Oscar Romero and the Role of the Catholic Church in El Salvador

Topics: Óscar Romero, Pope John Paul II, Salvadoran Civil War Pages: 4 (1499 words) Published: May 5, 2013
The Role of Romero vs. the Catholic Church: The Salvadoran Civil War The tragedies of the civil war in El Salvador brought focus to the many issues of oppression, under-representation, and inequality apparent amongst the Salvadoran working class during the later twentieth century. The outbreak of the war began much like civil wars in neighboring countries, consisting of the lower class demanding land and policy reformations, as elites feared the uprisings would result in socialist-geared politics that jeopardized their status. Amidst the fighting between the two social classes, the Catholic Church, as a whole, maintained a somewhat neutrality status and refused to publically support one group over the other. Thus, much opposition to the war fell to religious individuals who sought to change the status quo and alleviate tensions between the social groups. Archbishop Oscar Romero, after witnessing first-hand the hardships of the lower class, began to oppose the Salvadoran right-winged government and used the developing ideas of liberation theology and the literal meaning Jesus’s teachings in the bible to help him advocate an end to the fighting. While his efforts were effective, the Catholic Church, as a whole, participated very little to recreate the atmosphere for the urban, class. Due to the Church’s lack of involvement, the deaths and murders that resulted as a lack of social support from the Church raise questions to the debatable, social and political roles in which the Church must uphold within countries where it had the greatest influence on the citizens as a whole. Throughout this essay, I will further explore the deeds of Archbishop Romero’s actions through his devotion to the poor, while also analyzing the role of the Catholic Church during the time of the war, its position on human rights in this particular case and the opposing positions in which the Church should have taken in order to have avoided the prolonged fighting, while finalizing my argument...

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