Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Archbishop Oscar Romero, Martyr, to Become Saint at Vatican Ceremony on 14 October


After a 38-year-wait, it’s now official. Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, murdered in 1980 for speaking out against military oppression, will become a saint of the Roman Catholic Church at a Vatican ceremony on 14 October. On 19 May, Pope Francisco, the first pontiff from the Americas, announced the decision during a meeting with cardinals based in Rome. Romero, long considered a saint by Catholics across the Americas, will be elevated to universal veneration at the Vatican ceremony alongside Pope Paul VI, the pontiff who first appointed him a bishop and made the fateful decision in 1977 to make him archbishop of San Salvador. Four others… two Italian priests and German and Spanish founders of separate women’s religious orders… will also become saints at the ceremony.

The Salvadoran’s canonisation, while expected in recent months, nonetheless represents the culmination of one of the clearest turnabouts of Francisco’s nearly five-year papacy. The cause for Romero languished for decades under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who expressed unease with his connection to liberation theology and his vocal denunciations of government killings and kidnappings. Less than two years after his election as pontiff, Francisco placed Romero firmly on the sainthood track, formally decreeing in February 2015 that the archbishop was assassinated as a martyr for the Catholic faith. He then authorised his beatification, the last step before sainthood, in May of that year. El Salvador’s ambassador to the UK, Elisabeth Hayek-Weinmann, told us:

Romero’s coming sainthood represents a unique opportunity for us to heal our historical wounds, restore our social fabric, and build a new sense of national identity based on common values, with social justice and respect for human dignity at its core. His teachings and legacy provide us, as a nation, a strong moral compass.

During the 19 May meeting with cardinals, known as a consistory, Francisco formally received the request to authorise the canonization of the six persons by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes. Amato gave Francisco a brief biographical sketch of each of the sainthood candidates. He said:

Romero was archbishop during a time of great political crisis in El Salvador and was outraged at seeing the violence against the weak and the killing of priests and catechists, he felt the need to assume an attitude of fortitude. On 24 March 1980, he was killed while celebrating Mass.

After hearing each candidate’s history, Francisco announced their canonisations as a group and set the date and place of the ceremony. As it became clear in recent weeks that Francis would announce Romero’s canonisation, discussions in Rome focused on whether the pontiff would decide to hold the ceremony at the Vatican or in El Salvador. Considerations included trying to make the event accessible to Salvadorans wishing to attend but wanting also to emphasise that, as a saint, Romero will be an example of Christian witness not just for El Salvador but the entire world. Carlos Colorado, a Salvadoran who runs the popular Super Martyrio blog that closely followed the process of Romero’s canonisation, said in an interview:

A ceremony in San Salvador would’ve been a blowout with people attending numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

In a recent blog, Colorado hypothesised that Francisco may still go to El Salvador soon in order to venerate the new saint’s tomb and bring a sense of celebration to the country. One opportunity would be for the pontiff to make a stopover there during his expected January 2019 visit to Panama for World Youth Day. Paulita Pike, an American who lived in El Salvador off-and-on since the early 1970s, knew Romero and now helps coordinate the popular Amigos de Romero/Cultura Romeriana Facebook page, said:

By canonising Romero in Rome, Francisco is holding him up as the model pastor, the model bishop, for the bishops gathered there. Wherever he’s canonised, he’s going to be our saint.

Pike kept vigil at Romero’s tomb in San Salvador’s cathedral overnight on 18 May with members of her group, awaiting news of the canonisation. She said:

He isn’t ours but he’s St Romero of the Americas. Now, he’s going to be St Romero of the world.

19 May 2018

Joshua McElwee

National Catholic Reporter



Friday, 6 February 2015

Pope Francisco Declares Oscar Romero a “Martyr”

00 Juana Alicia. Monsenor Oscar Romero. 1996

Monseñor Óscar Romero

Juana Alicia



This week, Pope Francisco Bergoglio declared Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez a “martyr” for the Catholic faith, the last major step on the road to becoming a saint. Almost thirty-five years ago, on 24 March 1980, American-trained and -backed death-squader Roberto d’Aubuisson ordered Romero’s assassination. The National Catholic Reporter wrote that there was unease with Romero’s case for sainthood amongst high-ranking prelates, including Benedict XVI Ratzinger, “because of Romero’s embrace of liberation theology, a type of Christian theology that posits that Christ didn’t just seek liberation from sin, but from every type of oppression”. In fact, the Vatican had a ban on Romero’s beatification, which the pope lifted with his declaration.

Liberation theology, which originated in Latin America, was a powerful force within the Catholic Church, aligning the church with the poor and condemning American-backed militarism. In Empire’s Workshop, I made the case that liberation theology posed an existential threat for the rising New Right, both its secular and religious versions. In many ways, it was the first “political religion” that united post–Vietnam War conservatives, before they moved on to Islam. Liberation theology’s threat was primal, since it represented a reformed and progressive version of Christianity that emphasised inherent rights… only not the kind of inherent rights our libertarian Mullahs emphasize (i.e., property rights). Liberation theologians had a vision of individual dignity based on social solidarity and earthly economic justice. In the 1970s, both respected conservative theologians like Michael Novak and fringe Bible-thumpers set their sights on liberation theology as an evil that they had to be doctrinally defeat and institutionally eradicate. It’s in this context that Oscar Romero being cleared for beatification (by a pope from Latin America who has his own complicated relationship to liberation theology) is important, which progressives should see as a rearguard battle in the culture wars, which are political wars, which are economic wars, which in Central America were real life-and-death wars.

