Romero (1989) Script

(Claramount) It happened in 1932.


(Crowd) They killed us!

It happened in the election...

Of 1945 and 1950!

They killed us! It happened...

In the one-candidate election of 1962.

(Crowd) They robbed us!

It happened in the election...

Where the winner kept changing. We need reinforcements.

( Claramount) Even though the voting was long since completely done!

They robbed us!

( Claramount) and now, 1977, and this time, we will not stand for it anymore!

We will occupy this plaza...

Until there is a true election, a free election!

Freedom, freedom, freedom!

Freedom , freedom!

Freedom, freedom!

Freedom, freedom, freedom! Freedom, freedom!

Freedom, freedom, freedom!

Freedom, freedom, freedom!

(Man) Everybody who's finished voting, please get back on the bus.

Thank you.

(Father Morantes) Alfonso, take care of these two that never voted.

Let's go! Everybody line up over there to vote.

Good morning.

Hey, Fernando, listen.

Pick up the bus at El Paisnal, and take it to San Martin.

There are 100 more voters waiting for you. Hurry.


Look at them.

(Woman) We need more voting papers over here.

I cursed the rain. I cursed the dirt.

But after the land was saved, I knew I loved it, too.

It was ours.

But now, they came and said we had to go.

We were only sharecroppers. We had no rights.

When we wouldn't go, they burned our homes.

They left us with nothing.

It's God's will.

Who says it's God's will?

I think God looks at these things and vomits!

What's the matter?

Oscar, what are you thinking?

What are you doing?

I am not doing anything.

It is the people that are doing it, at last.

Archbishop Chavez says you are going too fast.

What do you think?

I’ve always believed in you and your strength, your ideals.

But some are even saying you're a...

Sub--subversive, an agitator.

Remember who else they called such names.

Jesus is not somewhere up in the clouds...

Lying in a hammock.

Jesus is down here with us, building a kingdom.

Oscar, what else can I do?

I cannot love God, whom I do not see, if I do not love my brothers and sisters, whom I can see.

[ church bells ]

(Boy) Father Grande!

Father Grande!

They're stopping buses on the road.

The voters can't get through.


On the road from El Paisnal.

[ gun shots ] [ screaming ]

[ gun shots ] [ screaming ]

[ brakes squeal ]

[ screaming ]

It's okay now.

Everybody out!

We have to get to Aguilares to vote.

Tell that to the guerillas.

They're trying to sabotage the election.

The road is closed.

Good afternoon, lieutenant.

These people want to get to the polls.

There are snipers shooting at anything that moves.

The polls close in 3 hours.

I’m sorry, but I cannot jeopardize...

The safety of all of these people.

They say the road is too dangerous.

We'll take the risk!

These buses are not going anyplace.

The lieutenant will not let us drive to Aguilares, so...

Shall we walk?

Yes, father! Shall we walk?

Yes, father!

(Father Grande) Come, lieutenant, you can protect us.(Father Grande) Come, lieutenant, you can protect us.

You don't need me.

No terrorist would dare shoot at the church.

I’ll see the jeep gets back, Monsignor.

A little walk will do you good.


[ gun shots ]

[ gun shots ]

Keep moving. Come on!

They've been trying to kill these people.

First, they will have to kill us.

We walk in the protection of the Lord.

Jesus was vulnerable. Don't think we're not.

What should we be, cowards?

Not cowards, but not heroes either.

Just ordinary people trying to do our job.

So are the soldiers.

You know, I think that pretty soon, they won't allow the Bible into our country anymore.

All we'll get is the bindings, because everything inside, all the pages, will be declared revolutionary.

Tilio, you should be the one...

Taking Archbishop Chavez's place.

I'm not even a bishop.

But you can talk. You know the people.

We need someone who can change things, before it's too late.

Rivera-y-damas is a good man.

The worst be Romero.

[ laughter ]

Not even the Vatican is that crazy.

(Father Osuna) He'd fiddle while El Salvador burns.

We won't let El Salvador burn.

[ singing ]

[ knock at door ]

Come in.


Hello, Monsignor.

Are you all right?

I'm fine. I'm just tired.

