Beatification of Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 23, 2015

I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the people of El Salvador as you celebrate the beatification of Monsignor Oscar Romero.

He was, at a time of deep division and sorrow in your land, an inspirational spiritual leader, a courageous defender of human rights, a protector of the vulnerable, and a brave champion of social justice.

Because of his refusal to be silent in the face of repression and violence, the Archbishop came under threat himself, saying, “If they kill me, I will rise again in the Salvadoran people.”

In the end, the bullets that killed him on March 24, 1980, could not diminish in any way the example of his life, his blunt eloquence, his love for others, or the loyalty he demonstrated to his followers.

Monsignor Romero was a great and beloved teacher to the Salvadoran people, and to all people.

His message was both timeless and universal: that we should be good to one another, that we should pursue peace in all that we do, and that we should respect the fundamental rights and dignity of every human being.

We could pay no more profound a tribute to the life and memory of this champion of truth than to do as he taught us, today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.