The story of Rosa Chávez, marginalized for her fidelity to the martyr Óscar Romero

On May 21, 2017, Pope Francis announced, after the Angelus prayer, the creation of five new cardinals.

Gregorio Rosa Chávez was not the titular bishop of his diocese. He was the helper. He actually became the first auxiliary bishop in history to be a cardinal. A recognition that had a fundamental reason: his fidelity to the spirit of Saint Oscar Romero.

A beautiful pastoral letter, so that I come in his name to something that he should have received, but God called him earlier and crowned him with martyrdom. I come in his name to something that he should have received, but God called him before and crowned him with martyrdom.

Óscar Romero and Rosa Chávez lived a troubled time in El Salvador. During the civil war, which began in 1979, the regime exerted strong repression against trade unionists, politicians, religious and priests.

Romero continually denounced the injustices of the government. He did so until the day before his death, on March 24, 1980. He was also labeled a “red bishop.”

Author, “Conversations with Cardinal Rosa Chávez”

He had a very bad press, above all, in Rome he had a very bad press because from El Salvador they sent, from the Embassy and others, reports and reports on the actions of Óscar Romero. After his martyrdom, of what is now known as martyrdom, which led him to Holiness, the figure of Óscar Romero was, let’s say, buried.

In fact, immediately after his death, those close to him were ostracized.

Author of the book “Fidelity Nobel Prize Candidate”

Gregorio Rosa Chávez was a friend, a secretary, a confidant of this archbishop, and as a consequence of that friendship, Gregorio Rosa Chávez, who was already an auxiliary bishop, was also marginalized. In fact, they send him to be a parish priest in a peripheral parish as an auxiliary bishop.

Ariel Beramendi recounts this stage in the book interview he conducted with the Salvadoran cardinal. It is entitled “Conversations with Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez: Candidate for the “Nobel Prize for Fidelity”. There he explains how the life of this cardinal has been marked by Saint Óscar Romero, canonized in 2018 by Pope Francis.

Author, “Conversations with Cardinal Rosa Chávez”

It is a way of traveling with Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez and discovering his life: his adolescence, his vocation, his episcopate. Then, also the difficulties he had and, later, the cardinalate.

The title of the book has history. In his meeting in 2019 with Central American bishops in Panama, the Pope spoke of Cardinal Rosa Chávez, whom he described as a “fidelity Nobel Prize candidate.”

The reflection that I want to share with you, under the figure of Romero. I know that among us there are people who knew him first-hand, like Cardinal Rosa Chávez, of whom Cardinal Quarracino told me that he was a “candidate for the Nobel Prize for Fidelity.”

Although the book was written in 2019, it deals with current issues such as cases of abuse within the Church or the opposition to Pope Francis.

This book will serve to make Gregorio Rosa Chávez known in depth and, with him, part of the history of El Salvador.


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The story of Rosa Chávez, marginalized for her fidelity to the martyr Óscar Romero