It's been a difficult day.

I have some news for you.

Please sit down, Monsignor.

I think you may need to sit down.

You have been appointed archbishop.

I’m not qualified.

The Vatican has every confidence, and I will support you.

Others won't.

It is not an easy time.

What should I do?

What God wants.

What is that?

He's a good compromise choice.

He'll make no waves.

He's a bookworm.

The whole country could be running wild, and he wouldn't even notice it.

The military will keep a lid on things.

They might need to, and you might get another medal.


Anyway, his health is delicate.

It always has been. He won't last.

Yes, give him a happy death soon.


[ organ music ]

I come from a world of books, and there is much to learn in their pages.

But I have much else to learn.

There is ferment and division...

Alive in our land.

Certain priests accept...

And express the most radical ideas glibly.

But none of us can pretend to know all the answers, and demand that others implement them.

We in the church...

Must keep to the center, watchfully, in the traditional way, but seeking justice.

(Priest) Monsignor, may I present the president-elect and his wife.

( General Humberto) Best wishes, Monsignor.

We seem to share victories.


We hope more than that.

We must work closely together.

Yes, general.

Thank you.


Monsignor, this is for you, with the best wishes of our family.

Thank you.

We have a house in Escalon, too.

It would be our privilege to offer it to you...

As a home, as a quiet place to get away to.

I hope you will baptize our daughter's new baby, Monsignor.

It would be my privilege.


We had to bring you a little something, too, for all your books.

(Romero) It's very beautiful.

After the reception, you must have a quiet lunch with us, just the three of us.

Will you excuse me for a moment, please?

It's good to see you!

It's not so much.

It's nothing compared to -- but I brought you something, too.

This is what I really needed!

I know.

[ laughter ] shhhh.

[ laughter ] shhhh.

[ shoes squeak ]


Like them? Yeah.

Everybody knows you're coming.

Here's the archbishop.

[ laughter ]

[ El Salvadoran music ]

[ clapping and singing ]

Body of Christ. Amen.

Body of Christ. Amen.

Santo, Santo, nuestro dios Santo, Santo, Santo, Santo Santo, Santo, nuestro dios Señor de todas las naciones Santo, Santo, nuestro dios

Body of Christ. Amen.

Body of Christ. Amen.

[ clapping and singing ]

[ engine sounds ]

[ siren blares ]

(Crowd) Freedom, freedom!

You have five minutes to disperse!

(Soldier) The military commander of San Salvador...

Orders you to clear the plaza!

You have five minutes to disperse!

(Soldier) Clear the plaza!

We order you to disperse immediately!


[ clapping continues ]


[ gun shot ]

[ woman screams ]

[ gun shot ]

[ screaming ]

[ gun shots ]

Stop it!

[ hysterical screaming ] [ gun shots ]

[ engine roars ]

[ gun shots ] [ screaming ]


Lieutenant, listen to me, please.

The signs are everywhere.

The unions, the cooperatives, the student and campesino organizations, everywhere.

Too many people do not realize...

How high the stakes are.

The basic freedoms we take for granted; our whole way of life.

And no government...

Can put a stop to it alone, believe me.


Ricardo, this is not one of your business meetings.

It's a party.

But we're coming now.

We were just looking at the house.

[ violin music ]

Natalia is feeling very uncomfortable.

She doesn't know anyone here.

She knows me.

I like her.

So do I.

So is she the one?

I doubt it.

Monsignor, I’d like you to meet Ricardo Columa.

My warmest congratulations, Monsignor.

Thank you.

Who is that?

I don't know how to say this, but...

About an hour ago, I was giving holy communion...

With Fathers Osuna and Morantes.

Suddenly, the national guard arrived.

Now there are perhaps 70 people... Dead.

I’ll go at once.

It's too late.

Don't you see what's going on around here?

Anyone who says what he thinks...

About land reform or wages or God or human rights...

Automatically is labeled a communist.

He lives in fear, they take him away, they torture him, they kill him.

You don't believe me, do you?

Goodbye, Oscar.

Where are you going?

Back to Aguilares, to be with my people, to serve them, to work with them, to strengthen them...

While they are still alive.

