in our meeting today that Islam is a religion of peace and that terrorism is an intercontinental industry, not linked to a certain religion, race, ethnicity, people or region,” he said. Kuwait’s Chief Parliamentarian urged the world’s political leaders to denounce all forms of terrorism and to call for an interfaith dialogue. “The meeting with Pope Francis was fruitful and we as Kuwaitis are proud of living in a country and a society where toleration is dominant,” Ghanem added, noting religious tolerance in Kuwait is a strong reality, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people from several nationalities and faiths.

Ghanem said that the Israeli aggressions on Muslims and Christians in Palestine and the massacres targeting innocent people have always been a root of terrorism.

Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem meets Pope Francis   Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem 

He said that the Zionist state hostilities have fueled extremism and terrorism, making it easy for terrorist groups to attract young people and subject them to brainwash. He lauded the role by Kuwait’s ambassador to the Vatican Bader Saleh Al-Taneeb, facilitating the delegation’s mission and arranging meetings.

For his part, MP Youssef Al-Zalzalah said that during the meeting with Pope Francis and Prime Minister Parolin, the delegation was briefed of the Vatican view over the Palestinian cause and the tragedies in Arab countries suffering from terrorism, especially Iraq and Syria.


Pope Francis, Barack Obama & The Rise of the Beta Male?

jesus whip

After Pope Francis published his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, which, in part, attempted to highlight the concern that the rich should have for the poor and the marginalized, he became known in conservative circles as the Pope of the Redistribution of Wealth; to which, liberals would have preferred a more fun title – Pope of Economic Justice. Nevertheless, due to the Pope’s interest in governments and corporations sharing their booty he was compared to President Barack Obama.Perhaps, to a very limited degree, Pope Francis and Barack Obama do have a common interest in economic justice, but what everyone has missed is the most unique and historic similarity that these two men share. For the first time in the history of the world, the leader of Christian in the world, and leader of the most powerful/influential government in the world are Beta Males.

Where Did the Alphas Go?

The natural order of things dictates that there always be more Betas than Alphas. Alphas are the leaders who everyone naturally has confidence in following, and historically, Alphas have always been the leaders in every field of play, but ever since the 1960’s things began to change. There were rapid and seismic moral and ideological shifts in society. There began to be an increase of fatherless homes due to ‘free-love’ (i.e. contracepted fornication without consequence); there began to be a breakdown in the family structure due to no-fault divorce; there was a precipitous rise of radical feminism, which rejected all the trappings of Alpha male patriarchy; and all of this contributed to a fall and disinterest in true masculism. Eventually we ended with men carrying man-bags (purses) and wearing skin tight jeans (oftentimes worn with their underwear showing).

Together, all of this created a vacuum of leadership in the community in which people began to become uncomfortable with the natural masculine leadership traits of the Alpha male. The male and the father became became an object of ridicule and buffoonery. Strong male characters on television and in commercials were replaced with jokes – Homer Simpson type of men, whose home was led by a strong and competent female.

Then there was the rise of social media into this space, which stimulated and satisfied the extremely strong need of the Beta male to be affirmed and validated (liked and accepted by as many people as possible). Also entering this space was the term ‘non-judgement’, which is completely foreign to the Alpha male’s sensibilities. Then he was told that the manner in which he needs to publicly resolve conflict (although at times on a very immature and abusive level) was deemed to be bullying. Altogether, what were natural ways for him to lead and negotiate through life became darn near criminal behavior. Now, with his descent into the shadows and margins of society emerged a new form of male leadership, of which there were plenty – the Beta Male.

How to Spot a Beta Male? The Five Things They Can’t Hide

In my article What is an Alpha Male and Why was Jesus the Epitome of all Alpha Males? I went to great lengths to explain what an Alpha Male is and is Not, because there is a great deal of misconception about what/who Alphas are. I think Beta Males get even more of a bum rap. They are often portrayed as being the opposite of Alphas, as nerds, as being timid, indecisive, creepers, greatly lacking self-confidence, needy, complainers, invisible to society. Inasmuch as those are some great identifies of a Beta Male, which could also just as easily fit Omega Males, a distinction needs to be made here between transparent Betas and Betas who are posing as acceptable Alphas (i.e. having the pretence of confidence, surety, reliability, and strength). Yet, even as hard as they try to pretend, Beta males cannot escape their urgent and obsessive need to be liked and accepted.

