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Oscar Romero to be honoured in Southwark Cathedral

(Vatican Radio) On Thursday September 19th the assassinated Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, will be honoured in London’s Southwark Cathedral, as a new Cross and reliquary are dedicated to his name.

Archbishop Peter Smith will preside at an ecumenical prayer service recalling the life and legacy of Romero, who was shot dead while celebrating Mass on March 24th 1980.

The four metre high Salvadoran Cross, especially designed by a well known artist, will contain a skull cap and a fragment of the alb that Romeo was wearing on the day of his assassination…

“The focus really is part of the blood-stained alb that we will have as a memento – it’s not quite a relic as yet because we’re waiting for his beatification and canonisation…."

Canon John O’Toole is Dean of St George's Cathedral in Southwark – he talked to Philippa Hitchen about the significance of this new Romero memorial, which also pays tribute to the late bishop of East Anglia in the UK, Michael Evans…

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“We have a large Latin American community and chaplaincy in this area…..we have a multi-ethnic community, also Ghanaian, Nigerian, Filipino communities. In the past it was largely an Irish community when the cathedral was built but it now reflects the great variety (of ethnicities) that you find in London….

The Dean of Westminster Abbey is coming as one of the ecumenical representatives as they have a statue of Romero outside Westminster Abbey just a mile away from us, so it’s drawing Christians of different traditions and hopefully people of other faiths and none will be inspired by Romero’s life and example…

Hopefully, if he is beatified and canonised, that will raise his profile, but I think the message he gives of trying to live our faith in action and be a voice for the voiceless….especially in the spirit of Pope Francis, a love for the poor and a man who didn’t seek suffering but was prepared to accept it in the cause of right….”