Paul Elie, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affair, is the author of the article in the November 2018 print edition in The Atlantic.
“For the Catholic left, Romero’s assassination is as epochal as Martin Luther King Jr.’s, and his canonization—long awaited—is apt. At a moment when bishops in the United States and around the world are being called to account for their criminal cover-up of priestly sexual abuse, Óscar Romero stands in stark contrast as a bishop who strove to be holy by being accountable—a voice for the voiceless rather than for the Church and its patrons. To celebrate Romero, the Church has to address unholy episodes in its past—episodes as troubling, in their own way, as the current sexual-abuse scandal. The canonization also forces us to consider Francis in a different light—as a figure scarred by Latin American politics and his own encounter with fear and violence, compromise and complicity.”