Indeed, the first thing that Betas can’t hide is the fact that they’d sell their own mother’s soul to be liked and accepted.This is how you can always spot them. They might have learned how to be outwardly decisive; they might invoke confidence; they might not look like creepers; they might not be outwardly complaining and needy; they might have learned how to be popular in this new social-media space, but at the end of the day, the fact of the matter is that they do all of this posing for the sole purpose of being liked and accepted by those they need it from most.

Both Pope Francis S.J. and President Barack Obama need to be liked and accepted. This is so clear with Pope Francis, I need not elaborate any further about it. With President Obama, don’t let the second-term poll numbers fool you. With those whom he needs acceptance (e.g. homosexuals and radical liberals) he is a god.

Read more –  http://www.davidlgray.info/blog/2014/10/pope-francis-barack-obama-the-rise-of-the-beta-male/

Second Synod To Focus On Learning Fundamentals Of Catholic Doctrine!


VATICAN–It was announced today that a second synod, tentatively scheduled for mid-January, will solely focus on learning the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church.

The news comes just days after Pope Francis asked synod participants to “speak clearly,” encouraging them to speak openly.  “Let no one say, ‘This can’t be said, they will think this or that about me.’ Everything we feel must be said, without fear,” Francis said. After reading the badly translated, and what many have called “severely flawed” report called Relatio Post Disceptationem, Francis has since regretted the decision to ask the synod fathers to speak openly, supposedly overestimating their intelligence.

An adviser to Pope Francis has since suggested that before moving on with another synod on the family, that the synod fathers learn some of the basics of Catholicism.

“The synod  will be headed by 16-year-old African Catholic Zyana Ndiaye and is expected to cover such subjects such as Jesus, the Church, as well as sin. Every synod father, except for those from Africa, will remain quiet and will be ignored if they attempt to offer an opinion.”

At press time, Pope Francis has issued a statement to those who will be participating in future synods, saying, “Let everyone say, ‘This can’t be said, they will think this or that about me.’ Everything we feel must be kept quiet, with fear, especially if you are going to make a Kaspar out of yourself.”


Top bishop slams cohabitation as ‘self-mutilation!’

Liberal pope has shown extreme tolerance to topics once taboo in Church. Pope Francis weds couples some traditionalists would say were 'living in sin'.  Says Church must become 'merciful' or risk collapsing 'like house of cards!' - September 14, 2014

Liberal pope has shown extreme tolerance to topics once taboo in Church. Pope Francis weds couples some traditionalists would say were ‘living in sin’. Says Church must become ‘merciful’ or risk collapsing ‘like house of cards!’ – September 14, 2014

The head of the Polish Episcopate has said that couples living together prior to marriage are committing ‘self-mutilation of their love.

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki made the comments as he departed for the Extraordinary Family Synod, which opened at the Vatican on Monday.

“Among the negative phenomena that we are observing today, we notice above all the growing number of de facto unions, ‘trial marriages’ that are often met not only with silence, but sometimes with the approval of parents and grandparents,” the archbishop told the Nasz Dziennik daily.

“In some dioceses, as many as 80 percent of engaged couples who are preparing to enter into the sacrament of marriage have already lived together beforehand,” he reflected.

The archbishop said that this often occurred owing to “the lack of a positive experience in the family home.”

 Gender role problem

Meanwhile, Archbishop Gadecki warned that encouraging boys to clean up after themselves so as to subvert gender stereotypes could have dangerous consequences.

“Some parents like to teach boys that they should clean up after themselves, and not wait until girls do it for them.”

The archbishop suggested that such leanings should be treated with caution, because “parents often do not realise” that same-sex partnerships are also championed under the banner of “overcoming stereotypes.”

The Roman Catholic Church in Poland has consistently criticised Gender Studies, and the subject became so hotly discussed in 2013 that gender was declared ‘buzzword of the year.’