5 February 2015

Greg Gindin

The Nation



This points up the inherent contradiction at the heart of the so-called “Pro-Life” movement. You can see that in a website called “Consistent Life”… they try to square support for rabid rightwing neoliberalism and American exceptionalism with “Pro-Life” rhetoric. It falls entirely flat, as they’re trying to combine inherently opposite concepts. If you were Pro-Life… you’d oppose capital punishment… but the Republican Party is all for it. If you were Pro-Life, you’d be for a vigorous social safety net (as both Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francisco support)… but the Republican Party is against it in its support of unbridled greed and cupidity. If you were Pro-Life, you’d oppose American aggression in foreign parts… but the Republican Party is all for it, as it profits its big donors. In short, Consistent Life spits on Archbishop Romero’s legacy by supporting a political faction that spat (and still spits) on what he held near and dear. Consistent Life supports the godless and theomachistic Republican Party… ergo, they’re hypocrites of the most noisome sort. On the one hand, you have Archbishop Romero, who died for his beliefs… on the other, you have Consistent Life, which spits on those beliefs by supporting the Republicans who killed him (and who continue to press for a godless Crapitalist Corporate Hegemony over the world). You can honour one or the other… they’re mutually exclusive. I know where I stand. What about you?


Friday, 9 May 2014

9 May 2014. A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words… VVP in Sevastopol with Metropolitan Lazar Shvets

00 Putin. Sevastopol. Crimea. 09.05.14


The above image shows V V Putin lighting a candle at St Vladimir Cathedral in Sevastopol in the Crimea (which is RUSSIAN to the bone). Metropolitan Lazar Shvets is in the church, too… that means that American sources (especially, the National Catholic Reporter and Christian Science Monitor) are chock fulla shit about clerical misgivings about Russian policy. I don’t know why, but they repeat all the Uniate lies verbatim. Metropolitan Lazar has no problems with VVP, and the canonical Church is in the process of chasing out the schismatical poseurs (Uniaten raus! Raus, raus, aus dem Haus! Können die Scheiße loswerden!*). No doubt, they’ll give the Galician Uniate carpetbaggers in the peninsula the “Not Welcome” mat too! The Crimea wasn’t under Polish occupation in the 17th century, so, it never had any infestation of Uniatism.

Treat anything in the Western media with GREAT scepticism… but the National Catholic Reporter and the Christian Science Monitor seem to be going out of their way to push Langley’s lies. Have a care… there be juicy cowpats in that there field…


* Uniates out! Out, out of our house! Let’s clean up the shit!

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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Fighting Ramps Up in the Ukraine… Junta Tanks Fire at Unarmed Civilians

00 Lugansk 01 04.05.14


Early Sunday, Rossiya-24 TV reported that at least one man died and two more wounded in Lugansk after soldiers opened fire on patriot activists. Massed patriots attempted to block a military enlistment office and several military bases in three districts of the city in a protest following reports that more military forces had arrived in Lugansk from the Western Ukraine. Rossiya-24 said, “Soldiers decided that protesters intended to attack the military enlistment office and opened fire on them” {this means that they weren’t regular troops, but untrained and undisciplined “National Guard”/Right Sector terrorists: editor}. However, local online news site Vostochny Variant reported that the patriots seized the military enlistment office in Lugansk and forced all military personnel to leave the building.

In a separate development, a opolchenie source said, “Tanks and armoured vehicles shot at unarmed people after they entered Konstantinovka (in Donetsk Oblast). Paratroopers descended from helicopters near a TV tower and immediately opened fire. There are casualties, we have wounded, but we don’t know how many”. According to eyewitness reports, tanks also entered Kramatorsk, also in Donetsk Oblast. Reports on clashes also came from Druzhkovka and the villages of Ivanovka and Pchyolkino. According to various reports, between six and 10 people died. Late on Saturday night, the junta also launched an attack on the municipal building in Mariupol, also in Donetsk Oblast.

4 May 2014




You should understand that the Roman Catholics are putting a massive propaganda effort behind the junta. The National Catholic Reporter has even joined it (its coverage differs little from that of Fox News… mirabile dictu)! You see, if the junta wins, the Uniates see a chance to proselytise and to push forward the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate”, as they think that they can hoodwink these nationalist traitors into a new Unia.

Orthodox people must support Russia, to support the canonical Church, and to oppose the Catholic offensive against our civilisational sphere. We must mark down those in our ranks who mingle with and give comfort to Uniates (Paffhausen, Freddie M-G, John Jillions, Vassa Larina, et al). Do NOT take it out on individual Catholics… they didn’t make this evil policy… they have no way to affect it. Hell, most don’t even know of it. I’d go so far as to say that most have more sympathy with Russia than they do with the American political duopoly. However, the papist hierarchy is backing the Uniate murderers to the max… just as they backed the Bosnian and Croat murderers in the former Yugoslavia. Oppose them with all your might… but be kind to rank n’ file Catholics… don’t attack those who had no hand in this evil policy, and who couldn’t change it even if they wanted to.


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