Brussels, August, 15th, 2017 (SIGNIS). Just a few days after Archbishop Oscar Romero had been proclaimed Blessed, the Board of Directors of SIGNIS, during their meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in June 2015, decided by acclamation to designate him the patron of SIGNIS. It is most significant that the decision was reached in a meeting in the Caribbean –a part of the same SIGNIS region to which Archbishop Romero’s homeland, El Salvador, belongs–, by Directors of SIGNIS coming from all corners of the globe and representing all media.
Romero’s ceaseless struggle for peace in his homeland and for justice in favor of the poor, who were the main victims of the political violence devastating the country, is the most important reason to consider him as a model communicator. Communication is, first and foremost, content, and it is at its best when it serves a just cause, standing for the destitute and the oppressed.
Overcoming his own personal limitations –many had described him as timid and rather solitary– he responded to the call of God he heard in the oppressed by becoming the voice of the voiceless. It was a service, though, that he offered with great humility, warning against all paternalisms, even from the Church, as he insisted that the poor should not be just beneficiaries, but “actors and protagonists themselves of their struggle and liberation”.
He devoted special attention to his most direct moment of communication: his Sunday homilies in the Cathedral, which he prepared together with his priests, taking also into account the information from the many letters and visitors he received. The homilies were broadcast through the radio station of the Archdiocese, YSAX, reaching all corners of the country with his bold denunciations of the violence exercised by both Government military forces and leftist armed groups.
The Blessed Archbishop Oscar Romero understood very well that the announcement of the Gospel went beyond denunciation, to being a witness of the Christian hope that he acknowledged in the poor and chose to live with and for them. It is a strong sign that we have chosen a martyr as patron. May he help us in SIGNIS to work tirelessly to further that future of peace, justice and reconciliation all humanity yearns for and he was a shining example of.