Belgium: OUTTV gay channel makes Pope Francis Media Personality of the Year!!

who am I to judge


BRUSSELS (KerkNet) – The television OUTTV, which focuses on gay people and lifestyle, nominated Pope Francis as media personality of the year. The pope owes his nomination to his opposition to discrimination against gays and lesbians. He said earlier this year: “If a person is homosexual, seek God and good will, who am I to judge him?” OUTTV praises him for his conciliatory tone compared to its predecessors. Therefore it is also a support for believer’s holibi.

Viewers and holibi can until 3 October to participate in the online poll via http://www.out.tv. In addition to international personalities such as singer Conchita Wurst, clean jumper Tom Daley, American Footballer Michael Sam, swimmer Ian Thorpe and Pope Francis, OUTTV nominated among the Belgians Axel Hirsoux, Bart De Wever, Elio Di Rupo and Roos Van Acker.



Pope at the Polls: How Would Francis Vote?

Pope Francis speaking

Center for American Progress: Pope Francis would vote Democrat!

Pope Francis is one of the most popular religious leaders in the world, with a fan base that stretches far beyond the 1.2 billion members of the Catholic Church. His admirers include millions of worshippers in other faith traditions, as well as millions of people who are not religious. Pope Francis is popular for many reasons: He is joyful, nonjudgmental, loving, smart, humorous, self-aware, humble, inclusive, and unpredictable. In other words, one thing the pope is not is a politician.

However, this does not mean that Pope Francis shies away from politics. In fact, he has been a strong proponent of civic engagement and—to the surprise of many—unguarded about commenting on political issues. Since the early days of his papacy, Pope Francis has repeatedly called on Catholics to engage in politics as a vehicle to build more just societies. “We need to participate for the common good,” he said in a morning meditation in September 2013. “Sometimes we hear: a good Catholic is not interested in politics. This is not true: good Catholics immerse themselves in politics by offering the best of themselves so that the leader can govern.”

Pope Francis has urged his followers to participate in politics to fight apathy and has said that authentic faith is accompanied by a desire to transmit its values. He has even called politics the most important of all civil activities, referring to it as a “lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity” when it pursues the common good.

Pope Francis’s political commentary does not stop at encouraging civic engagement. Voters do not abdicate their values when entering the voting booth, and Pope Francis is arming willing listeners with plenty of values to consider when they cast their votes. In candid interviews, regular speaking engagements, and formal writings, the pope has weighed in on numerous, pressing political issues: He has called for more eco-conscious development practices; prayed for greater respect for the beliefs of others; demanded an end to the dual sins of global food insecurity and wasted food; and entreated the international community to take urgent action to protect migrants and refugees. He decries all violence, pleading, “Never war! Never war! … Stop it, please! I beg you with all my heart! … Let’s remember that everything is lost with war and nothing is lost with peace.”

In his November 2013 papal exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium,” Pope Francis lifted up three particular political issues: work, education, and health care. He warned against an economy of exclusion and bemoaned unemployment, unjust wages, and exploitative corporate policies that prioritize profits over the rights of workers. While he praised advances in the health care and education fields, he warned that a lack of access to either is detrimental to human rights.

Read more – http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/religion/news/2014/09/18/97473/pope-at-the-polls-how-would-francis-vote/

