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Indian Church observes Romero day

Ceremonies mark death and reflect on the life of El Salvador archbishop

Indian Church observes Romero day
Archbishop Vincent Concessao of New Delhi (third from left) and El Salvador ambassador to India Ruben I Zamora
Ritu Sharma, New Delhi

March 25, 2011

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The 31st anniversary of the death of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador, who laid down his life for the poor and marginalized, was observed in New Delhi. The program was organized by Justice, Peace and Development Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) along with the Delhi Archdiocese and the embassy of the Republic of El Salvadore on March 24. “There are situations in some parts of India similar to that of El Salvador, especially injustice,” said Father Charles Irudayam, secretary of CBCI commission for Peace and Justice. The priest said, “Romero remains as an inspiration for us through his deeds and words. We should involve ourselves in helping the poor and underprivileged.” A panel discussion was also held during the program, reflecting on the life of the slain archbishop. One of the panelists, Jesuit Father Prakash Louis said India is emerging as a global power but corruption, fundamentalism, caste separation, economic gap and discrimination against the poor and marginalized are also increasing. He said people should follow the path of Archbishop Romero and work towards providing justice to the underprivileged. El Salvador's ambassador to India Ruben I. Zamora said Romero preached the message of social justice. Archbishop Vincent Concessao of New Delhi exhorted the people to be sensitive toward injustice and rebuild the lives of its victims. “We need to empower the marginalized and denounce the evil of injustice and its perpetrators and move toward peace and harmony,” the prelate said. Romero day was observed in 15 other places in the country, including Kolkata, Patna and Mumbai. Archbishop Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980 while saying Mass in the chapel of San Salvador's Divina Providencia hospital. The archbishop’s death was part of the build-up to a 12-year-long civil war that claimed some 75,000 lives in that country. IC13760.1646

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