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Letter to Cardinal Koch Beatification Monsignor Romero

In a letter sent to H.E. Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rev. Dr Tveit expressed the joy experienced by Christians of many traditions at the beatification of Msgr Oscar Romero.

28 May 2015

Geneva, May 27, 2015


Your Eminence,

May the Peace of the Lord and his Spirit be with you!

I am writing to you to express the joy we experience as Christians with the beatification of Monsignor Oscar A. Romero, on May 23rd. The hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the streets in San Salvador for the celebration are a symbol of the people of faith who is inspired by his testimony.

In this time of Pentecost, the beatification of Msgr. Romero is a sign of the Spirit of truth. Romero has been a martyr for justice and peace. In the middle of violence in El Salvador, he was an image of Christ, the good Shepherd, as His Holiness Pope Francis recalled in his letter on occasion of the beatification.

Msgr. Romero, through his ministry, took care and loved especially the poorest and the victims of violence in his country. His murder, while he was celebrating the Eucharist, made reality what he had said some weeks before: “I have frequently been threatened with death … Martyrdom is a great gift from God that I do not believe I have earned. But if God accepts the sacrifice of my life then may my blood be the seed of liberty and a sign of the hope that will soon become a reality … A bishop will die, but the Church of God – the people – will never die.” Msgr. Romero’s words and deeds are a clear sign of Jesus’ words: “No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

The martyrdom of Msgr. Romero, thus, is an example and inspiration not only for El Salvador, and the Church in this country, but for all Christians worldwide. His beatification contributes to the healing of wounds of the past also ecumenically. The ecumenical movement’s work for justice, peace and reconciliation is greatly encouraged by his testimony.

As the World Council of Churches engages in a pilgrimage of justice and peace, we pray the ministry of Msgr. Romero and the recognition of his martyrdom by the Roman Catholic Church serve as motivation to overcome tensions and disputes in the Church and to follow Jesus Christ led by His Spirit.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General Secretary