[ woman weeping ]

(Father Villez) "This is not the way God wants his children to live.

"he cries out to heaven for redress.

"therefore, even at the risk of being misunderstood...

"or persecuted, "the church must lift its voice in protest, "when a society is so permeated...

With injustice."

What does everyone think?

It is inflammatory.

The people will take to the streets.

(Bishop Cordova) But there is nothing but the truth in this statement.

It must be said.

I believe it should be read at all the masses this Sunday.

I’m not sure.

You asked for the statement, Monsignor.

I know.

And now you want to give it up?

No, just toned down.

It mustn't be incendiary.

That's it. That's right!

(Bishop Flores) An equitable solution.

The archbishop and Monsignor Cordova will amend the statement.

In favor?



[ babies crying ]

(Father Grande) Fernando, I baptize you...

In the name of the father and of the son...

And of the holy spirit.

[ baby cries ]

Luis, I baptize you...

In the name of the father and of the son...

And of the holy spirit.

[ car horn ]

Fernando, can I give you a lift?

Hello, take my hat.

Yes, the sun is very, very hot today.

All right, off we go.

(Child) Off we go!

la-la-la-la la-la-la lee-ya-da-la-la la-la-la-ya

[ car horn ]

(Father Grande) Oh, my God!

Get down!

Get down!

[ gun shots ]

[ crying ]

[ screaming ]

You, get out!

Come on, let's go!

Get out of here!

You, get out of here!

[ moan ]

[ gun shot ]

You are very, very sick.

Very, very sick.

( Girl) You must rest, and we will treat you, and try to save you.

(Boy) Treat you and try to save you.

Am I going to die?

Your temperature is 1012.

Very sick.

Let me see.

That sounds a little high.

A hundred-and-one.

(Man) Monsignor, it's for you.

Excuse me, doctors.


I will give the homily. No!

The archbishop must.

The archbishop should speak.

He's here.

His presence is enough.

This is the time when he should speak!

Excuse me, fathers, I’m looking for my boy.

I’m looking for my Rutilio.

I must...

Take him home to his mother...

To wash him...

And sit with him.

(Romero) Yes,

but afterward, I would like you to permit us...

To take him to the cathedral.

I want them to lie together for all to see.

This Sunday, there will not be a mass in Aguilares...

Or El Paisnal...

Or Santiago.

There will be a single mass in the cathedral.

And it will be...

For a...

A fine priest, an old man, and the boy.

(Romero) They are equal, and they are us.

(Romero) They were murdered, and we must not let this happen again.

You cannot do that; force everyone to go to the same mass.

It's never been done before.

Priests have not been assassinated before.

The church's job is to preach the gospel.

This is going to be interpreted as a political statement.

I am not trying to make a political statement.

I want to draw our people together, to mourn these deaths and to express their outrage.

The church has always been a stabilizing influence.

If we abandon this role now, what will happen?

Are you all against it?


Yes! Yes.


I defer to your authority.

And you, Monsignor?

I don't know.

(Flores) Not everybody could come.

Not everybody would come.

( Cordova) There is no majority.

(Estrada) It will deprive the people of the sacraments.

( Cordova) We must vote again.

May I help you?

Well, I was looking for Monsignor Rivera-y-Damas, but he is busy.

Is it a matter of confession?

No, not exactly.

Not really.

How can I confess what I did not do?


What, then?

Maybe you can help me.

How could I possibly do that?

Everyone else is giving me advice.

I’d like yours.


You know about Father Grande?


What do you think I should do?

Will I go to heaven when I die?

It's so bad here.

Someone has to take a stand.

I’ve got to have something to look forward to.

(Romero over radio) If this were...

An ordinary funeral, I’d speak of my friendship with Father Grande.

At crucial moments in my life, he was always there, close to me.

Those times will never be forgotten.

But this is a moment...

To gather from these deaths a message, for all of us who remain on pilgrimage.

(Romero) The liberation that Father Grande preached...

Was a liberation rooted in faith.

And because it is so often misunderstood,

for it, Father Rutilio Grande died.

Who knows?

Perhaps the murderers are listening to these words.

