An international conference to explore the significance of the life and martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador will be held at the University of Notre DameThursdaythroughSaturday, Sept. 25-27, in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies Auditorium.
The conference,Archbishop Oscar Romero: A Bishop for the New Millenniumsponsored byLatin American/North American Church Concernsand Notre Dame’sKellogg Institute for International Studies, is the 18th such event annually hosted by the University since Archbishop Romero’s death 24 years ago.
The conference, which is free and open to the public, will bring together theologians, social and pastoral workers, journalists, historians and policymakers to discuss the effects of Archbishop Romero’s witness and ministry on their work, the Church and the world.
Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated by a right-wing death squad while presiding at Mass on March 24, 1980, in a hospital in San Salvador. His outspoken advocacy of human rights, his denunciations of U.S. military aid to El Salvador, his call for Salvadoran military personnel to disobey immoral orders, and his insistence that the Church be inseparable from the poor all made him a figure of controversy before and after his death.
Archbishop Romero has been officially recommended for canonization by the Catholic Church in El Salvador, and he already is widely venerated as a martyr in his native country, throughout Latin America and in the United States.
A month ago, during the flight to Rome after his visit to South Korea, Pope Francis told journalists that the cause for Archbishop Romero’s canonization had been “blocked out of prudence” by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but that it had now been “unblocked,” opening the way for the archbishop soon to become one of the saints of the Catholic Church.