President Obama visits tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero

President Obama visits tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero March 23, 2011

And here’s the picture, courtesy CNS:

The pool report has details on what the President of the United States (POTUS) did:

POTUS, having walked down opposite stairs into the crypt, looked at the tomb and a kneeler used by Pope John Paul II when he visited Salvador.

The tomb looks to be a bronze image of the dead Romero lying in repose, with statues of grieving nun-like women at each corner.

POTUS closed his eyes, briefly bowed his head and then turned back, looking subdued.

President Funes then gave him a picture looking like an allegory of (Archbishop) Romero’s life.

POTUS then lit candles as President Funes and the archbishop looked on before lighting candles themselves. Again, no audible comments from POTUS. Pool was ushered out of the cathedral at 6:50 and run past a few soldiers standing guard in full gear, toting assault rifles.

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10 responses to “President Obama visits tomb of Archbishop Oscar Romero”

  1. I hope the President’s visit encourages his admirers to investigate Archbishop Romero’s views on social issues. I suspect some of them may not mesh well with contemporary views on the good life:

    When we preach the Lord’s word,
    we decry not only the injustices of the social order.
    We decry every sin that is night, that is darkness:
    drunkenness, gluttony, lust, adultery, abortion,
    everything that is the reign of iniquity and sin.
    Let them all disappear from our society.

    – Oscar Romero, 11/27/77, qtd. in The Violence of Love

  2. That’s true, ron. A friend of mine was shocked to learn that Romero was a big admirer of (though not, as far as I know, a cooperator in) Opus Dei. It just didn’t fit in with the picture she’d formed of him, or for that matter, the one she’d formed of OD.

  3. The tomb is a bronze sculpture by Luigi Borghi, an Italian sculpture, and the four images are the evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and they are lifting his spirit towards heaven with the cloth that drapes them all. On top of the sculpture is the Msgr. Romero’s crosier.

  4. Nice of you to speak on behalf of the murdered archbishop, Robert.

    I like to think that Romero, who stood up for the rights of the poor and was assassinated by government thugs as a result, would appreciate Obama’s efforts to bring about greater social justice (e.g., improved access to health care even for those who are poor, lower middle class, or…gasp…those who are already very sick and otherwise would be excluded for pre-existing conditions).

    I won’t try to guess exactly what Oscar Romero would think of Barack Obama, but I doubt he would roll over in his grave to disavow everything Mr. Obama is trying to do. However much conservatives would like it to be otherwise, one cannot turn most saints and great spiritual leaders into Republicans (Tea Party groupies at that) once they’re dead; nor can I turn them into Democrats. But Romero did take a stand for social justice. Is Obama perfect on that front (e.g., abortion)? Certainly not. But I never saw Bush or Cheney or Palin making any great strides or show deep concern for social justice issues, not when you take any of their records in their entirety.

  5. I am grateful for your affirmation of Romero, who, I believe, is a saint. And I think that he would have been very gracious and affirming of Obama, despite his affiliation with a “pro-choice” political party.

    I am continually baffled by those who politicize the Church’s teaching on social justice, called by someone “Our Best-Kept Secret”. If you talk social justice, you are a socialist, a Communist. Well, guess what? The Catholic Church has been involved in social justice long before the advent of Socialism or Communism. You only have to read about the origins of some of our religious communities and the work of our missionaries.

    A few years ago I had a student, who told me that she put her head down on the desk when her high school religion teacher showed the film, Romero. Why? Her grandfather, a Cuban exile, told her that he was a Communist dupe. Well, at least she had a reason for sleeping. Most high school students I know think that, when a teacher shows a film, it is naptime.

  6. In a spiritual sense, I came here to seek out details of the President’s visit to Archbishop Romero’s tomb, and was saddened to see such disrespectful comments about President Obama in the comments section.

    Whenever that happens and it’s in any way associated with my Catholic faith, I can still smile to myself and remember that Jesus was the original “community organizer,” as our President chose to be as a much younger man. I like to think Jesus would appreciate what President Obama has done for the little children, the sick, the elderly, and – in general – the “least of these.”

  7. Jesus was not a community organizer. He did not go about manipulating the ignorant to get votes and live like a king.

  8. Dymphna:
    You comment about community organizers is not fair.
    (And, unfortunately, I suspect, appears to come from an intense antipathy toward our current president.)

    I know community organizers. Some are priests and nuns who have remained in inner city parishes in our most prominent (arch)dioceses here in the U.S. and minister, spiritually and materially, to the poor. Others have set up and staffed community outreach programs for the homeless, mentally ill, and those who are the poorest of the poor in our society.

    For me, they are living the true message of the Gospel.

    I admire and support them in their endeavors, and…

    I wish I could be more like them in their commitment. (Matthew 25)

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