So we want to tell you, murderous brethren, that we love you, and that we ask for repentance in your hearts.

(Man) This is my wife, Maria, on our wedding anniversary.

This is our house.

These are our children.

This one is Paco, my son.

See his face?

Always into trouble, and always good.

You know... a boy.

The soldiers came and took him, and now we can't find him.

He has disappeared.

We tried to find him. We went to the police.

We tried everything, but we can find out nothing.

He has disappeared.

Rafael always calls me before he leaves the office, so when he didn't call me --

Why Rafael?

He works beside his men in the fields.

He's the Minister of Agriculture, but he supports agrarian reform.

We have some money, but nothing to do with political prisoners.

Have you told the police?

You read the ransom demand.

Have you told your father?

I am afraid of what he might do.

I called you...

Because you are our friend, and because you can help us, can't you?

Please help me.

Good morning, fathers.

Good morning.

Monsignor, what brings you here?

I need to ask your help.

Rafael Zelada has been kidnapped.

Would either of you have a way to find out...

Who might have taken him?

I can't help you, father.

Father Osuna?

I can't, either.

You can't, or you won't?

Here is your car, Monsignor.

Hello, Monsignor.

How can I help you?

It can be dangerous to wait on corners in El Salvador.

I’m trying to find a way to get Rafael Zelada released.

Why should I want that?

Money was demanded.

Money is just icing on the cake.

The real issue is political prisoners.

Free them, and you'll find Zelada free.

Think of the family, of what they're going through.

If I did, he wouldn't be alive.

We must find other ways to work these things out.

Excuse me, Monsignor.

I've grown tired of this conversation.

We'll let you off.

Take a look and see what it's like, how our people are forced to live.


Good morning.

Good morning, Monsignor. Good morning.

Good morning, Monsignor.

I have an appointment with the president-elect.

Yes, Monsignor. I have an appointment with the president-elect.

Yes, Monsignor.

I am sorry, Monsignor, but it's a pity.

The president-elect has been detained.

I will wait.

The president-elect expresses his sincere regrets, but he will have to call you and reschedule the appointment...

At the earliest opportunity.

I will wait.

It may be hours.

He is coming back?


Give him this.



I’m afraid the president-elect hasn't returned, but he sent you this note.

Good night, Monsignor.

Good night.

I’ve done what they said, exactly as they told me, hours and hours ago, and no word.

Waiting and waiting, and no word.

I don't know.

There's nothing to do, and we're waiting.

What else can we do?

There must be something else we can do.

There should be word soon.


How soon is soon?

I'm sorry.

I’m glad you're here with me.

Of course I’m here.

I hear things, Monsignor.

What things?

That you're only sympathetic to the poor.

Not only to the poor.

To radicals.

I must minister to everyone.

To the men who have taken Rafael?

You are brave, but how could you think I wouldn't find out?

Why didn't you tell me?

This is my doing, father.

We've done what they asked.

We've saved him.

Haven't we?

( Arista) He's going to be all right, isn't he?

They asked for political prisoners.

Perhaps you could --

I could do no such thing.

If they harm him, it will be our turn, and there will be blood.

That can't help.

You church people, you live in your souls.

You don't understand what we do; producing, selling, bringing dollars in.

Capital to develop the country, to create jobs, to build a prosperous economy.

What does this have to do with Rafael?

That is what affects people.

( Galedo) But for that, we must have law and order.

These priests of yours, with all their talk about justice and human rights, organizing these people, convincing them they are God almighty; they are responsible for these problems.

And so are you, Monsignor.

But the...

The church is a whore.

( Galedo) She'll spread her legs to the highest bidder.

Bring him.

Bring him home.

You're a part of this.

[ knock at door ]


We are here to see Father Alfonso Osuna.


He's not here.

I am Father Villez, and I would like to see Father Osuna.

Father Villez is the Jesuit provincial, and I’m Archbishop Romero, and we would like to see the father.

Could we have a moment alone, please?

What happened?


I was preparing to celebrate the Eucharist, and they came, and they blindfolded me, and they brought me here.


They said I was responsible for Zelada's death.

They said I was in collusion with the guerillas.

How could they?

