Okay, he didn’t say that, but close to it.
One of my heroes, Oscar Romero (August 15, 1917 – March 24, 1980), knew extraordinary political social upheaval. He experienced significant blowback due to the social implications of the gospel demanded of Christ-followers. He faced judgement from inside and outside the Church, contending with delusion, conspiracy theories, blame shifting, and alternative facts every day. He was branded by some to be a heretic. Many decades later his words and work would prove his critics unwise. I read him often.
I imagine I’ve shared this on my blog before. I imagine I will share it again. It’s a word I resonate with. It’s a word I wish I would’ve written with such eloquence. It’s a word I’ve needed to share with folks who’ve accused me of the same. Plainly, it’s just a strong word. Heres his word.
“Those who have listened to me here in church on Sundays with sincerity, without prejudices, without hatred, without ill will, without intending to defend indefensible interests, those who have listened to me here cannot say I am giving political or subversive sermons. All that is simply slander.
You are listening to me at this moment, and I am saying what I have always said.
What I want to say here in the cathedral pulpit is what the church is, and in the name of the church I want to support what is good, applaud it, encourage it, console the victims of atrocities, of injustices, and also with courage disclose the atrocities, the tortures, the disappearances of prisoners, the social injustice. That is not engaging in politics; this is building up the church and carrying out the church’s duty as imposed by the church’s identity. My conscience is undisturbed, and I call on all of you: Let us build up the true church!”
~ Oscar Romero, September 10, 1978