Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador

On March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador was assassinated while celebrating Mass at a small chapel.  Romero was a leader in liberation theology, in which priests and ministers preached against repressive dictatorships and human rights violations.  Romero was deeply concerned about the persecution of the poor, political activists, and the priests and nuns in El Salvador who supported them.  In 1980, he wrote that, “… it is important to note why [the Church] has been persecuted. …That part of the church has been attacked and persecuted that put itself on the side of the people and went to the people’s defense. Here again we find the same key to understanding the persecution of the church: the poor.”  The tens of thousands of mourners who attended his funeral were fired on by government troops.