Call for Proposals Romero:Memory, Activating Heritage of International Solidarity

The support of Archbishop Oscar Romero (1917-1980) for the Salvadoran peasants in their opposition to the military regime of El Salvador during the last years of his life, earned him international recognition as a champion of social justice and human rights. His assassination on March 24th 1980 made him a martyr for millions of Latin Americans. Worldwide, Romero’s commitment and his legacy had a strong catalyzing effect on the recognition of the Roman Catholic Church as a genuine partner in societal resistance against injustice in El Salvador and Latin America, and hence, in the pluralization of civil society movements in general worldwide. Romero’s impact was felt particularly strong in Leuven (Belgium), where the university had developed into an international focal point for left-wing progressive Catholicism and liberation theology, epitomized by Camillo Torres’ enrollment at the university, Hélder Câmara’s frequent visits to the city and Romero himself receiving an honorary doctorate from the university on February 2nd 1980, only few weeks before his untimely death.