Prairie Messenger Header

Letters to the Editor

How we live out our faith is political

The Editor: Once again, under the leadership of Pope Francis, the Vatican is being “clever like a snake.”

The theologians advising the Vatican’s Congregation for Saint’s Causes voted unanimously to recognize El Salvador’s murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero as a martyr “for his faith.”

What they sidestep with this decision is: How we live out our faith is political.  

If we focus only on the afterlife, that is political.

If we focus only on giving short-term handouts or emergency aid to the poor or devastated, that is political.  

Both of these leave unchallenged the social structures denying life with dignity to all God’s Creation. Romero, like Pope Francis, is an example of a person engaging those social structures so all God’s Creation have life with dignity.

Romero, like Pope Francis, was converted to this understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus by witnessing first-hand what our current social structures generate.

I did not know Romero. I did know a close friend and mentor of his, Rev. Cesar Jerez, SJ.  

According to Cesar, the conversion of Romero to this understanding and living out of our faith and Catholic social teachings was long, painful and prayer-filled. Yet it is only this understanding and living out of our faith that is considered “political.”

Why is that?
The statement Romero was assassinated “in hatred for his faith” and not his politics is inane.

It was Romero’s deep understanding of the Divine through Jesus that led him to the political activism on behalf of the poor that got him killed. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous — but clever.

I hope and pray the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops go through such a conversion.  — Yvonne Zarowny, Qualicum Beach B.C.