In El Salvador, the leading Primae, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo romero, on Sunday (10 December) condemned the government of the Central American Republic for what he called violations of human rights.
GV INTERIOR Congregation gathers in San Salvador Cathedral
MV Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero addressing congregation in Spanish as they took on (2 shots)
MVs Archbishop speaks as congregation watches (3 shots)
MVs Archbishop continues speaking (4 shots)
GV Congregation applauding
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Background: In El Salvador, the leading Primae, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo romero, on Sunday (10 December) condemned the government of the Central American Republic for what he called violations of human rights.
SYNOPSIS: Archbishop Romero was delivering a Human Rights Day homily to a congregation in the Metropolitan Cathedra of the capital. He said people often suffered from fires and other natural disasters. The major truth emerged from these setbacks was that time would both tell and heal. But people could be uplifted by knowing that new times could bring them to the Promised Land, the true paradise where there would be the meeting of God and man.
He went to say that individual lives and the history of the people of El Salvador were the specific roads along which God was leading them in 1978 for their salvation. But the preaching of the Gospel on this special Sunday should reflect the realities of the week that people were about to enter.
Archbishop Romero cited the misery of workers and peons, a misery that continued because the masses were held back by the lack of opportunities to improve their lot. He complained of a repression of popular expression in the country and claimed that ever-growing numbers of people were being put in prison. The following day (11 December) according to informed sources, Archbishop Romero was to head a mediation team that began talks with left-wing guerillas for the release of four kidnapped foreign businessmen. The self-styled Armed Forces of National Resistance (FARN) had claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. FARN asked for a medication team to be formed.
They wanted Monseigneur Romero to be in it, plus a representative from each of the Red Cross and Amnesty International, and a neutral observer to talk about conditions for the release of their captives.
In the past, El Salvador's government has refused to negotiate with guerrillas. It claims it holds no political prisoners because those arrested for violating the law are tried by civilian tribunals. Last year, the government would not negotiate with so-called Popular Liberation forces which kidnapped Foreign Minister Mauricio Borgonovo Phol and demanded the release of imprisoned comrades. Senor Borgonovo Phol was later found murdered. Archbishop Romero told his congregation the government regarded him as an enemy. But with support from Pope John Paul the Second, he would continue his struggle for human rights.