Cohabitation: Maintaining Sanity

With the announcement that Pope Francis intends to marry couples who are publicly living in sin by cohabiting, some Catholics have sunk to a depth of denial and contradiction that I did not think possible. The scandal took place today, according to sources (here and here).
This is not some kind of hype pushed by the secular media. The fact that cohabiting couples will be among those receiving the sacrament comes straight from the press release issued by the Vicariate of Rome, which stated that among those being married by Francis “there are those who are already cohabiting”, as reported by CNS. The ceremony will also include couples with children born out of wedlock.
The marriage of people cohabiting is a destructive scandal and offensive to those brave parish priests who over the years have steadfastly refused to marry couples who are living together outside of marriage. These faithful priests – who are usually in the minority and receive very little support from their bishops – understand that a couple cohabiting prior to marriage have no real understanding of the Catholic Church’s moral teachings and even less knowledge of the purpose of the sacrament. They also know that marriages where couples cohabit first are much more likely to fail, inasmuch cohabiting couples demonstrate a lack of willingness to sacrifice and engender a disposition towards selfish behavior. Many of us traditional Catholics, or even just conservative Catholics who uphold Christian morality, have applauded these heroic pastors who have the guts to buck the trend and refuse matrimony to cohabiting couples.
But now that Pope Francis is doing this very thing, many of these folks don’t know what to do. As is usually the case when this pope scandalizes the faithful, they have generally responded with “I don’t see a problem here”, “what’s the big deal?”, “this is really nothing new”, and the like. Typical Franciscan-pontificate spin.
Boniface, the Church has always married people who have previously been living in sin. This is nothing new.
The Church has always married people who had previously been living in sin; she has no custom of marrying people who are currently living in sin. And some of these couples are currently living in unrepentant sin, as the press release says they are “already cohabiting”; i.e., they are living together right now. Obviously, nobody has a problem with the Church offering sacraments to single mothers living chastely or people who were once notorious sinners but have repented; to offer them the sacrament while they are persisting in unrepentant sin is another matter entirely.
But Boniface, you are being judgmental. How do you know they are unrepentant? You don’t know their hearts.
In the Catholic Faith, what we do is extremely important. When the people came to St. John the Baptist asking how they could be saved, he told them “Bear fruits that befit repentance” (Luke 3:8). We demonstrate our repentance by our actions. A true conversion, a metanoia, means actively turning away from a sinful lifestyle and embracing holiness. Hence St. John Vianney withheld absolution from a man who had refused to stop dancing in the local saloon and St. Cyprian withheld distribution of alms from certain people unless they gave up attending the Roman spectacles. Can you imagine the scandal today if a priest refused to absolve somebody unless they stopped going to the bar on Fridays or if he refused to feed the poor if they didn’t stop going to see R-rated movies? How Pharisaic!

Yet these saints knew that a sincere change of heart would invariably be coupled with a change of lifestyle, and if they did not see the “fruits that befit repentance”, they presumed there was no repentance and withheld their ministrations. A person who persists in their sin is not repentant; rather, they are like a fool, according to Proverbs: “A dog that returns to its vomit is like a fool who reverts to his folly” (Prov. 26:11).

Continue reading – http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.ca/2014/09/cohabitation-maintaining-sanity.html

NY cardinal says Pope Francis has given church a ‘facelift’

heretic dolan praying with the enemies of the catholic church

Cd. Dolan: Vatican has a refreshing honesty one didn’t always detect before?!!

At 64, Cardinal Timothy Dolan is poised to be a force in Catholic life for a long time. In late August, he sat down for a wide-ranging interview about Pope Francis, anti-Christian persecution, the Obama administration, the Church’s sexual abuse scandals, hard choices in New York, and more.

In Part 1 of Crux’s exclusive interview, which took place at his residence in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dolan talks about the “Francis effect,” including the non-ideological bishops this pope seems to want … and the climate of refreshing honesty – and occasionally irritating uncertainty — he seems to be creating in the Vatican.

Crux: Pope Francis is almost at the 18-month mark. What grade do you give him?

Dolan: Oh, I’d give him an unqualified A. I thank God for him every day, because he’s a gift to the Church.

What’s very clear to me is that he really listened to the General Congregations that anticipated the conclave. [Note: These are daily meetings of the cardinals in Rome before the papal election, designed to work out the main issues facing the Church.] He was extraordinarily attentive, he listened carefully, and we cardinals aren’t surprised by what he’s doing because we can recall that it was all talked about on the floor.

Seriously, no surprises? You weren’t surprised, for example, by ‘Who am I to judge?

Yes, there would be some surprises, but they’re pleasant surprises.

My biggest surprise, and it’s a good one, is that he’s moving at the speed at which he is. He’s got a beautiful blend of humility and self-confidence, and he himself is willing to do what he encourages us to do, which is to not be afraid to have some accidents. There are moments when he might rethink … ‘I was misinterpreted there, people took me the wrong way.’ But it’s well worth those periodic misinterpretations, because the general record has been such a smashing success.