I do know some of them.

But you are not?

You met with a guerilla, Monsignor.

Does that make you one?

Because Zelada died, is it my fault?

(Father Osuna )ls it yours?

What did they do?

They used electricity.

I’m just glad I’m a priest and celibate, because I don't think I would have a choice any longer.

[ crying ]

Monsignor, what are you doing here?

We are here to get Father Osuna.

Who let you in?

Why was this man brought here?

He cannot be released.

I do not have the authority to release him.

Who had the authority to arrest him?

I was carrying out instructions.

Instructions to torture him?

( Aide) Monsignor! You need an appointment!

Please, Monsignor!

The new Swedish ambassador will be at the embassy.

Hector, I would like you there.


How are you?

Fine, thank you.

Good to see you. Come in.

Can I offer you an aperitif?

No, thank you.

Sit down, please.

Now, what can I do for you?

I’m sorry to come to you like this, general, but this is a matter of importance.

A few weeks ago, Father Grande was assassinated.

Yesterday, a priest was tortured.

Today, I presided at a funeral mass...

For Minister of Agriculture Zelada.

This violence is destroying us.

There is trouble on many sides, Monsignor.

Even inside the church.

Elements have gone astray.

The priests...

Must stay out of politics.

But there are political implications to the gospel.

We will take care of those.

Now, in a week, I will be inaugurated.

The archbishop has always attended...

To symbolize the church's blessing.

We have not heard from you, Monsignor.

It would be of great help to all of us...

If you would be present. It would be of great help to all of us...

If you would be present.

How can I bless a situation...

In which innocent people are disappearing...

Night after night?

Unfortunately, I have found it necessary...

To occupy Aguilares and to close the church, until there is order again.

You can't do that.

It is a tragedy, but let's face it.

This Grande -- we know what they are doing out there.

We have proof.

Inciting the people, agitating, calling political meetings; on the day you became archbishop, on the day he was killed,

he was a communist.

Father Grande was here with me...

The day I became archbishop.

(Romero )On the day he was killed, it was baptisms he was performing.

You are a liar.

(Bishop Estrada) You cannot count on my support.

I will attend the inauguration.

It is going to be a magnificent ceremony.

I am military vicar, and it is my function to go.

Who else?

I will go.

This is not an action I wish to take, or take lightly, but we mustn't do anything to give the impression...

We approve of what is going on.

There is no persecuted church.

Don't you see what's going on out there?

There are only sons of the church...

Who have lost their way, and put themselves outside of the law!

Gentlemen, please!

I won't go.

Monsignor Flores?

I would like to support the archbishop, but I don't agree with him.

In fact, I seldom do.

In fact, I think he's become a Jesuit dupe.


Priests are getting killed.

Except I could get killed.

Except it's reprehensible.


I’m not going.

This is a scandal, these divisions, ever since you became archbishop, Monsignor.

Rome is going to be very unhappy.

[ shouting in Spanish ] [ screaming ]

[ bell ringing ]

[ screaming ] [ bell ringing ]

[ screaming ]

What are you doing? Come on, let him go!

(Lucia) You'll break his arms!

[ shouting in Spanish ]

We are here to remove the blessed sacrament...

While the town is occupied.

This is a barracks.

This is a church.

What are you doing here?

We are here to take care of the Eucharist.

[ gun shots ]

Now, get out of here.


(Master Sergeant) Hey, hey, hey!

You again?

[ gun shots ]

Turn around!

Move, move! Turn around!

(Soldier) Move! Get out!

Are you all right?

(Romero) We are here today...

To retake possession of this church building, and to strengthen all those...

Whom the enemies of the church have trampled down.

You should know that you have not suffered alone, for you are the church.

You are the people of God.

You are Jesus, in the here and now.

He is crucified in you, just as surely as he was crucified 2,000 years ago...

On that hill outside of Jerusalem.

You should know...

That your pain and your suffering, like his, will contribute to El Salvador's liberation and redemption.

Buenos días, padre.

Later we will play a game.


You could have come to my office.

I did, but there were so many people.

Oh, this can be a bit of a crazy house.

I hope it's a sanctuary.

