Óscar Arnulfo Romero was a prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador, who served as the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. He spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture. In 1980, Romero was assassinated while offering Mass in the chapel of the Hospital of Divine Providence. Though no one was ever convicted for the crime, investigations by the UN-created Truth Commission for El Salvador concluded that extreme-right wing politician and death squad leader Roberto D’Aubuisson had given the order.
In the film, Romero is portrayed by Raul Julia, who plays him as a reasonable, thoughtful man, slow to anger, willing to see both sides.
This is a Romero who must have seemed like a safe choice to the rulers of El Salvador and their sponsors. His conversion into a critic of the government is seen almost entirely in theological, not political terms; he takes his stands not because he is a leftist but because he is a Christian.
The movie was produced by an agency of the Paulist Fathers, a Roman Catholic order of teachers and communicators, and it was financed in part by Catholics (although it is not an official church production). Perhaps that is why it sees Romero as essentially a religious, not a political man.
Romero’s canonization will take place on October 14, 2018.
Directed by: John Duigan
Starring: Raul Julia, Richard Jordan, Ana Alicia
Spanish with Englisg subtitles
Date: Saturday, October 6
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Northrop Frye Hall, UofT, 73 Queen’s Park Crescent, Toronto
14A – 14 Accompaniment