Look, as a local bishop, I’m pretty pragmatic. My question remains, is the pope helping me or hurting me? This pope is helping me immensely. At this stage, it’s not about specific programs, but it’s a matter of persona, of tone, of personality. There’s something in the last 18 months that’s refreshing, which is that people on the street are interested in the Church. This is a Church that used to have a public face of being old, craggy, and nay-saying, and now it’s thought of as young, exciting, daring.

You’ve got people who ordinarily wouldn’t even speak about the Church, or faith, or God, who will say to me, ‘We really like this new pope. We’re listening to what he’s saying.’ For a guy like me who’s pretty nuts and bolts about things, I’d send the pope a dozen roses because he’s helping me do my job better. He has succeeded in giving the Church a facelift.

Are you surprised there are still so many competing interpretations of Francis? From Che Guevara in a cassock to an archconservative in sheep’s clothing, and everything in between, he almost seems like a human Rorschach test.

I’d say that’s accurate, but it doesn’t really surprise me. The same is true of most of us. When I hear people talk about their parish priest, they’ll say they’re still trying to figure him out. People say they’re still trying to figure me out! After a while you just want to shrug and say, well, ‘Here I am, and I don’t really know if there’s much more to figure out.’

He is so sincere, so unafraid of the truth … he’s so unconcerned about marketing and PR that it’s working for him!

I live on Madison Avenue, which is the PR and marketing center of the world. I’ve actually had internationally acclaimed marketers say to me, ‘Whoever is doing this guy’s PR is a genius! Who is he? Who is she?’ I have to tell them, ‘There’s nobody … it’s all him.’ He doesn’t need somebody to say, ‘You know what would be a good idea on your first day? Go to your hotel to get your own luggage and pay your own bill.’ It’s just who he is. He is genuine, unscripted, uncoached.

Eighteen months in, do you notice a difference in the bishops Francis is appointing?

Yes, because right here in New York I just got three new auxiliary bishops. You know how that works … it meant I had to send nine names [to Rome]. As a matter of fact I sent 12, because they asked for three more. I sent a pretty wide array. Thank God we’re blessed in the Archdiocese of New York with a great bullpen, so it was pretty easy for me to send a dozen names. I was waiting like everybody else to see who the three would be.

What did he do? He chose three parish priests, guys with immense street credibility. Two of them spent most of their time in Hispanic parishes, and even though they’re not Hispanic they speak flawless Spanish. They’re also men who are older, so I got one who’s 70, one 69, and one 63. One of them, John Jenik, asked if he could call me ‘Tim’ now, and I said, ‘Hell, at your age you can call me ‘Sonny’!’ [Jenik is 70, Dolan 64.]

Presumably Francis is not personally involved in picking auxiliary bishops, so what you’re saying is that the system has figured out what he wants?

You’d like to think that, yes. That’s obviously a good model of leadership, which is that given my principles and preferences, these are the kinds of guys I want to see.

In the street, there’s a perception that Francis wants a shift from hardliners to moderates among the bishops. Do you see that?

Nationally, we don’t have enough of a scorecard yet to say. At least with these three guys, though, none of them would be known as ideologues or hardliners anywhere. Jenik is sort of your classic social justice guy, on the street serving the poor. Peter Byrne is also a classic social justice guy, especially with the pro-life issues and outreach to the poor. John O’Hara is just a good, loveable, folksy pastor, who has a particular aptitude for parish planning.

Look, we’re all waiting for Chicago. [Pope Francis is currently preparing to name a new Archbishop of Chicago to replace Cardinal Francis George, who is 77 and in failing health.] I can tell you that Francis takes a very hands-on, personal approach to the appointment of bishops. … Let’s face it, we’re still in April of the baseball season with this pope, but what would seem to stand out is that there’s a preference for men with seasoned pastoral ability.

So far, there also seems a preference for people who would not be associated with any one ideological camp.

Eighteen months in, do you notice any difference in the way the Vatican works?

Here’s the change I notice. There seems to be a refreshing honesty that one did not always detect before. These days, when you ask for guidance or for answers on something, officials will say, ‘You know, we’re wondering the same thing. You’re not the first bishop who has asked us this. We do know that the pope has asked us about it, we know it’s under consideration … stay tuned.’

