The people of El Salvador remember Archbishop Oscar Romero as a martyr who gave his life standing up for justice and the poor. But he was not elected archbishop because of his radical politics. Quite the opposite: Romero was chosen as a safe academic who had a consistent record for supporting the status quo. After he was elected, however, the Salvadoran military shot his friend from seminary, Father Rutillio Grande, who had been organizing the poor in a rural parish. After receiving the news of his friend’s death, Romero drove through the night to the little town of Aguilares, where his friend lay dead. Those who knew Romero said he was never the same again after that night. His worldview shattered by the murder of his friend, Romero began to speak out against his country’s repressive government. His old way of being in the world would not work anymore.
-Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice in Reconciling All Things