Anthony Fontes writes about the documentary “Monseñor” and the man who inspired it, Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero.
On March 23, 1980, in what was to be the last of his Sunday homilies heard throughout El Salvador, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero made a final attempt to halt the rising tide of violence that would soon consume his country. The Salvadoran Army effectively transformed into roving death squads through counterinsurgency efforts supported by the U.S. government, had already disappeared, tortured, and slaughtered tens of thousands of Salvadorans. Among them were dozens of clergy from the Catholic Church who had been involved in organizing and educating their mostly rural congregations about their rights in the face of centuries of repression by rich landlords. Knowing full well that the military would consider it an act of treason, Romero made a last — and in retrospect, doomed — attempt to make his voice heard amidst the cacophony of violence.