In a way that’s irritating, because I’m not getting an answer. On the other hand, Vatican officials are laudably deferential to a new breeze, and they’re wondering themselves about what directions the pope may set. They’re grateful he’s been listening to them and consulting them, and they’re somewhat on the edge of their seat waiting for a new direction to implement.

I will tell you that there are some aspects [of the Vatican under Francis] that are frustrating. For instance, as a bishop, one of the things you want to do is to get people access to the pope. In the old days, when I had an influential person I wanted to get into the line at the audience to shake the pope’s hand, or into his morning Mass, that used to be easy because you knew who to go to. Now, you don’t. I can write, and they seem very attentive, but it doesn’t seem as predictable as it used to be.

Read more – http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2014/09/03/ny-cardinal-says-pope-francis-has-given-church-a-facelift/?s_campaign=crux:email:daily



Dolan: Francis should be more direct in calling for a thoughtful, moderate, temperate Islamic response to ISIS, Boko Haram.

Archbishop of New York cardinal Timothy Dolan arrives at the Paul VI hall for the opening of the Cardinals' Congregations on March 4, 2013 in Vatican City. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Dolan: Pope Francis Should Urge Moderate Muslims To Stand Up, Speak Out

(CBSNewYork) – In an interview, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said he wants Pope Francis to do more to influence moderate Muslim leaders to speak out against groups like ISIS and Boko Haram.

Speaking with Cruxnow.com, Dolan said he would urge Francis “to be more direct in calling for a thoughtful, moderate, temperate Islamic response.”

“We all believe in our hearts that these fanatics no more represent mainstream classical Islam than the IRA represented Catholicism,” Dolan told Cruxnow. “But when the IRA blew things up in Ireland, the bishops would immediately say, ‘They’re not Catholics.’ When Islamic extremists act, we don’t hear the thoughtful, moderate, classical Islamic voices, who we all believe are representative of true Islam, speak up in an effective way.”

“I would say, ‘Holy Father, continue your insistence that temperate Islamic leaders speak up, give them a platform to do it, and call them to task. Ask them, ‘Where are you? Because we need you.””

Dolan also spoke about the beheading of American journalist James Foley and anti-Christian violence worldwide.

“Since the Foley beheading, there have been at least a dozen people who usually aren’t very intense in their reactions to this, not all of them believers, who have said to me, ‘Now we know what you’re talking about. Now we know it’s not hyperbole to say that we are dealing with an extremist, irrational, anti-Christian, anti-religious band of thugs that really has a worldwide platform and must be stopped.’”

You can read the entire interview here.



San Romero of America: Pope Confirms El Salvador Bishop’s Cause Moving Forward

Archbishop Óscar Romero timeline


Archbishop Oscar Romero (Communist sympathizer) is favored by Pope Francis. Pope said he was hoping for a swift beatification process. “For me Romero is a man of God,” the pontiff told journalists on the plane bringing him back from a trip to South Korea. “There are no doctrinal problems and it is very important that [the beatification] is done quickly!”

In spite of controversy, Oscar Romero stood by his motto, “To be of one mind with the Church.”

In 1970, Father Oscar Romero was appointed auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. Upon his consecration as a bishop, Romero adopted “To be of one mind with the Church” as his episcopal motto.
Today, 34 years after his assassination at the altar and 17 years after Pope St. John Paul II approved his cause for canonization, bestowing upon him the title “Servant of God,” the Church has decided that Romero was indeed “of one mind with the Church.”
During his plane ride home from South Korea on August 18, Pope Francis confirmed that he had lifted a prudential block on Romero’s cause, paving the way for his beatification in the near future.  

“There are no doctrinal problems and it is very important that it is done quickly,” said the Holy Father. “For me, he is a man of God.”
Pope Francis was actualy confirming news that had come out last year, though that may have not been noticed by most of the Catholic world. In April 2013, during a Mass honoring the 20th anniversary of the death of Bishop Antonio “Tonino” Bello, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, prefect of the Pontifical Council for the Family and postulator of Romero’s cause, declared that, “Just today … the cause of the beatification of Monsignor Romero has been unblocked.”