It's time to baptize my baby.

It's past time.

It would be my privilege.

I would like to pick a date.

There are baptisms every Sunday.

The choice is yours.

I think the first Sunday in December would be fine.

That's a good week. It's not so crowded.

I would like a private baptism.

We have so many to baptize now, we don't have private ones anymore.

Will you --

you will make an exception, won't you?

I’m sorry.

You expect me to baptize my baby with a bunch of Indians?

You have deserted us.

[ bell jingles ]

God bless you.

Bless me, father, for I have sinned.

It's been a month since my last confession.


I am a believer in the theology of liberation, and I have worked in the people's struggle.

That is no sin.

No, but I had a belief in one single man, and in no one else.

That is no sin.

Especially not the archbishop.

I deplored him, mocked him, laughed at him.

How can I tell him...

I was wrong?

Just pray for him.

Let's make that your penance.

I absolve you in the name of the Father...

And of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen Thank you, father.

Thank you, father.

[ applause ]

(Romero) I am a shepherd, who with his people has begun to learn...

A beautiful and difficult truth.

Our faith requires...

That we immerse ourselves in the world.

I believe economic injustice...

Is the root cause of our problems.

From it stems all the violence.

The church has to be incarnated...

In those who fight for freedom, and defend them, and share...

In their persecution.

[ footsteps ]

No, no! Help!

De colores se visten Los campos en la primavera De colores De colores son los pajaritos que vienen de afuera De colores De colores es el arco iris que vemos lucir Ypor eso los grandes amores De muchos colores me gustan a mí Ypor eso los grandes amores De muchos colores me gustan a mí Ypor eso los grandes amores De muchos colores me gustan a mí De colores De colores, brillantes y vino se viste la aurora

Do you wish to see me, colonel?

I’m disturbed by recent events, Monsignor.

I must speak to you with all due respect.

The problems that exist have not been solved, and you are aggravating the situation.

You are losing the people.

Who are those who come to see me at the hospital?

Who come to my office?

Who fill the cathedral?

You are losing the people...

Whose support you need to run the country.

My task is not to run the country!

My task is to prevent my priests and our people...

From getting killed!

Please, Monsignor, have patience.

Step back. Wait.

If we stop the wild talk, things will cool off, settle down.

It is your choice.

(Romero) This past week, I wrote a letter...

To the President of the United States...

To send no more arms to this country.

They are only being used to kill our people!

[ applause ]


[ gun shot ]

[ gasp ]

[ knock at door ]

They were demonstrating, and driven into the church.

There's been shooting, and they have a hostage.

They asked for you.

Who's in charge?

Where do you think you're going?

Inside. They asked for me.

No, you're not.

I'm going to get the hostage out.

He's already dead.

Are you sure?

We heard noises, Monsignor, and screams.

They tortured him.

If I get the hostage out and he's all right, will you let the men who hold him go?


If I get him out, and the men in there lay down their arms, will you let them go?


What more do you want?

If they lay down their arms, if he's alive, unharmed, and if you're still alive Do I have your word?

What did I just say?

[ gun cocks ]

You, fathers.

Yes, Monsignor?

Is the hostage all right?


They are holding no one else?

They were only holding him for their own protection.

What do they want?

A new government.

[ sigh ]

This one is no different from the last.

The powerful are still allowed to organize, and when the poor attempt it, they hire off-duty soldiers to kill them.

This is no solution.

Don't you realize what is going on?

Last night, they killed Lucia.

Before they raped and killed her, they cut out her tongue.

Somebody has to have the courage to say, "enough."

[ engine sound ]

(Loudspeaker) If the hostage is not released in five minutes, we will storm the church.

Tell them to let the hostage go.

Show the national guard that he's alive.

Have them put down their weapons.

If they do, they've agreed to let them go, guaranteed safe passage.

And you believe them?

They gave me their word.

You have mine.

The hostage is alive and safe.

These people have kept their part of the bargain.

Who gave you the authority to go in there?

They asked for me.

Who gave you the authority?

I told you, they asked for me, and this man and I agreed -- this man? I’m in charge here.

The hostage is safe. These men have -- arrest them!