A few months later, in July, Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), announced that an examination of Romero’s doctrinal orthodoxy had been completed and that the CDF had no objection to the cause moving forward.

“I see Oscar Arnulfo Romero as a great witness of the faith and a man who was thirsty for social justice,” said Cardinal Müller at the time, noting that as early as 2007 Pope Benedict XVI said he thought Romero “worthy of beatification.”

These developments are of particular importance to Catholics in Central and South America, especially the poor, who view Romero as a champion of their cause for social, political and economic justice.  Devotion to Romero has flourished among El Salvador’s poor since his assassination, and he is frequently referred to throughout Latin America as San Romero de América: Saint Romero of America.

Romero was born in 1917 in El Salvador’s district of San Miguel. He was educated in a minor seminary in San Miguel, the Salvadoran national seminary in San Salvador, and at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he was ordained in 1942. For the first 25 years of his priesthood, Romero served in ordinary roles, mostly in the Diocese of San Miguel: parish priest, pastor, and seminary rector. He also served as secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of El Salvador, and editor of the archdiocesan newspaper, Orientación in San Salvador.

But in 1970, with his appointment as an auxiliary bishop, Romero’s life and priestly career got on the fast track. In 1974, he was appointed as bishop of Santiago de Maria, a remote diocese in an impoverished rural part of the country. Then, in 1977, Romero was made Archbishop of San Salvador. At the time, his elevation was cheered by elites, who viewed him as a traditional cleric likely to defend their political and economic domination of the country. It is easy to see why El Salvador’s power elites were inclined to trust Romero. He had staked out a reputation as a traditional churchman who avoided direct involvement in politics and vigorously defended the magisterial teaching of the Church.

But the murder of Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande, a friend of Romero’s who had been working to organize the rural poor, changed something in Romero. Grande was shot and killed along with two others less than a month after Romero assumed the chair of San Salvador. An official statement put out by Romero’s Archdiocese said, “The true reason for his death was his prophetic and pastoral efforts to raise the consciousness of the people throughout his parish. Father Grande…was only slowly forming a genuine community of faith, hope and love among them, he was making them aware of their dignity as individuals … It is work that disturbs many; and to end it, it was necessary to liquidate its proponent.”

Barack Obama, Jose Luis EscobarPresident Obama made an unannounced visit to the tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Then, as now, El Salvador was a desperately poor, densely populated country marked by grotesque economic inequality. For generations, a tiny elite class of landowners had conspired with the government and foreign corporations to appropriate the natural wealth of the country while keeping the majority of Salvadorans poor. Attempts at reform in the 1960’s and 70’s resulted in a ferocious backlash by the landowners and their allies in government and the military. That backlash included brutal repression of the Church whenever it spoke out against injustice and violence.
This was the political environment in which Oscar Romero assumed his responsibilities as Archbishop of San Salvador. He began to speak out on behalf of the poor, decrying the violence of death squads and private militias, calling for political and economic reforms that would bring some measure of dignity to both campesinos – rural peasants – and the urban poor. For his efforts, the government redoubled its persecution of the Church. As Romero wrote in 1980:

In less than three years, more than 50 priests have been attacked, threatened, calumniated. Six are already martyrs—they were murdered. Some have been tortured and others expelled [from the country]. Nuns have also been persecuted. The archdiocesan radio station and educational institutions that are Catholic or of a Christian inspiration have been attacked, threatened, intimidated, even bombed. Several parish communities have been raided. If all this has happened to persons who are the most evident representatives of the Church, you can guess what has happened to ordinary Christians, to the campesinos, catechists, lay ministers, and to the ecclesial base communities. There have been threats, arrests, tortures, murders, numbering in the hundreds and thousands …

A key date in the evolution of events was October 14, 1979. On that day a group of current and former military officers called the Revolutionary Government Junta (JRG) deposed the president and took power in a coup d’etat. The coup was welcomed by, among others, the United States Government, which immediately began providing the new government with military aid, much of which found its way into the hands of private death squads and paramilitary groups. Romero famously wrote a letter to US President Jimmy Carter, begging him to stop supporting the JRG. His pleas were ignored.

On Sunday, March 23, 1980, Romero preached a sermon at the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Savior in which he called upon Salvadoran soldiers to fulfill their responsibilities as Christians and refuse orders that violated the human rights of the people.

I would like to make a special appeal to the men of the army, and specifically to the ranks of the National Guard, the police and the military. Brothers, you come from our own people. You are killing your own brother peasants when 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 recovered your consciences and obeyed your consciences rather than a sinful order. The church, the defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of human dignity, of the person, cannot remain silent before such an abomination. We want the government to face the fact that reforms are valueless if they are to be carried out at the cost of so much blood. In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression.

The following day, March 24, Romero celebrated Mass in the chapel of Divine Providence Hospital. Most of those attending were nuns from a nursing order. As he elevated a chalice filled with the just-confected Precious Blood, a gunman shot Romero from the back of the chapel. He died almost immediately. At his funeral Mass six days later, nearly a quarter of a million people crowded the area around the cathedral, which apparently enraged the JRG, which opened fire on the crowd, killing between 30 and 50 mourners and wounding scores of others.

Almost immediately, Romero’s legacy was the subject of dispute, both within and outside the Church. Those on the political right charged him with being a Marxist and a supporter of violent revolution. Those on the left appropriated his memory as an apostle of liberation theology.

In fact, he was neither. As the writer Filip Mazurczak has said, “While the left has come to glorify Romero, right-wing politicians in El Salvador have accused him of inspiring leftist guerrilla violence. In reality, Romero sought a peaceful solution to El Salvador’s troubles. In his third pastoral letter, written in 1978, Romero condemned leftist guerrilla violence as ‘terrorist’ and ‘seditious.’ In the fourth letter written one year later, the archbishop of San Salvador reminded the nation that violence was justifiable only in extreme situations when all other alternatives have been exhausted, citing Catholic just war theory.”

Romero’s own words buttress Mazurczak’s assertion. “Marxism is a complex phenomenon,” wrote Romero in a pastoral letter. “It has to be studied from various points of view: economic, scientific, political, philosophical and religious. One has, moreover, to study Marxism in terms of its own history. What the church asserts … is that insofar as Marxism is an atheistic ideology it is incompatible with the Christian faith. That conviction has never changed in the Church’s history. In that sense, the church cannot be Marxist.”

In the same letter, Romero also noted that the charge of Marxism is often cast at contemporary Christians merely seeking justice. “Worldly interests try to make the Church’s position seem Marxist,” he wrote, “when it is in fact insisting on fundamental human rights and when it is placing the whole weight of its institutional and prophetic authority at the service of the dispossessed and weak.”

For all his focus on the poor, Romero rejected Marxism’s crude taxonomy of class division. “We are not demagogically in favor of one social class,” he said, “we are in favor of God’s reign, and we want to promote justice, love, and understanding, wherever there is a heart well disposed.”

Far from being a Marxist, Romero was in fact a Catholic priest with a deep commitment to the magisterial teaching of the Church and a deep, thoroughly orthodox spirituality. He came late to the struggle of El Salvador’s impoverished majority because his abiding concerns were spiritual and ecclesial, not economic or political.

Romero was first and always a follower of Jesus Christ, and that discipleship characterized his life as a pastor, as well as his martyrdom. Three weeks before he was gunned down, Romero composed the following prayer during an Ignatian retreat. Not only is it prescient regarding the brutality of his death, it reveals in Whom he placed his confidence and love:

Thus do I express my consecration to the heart of Jesus, who was ever a source of inspiration and joy in my life. Thus also I place under his loving providence all my life, and I accept with faith in him my death, however hard it be. I do not want to express an intention to him, such as that my death be for my country’s peace or our Church’s flourishing. Christ’s heart will know how to direct it to the purpose he wishes. For me to be happy and confident, it is sufficient to know with assurance that in him is my life and my death, that in spite of my sins I have placed my trust in him and I shall not be confounded, and others will carry on with greater wisdom and holiness the works of the Church and the nation.