[ shouting ]

They were guaranteed safe passage.

Who says?

He did! I did!

These people are all terrorists.

We cannot tolerate that.

This man gave me his word!

Arrest him, too.

Adolfo, cigarette?

[ Father Osuna screams ]


Stop in the name of God!


[ Father Osuna screams ]

[ screaming ]

We're human beings!

[ screaming ]

We're human beings.

We're human beings.


Obviously, there has been some mistake.

I will get you out of here in no time.

You are all right?

You must take care of yourself.

I worry for your safety.

You do not fear for your life?

You should.


Like any other Salvadoran.

I cannot protect you anymore.

What if you die?

What will happen?

I am not leaving here...

Without Father Osuna and the others.

Father Osuna is here?

[sighs] Of course. I understand.

I will look into it.


[ weeping ]

Are you ready?

Are you ready now to accept the way it really is?

You're a priest.

You believe in God, in the power of love.

You used to pray.

I still do.

Then why are you carrying a gun?

How can I not carry one?

Am I going to abandon my people when I am one of those...

Responsible for opening their eyes?

A guerilla, is that what you are?

A communist?


I am a priest...

Who sees Marxists and Christians...

Struggling to liberate the same people.

Jesus is part of that struggle.

He would not stand by and watch his people being murdered.

So you've become like the military and the aristocracy.

You wage class warfare.

You become violent.

How can we continue to speak against violence...

When they keep killing the people that we love?

Even you admit we have the right to defend ourselves.

You're not defending!

You're attacking!

And you'll lose God, just as they have!

What else can we do?

You think I want this? To live like this?

With what you say, there'll be no end to the bloodshed.

I have no choice.

I can't.

You must.

I’m yours.

Show me the way.

Hey, a priest!

Bring him over here.

(Woman) Monsignor!

Search him.

Nothing here.

Maybe he's got something underneath.

Let's see.

Take his clothes off.

I have nothing.

Strip him.

It's all right. It's all right.

But you are our voice.

You speak for us.

Let us begin a celebration of the mass now.

In the name of the Father...

And of the Son...

And of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

And with you.

Lord, you created us for freedom.

( All) Lord, have mercy.

Christ, you made us to live in dignity.( All) Lord, have mercy.

Christ, you made us to live in dignity.

( All) Christ, have mercy.

Lord, you strengthen us in the struggle for justice.

( All) Lord, have mercy.

(Lieutenant Columa) We developed our country.

We penetrated its jungles, planted coffee and sugar cane.

We are like the pioneers of the United States.

We do not want what doesn't belong to us.

We only want to have what the North Americans have.

To live as they do!

[ cheers and applause ]



(Romero) The mission of the church... ls to identify itself with the poor, and to join with them...

In their struggle for justice.

By so doing, the church finds its own salvation!

(Lt. Columa ) The new government is riddled with communists.

The priests are working with the guerillas.

All the unions are infiltrated.

(Lt. Columa) Don't ever feel guilty...

For having fought these subversives.

They have declared war on our way of life.

Those who fight them, they will be national heroes.

I hope that this call of the church...

Does not further harden the hearts...

Of the rich and the powerful, but will move them to conversion.

You are the principal protagonists...

In this hour of change.

On you depends, in great part, the end of violence.

There is no clinging to our feudal past.

This is a new age, an age in which all God's children...

(from radio) may live in peace, freedom, and dignity.

I’d like to make an appeal, in a special way, to the men in the army.

Brothers, each one of you is one of us.

We are the same people.

The farmers and peasants that you kill...

Are your own brothers and sisters.

When you hear the words of a man telling you to kill, think instead in the words of God!

"thou shalt not kill!"

no soldier is obliged to obey an order...

Contrary to the law of God.

In his name, and in the name...

Of our tormented people...

Who have suffered so much, and whose laments cry out to heaven, I implore you, I beg you, I order you, stop the repression!

[ gun shot ]

[ screams ]

(Romero) I have often been threatened with death.

If they kill me, I shall arise in the Salvadoran people.

Let my blood be a seed of freedom, and the sign that hope will soon be reality.

A bishop will die, but the church of God, which is the people, will never perish.